Michael Hennessy, Clane award winner
Three Kildare people, Billy Browne, John Murray and Mick Hennessy, were among winners in the Volunteer Ireland Awards.
Billy Browne has facilitated and organised youth club nights in Aontas Ógra in Athy, for over 60 years .
Aontas Ogra said everything that Billy does is done with the benefit of members in mind. Recently he has facilitated club nights being conducted over Zoom in line with the Level 3 Covid restrictions.
In ordinary years we would have an annual trip to Inis Oirr where the club has forged strong bonds with people on the island, here Billy revels in showing the members the night skies and enabling them to wonder at astronomy. There is no problem, including a worldwide pandemic, that he hasn't been able to overcome to continue providing the valuable service that we offer to the young people of Athy and surrounds.
John Murray has been volunteering at HSE COVID-19 test centres since March.
Currently in Punchestown, the HSE said he has been managing operations on the ground, recruiting volunteers and organising rotas for volunteers to cover shifts at the testing centre.
Mick has been a volunteer with Clane Rugby Club since 1987 and Clane Tennis Club since 1973, impacting three generations of young people in Clane. His grit and determination has ensured that rugby and tennis were available to all kids in the area, never turning any children away, said both clubs.
In the Safety and Emergency Services, category, John Fitzgerald, National Ambulance Service, Kildare was recognised.
According to Kildare Volunteer Centre Manager,Mick Power “We are lucky to have volunteers like these men in Kildare. Volunteers are often unseen but the contribution they make to Irish society is immense.”