10 January 2014
By Bryan T. Smyth
The Cork Person of the Year awards scheme, celebrates its 21st
Anniversary this year, at the upcoming Gala Awards Lunch on Jan 17th,
at the Rochestown Park Hotel.
International actor Jeremy Irons will be honoured at the event, and
receive an Honorary Corkman award from last years inaugural recipient
Lord David Puttnam.
This year’s glamorous awards lunch will be M.C’d by Sharon Ní Bheoláin
of RTE’s Six One News and MEP Brian Crowley, and will be attended by
some 250 guests representing all aspects of Cork city and county life.
Once again, the main task of the awards scheme, is to pick the Cork
Person of the Year from the Persons of the Month chosen over 2013. The
award judges, City Manager Tim Lucey and Deputy County Manager Declan
Daly, will not announce the winner until the awards lunch on Friday
Jeremy Irons will receive his Honorary Corkman award to mark his work
in restoring Kilcoe Castle near Ballydehob, promoting the arts and
charities over twenty years in West Cork and participating in many
environmental campaigns. The award also celebrates his award-winning
career, including an Oscar, for his work in Film, Theatre, T.V., and
Voice. This month Jeremy Irons is also nominated at the Screen Actors
Guild Awards in L.A., for his role as Henry IV.
The nominees for Cork Person of the Year are Catriona Twomey of Cork
Penny Dinners; Simon Zebo, Munster and Irish rugby star; Angie
Benhaffaf, inspirational mother of conjoined twins; John Michael
Cahill, Family Historian and Author; Majella Cullagh, Mary Hegarty,
Cara O’Sullivan, Cork’s Internationally-Renowned Sopranos; Padraig
Aherne, Cope Foundation Teacher; John Kelleher, Innishannon Steam &
Vintage Rally Fundraiser; Dr Sinead Doherty, Technology Development
Achievements; Pat Clarke, Tidy Town Successes; Eoin Ryan, Producer
Nationwide TV Successes; Rob Heffernan, World Athletics Champion;
Rachel Allen, Promoting Cork as Food Capital.
The Judges will not pick a winner or winners until the day of the event,
and the field is wide open this year.
The founder and organiser of the awards event Manus O’Callaghan said
“time flies when you’re having fun, they say, and certainly I have
enjoyed the last 21 years. However, I won’t be able to continue for
another 21 years, so we must put together a structure to maintain this
very worthwhile award scheme into the future”.
He said the award scheme celebrates Cork’s greatest asset, its people.
“People are inspired by people and hopefully by honouring achievement
and celebrating success, others may be inspired to follow ” added