7 December 2017
By Mary Bermingham
Founder of the hugely successful Mercy Recycling Campaign, Denis O’Donovan, has been named as December’s ‘Cork Person of the Month’ winner.
The simple idea involves Denis and his son John collecting empty ink cartridges from businesses across Munster, which are then recycled with the proceeds going to the Mercy Hospital Cancer Appeal.
The idea for the charity came about after Denis was so impressed with the cancer treatment his late wife Angela received at the Mercy Hospital. He has devoted all his retirement years to fundraising for the Mercy Hospital Cancer Care Centre. Denis also fundraises for the South Infirmary Head & Neck Cancer Unit, together with Kerry Hospice and the Kerry Cancer Support Group.
To date, he has raised over €120,000 for his Cork and Kerry Cancer Services, including the Cancer Care Centre next to the Mercy Hospital which provides a quiet, safe place for patients and families to help them deal with cancer diagnosis in a nonclinical and relaxed environment.
As part of the Mercy Recycling Campaign, Denis has signed up over 700 companies in Munster who supply him with empty ink cartridges. An added benefit is that the 800,000 cartridges he has collected so far have been saved from landfill which also benefits the environment.
“I got involved in fundraising because of Angela, so I had first hand experience of the incredible care and attention received by cancer patients and I just wanted to give something back. I hope this award will further publicise the great work done for cancer patients, especially in Cork and Kerry,” said Denis at the award presentation.
Manus O’Callaghan, Organiser of the ‘Cork Person of the Year’ Awards said, “The fundraising work that Denis has done for the Mercy Hospital and their cancer appeal has been incredible. The recycling appeal is unique and has been extremely successful in combining fundraising with helping the environment.
“Denis is truly an inspirational character who was motivated to help others because of the quality of care his late wife Angela received at the Mercy Hospital.”
As winner of the December monthly award, Denis O’Donovan’s name will go forward, with the other monthly winners, for possible selection as ‘Cork Person of the Year 2017’.
The overall winner will be unveiled at a Gala Awards Lunch in mid-January 2018.