13 July 2022
By Tom Collins
As they steadily bounce back to normal activity after the Covid pandemic, Kinsale & District Lions Club have, like the rest of us, already weathered and adapted to many unprecedented changes. However, the Club is now gearing up for some of their biggest and most positive changes yet, as they prepare for their 30th anniversary.
This week saw dedicated club member Alice de la Cour elected as their first-ever female president. She was presented with the chain on Tuesday evening by outgoing President Dan Cummins, who served as president for the last two years. During that time, Dan enjoyed a hugely successful presidency and brought many positive new ways and events to the club which will continue for many years to come.
Alice is determined for this success to continue under her watch;
“Our club is very proactive, we hold many events during each year to raise funds that we put back into the areas of our community which are most in need. We work really well together and we are from all walks of life.”
Each member of the club, Alice believes, plays an integral part;
“We all have our own unique role and we work all the various events to ensure that every single one of us is involved in some capacity or other. Our hardworking management committee play a pivotal role in the running of the club, offering their various forms of expertise and ensuring that everything runs smoothly. It makes it easy to take on the role knowing that this kind of comradery and support is there and that we are all striving to achieve the same goal, to serve our community.”
Originally from Youghal, Alice is well known in Kinsale and wider Cork for her tireless community work. With a background in Media Solutions, she works professionally for the Irish Examiner, The Irish Times & The Echo. She has also taught event management for the Irish Academy of PR at UCC and worked with the Munster Agricultural Society during its first two years to develop the show during its initial transition to its current showgrounds in Ballincollig.
On a voluntary basis, however, her experience is just as impressive. She is no stranger to charity work, having worked with the Cork City Hospitals Children’s Club in conjunction with the Bubblegum Club to bring the Winter Wonderland for sick children to Fota House in Cork. She also regularly organised events for Chernobyl children when they came to Ireland pre-Covid;
“We would have over 40 children in Kinsale for 10 days and our town would pull out all the stops for them to ensure they had a truly eventful time during their stay,” Alice recalls. “It just shows what an amazing community spirit this town has and how open it is to helping others.”
Alice works closely with the Cork University Hospital Charity also, both on a business level with the Irish Examiner and on a personal level. It’s a charity very close to her heart for many reasons. She describes it as
“a great charity that works hard to improve all aspects of the hospital for its patients, from geriatrics to paediatrics, their families and indeed our own families.”
Alice also worked with Bumbleance, a specialised ambulance service for seriously ill children.
She spent many years working with KYSS (Kinsale Youth Support Services) which was set up to help young people in crisis. KYSS has been seriously successful – through working with local schools, families and youths themselves, they’ve ensured that young people in Kinsale have the tools to care for their mental health and that, if intervention is needed, they are either given low-cost counselling or signposted on further to get the necessary help.
Alice says this sense of working together for a greater good is something she’d love to see more of.
“I think all towns should have this model. A lot of charities in our town are interlinked in one way or another, and this way we keep our fingers on the pulse to identify those who are struggling, young and old,” she explains.
All of Alice’s charity work has been on a voluntary basis and she feels it is very important to give something back into society. She believes we all have something to contribute, no contribution is too small. She’s taking up the mantle as president at a very significant time, with this year being the 30th anniversary of the Kinsale & District Lions Club. All the usual events will take place in the coming months, along with some new events to celebrate the year that’s in it.
It’s an exciting time for the club as a whole, and for Alice personally.
“The Lions Club ticks a lot of areas for me and I look forward to my new role as President,”
“It is an honour, and indeed a great privilege, and I look forward to working with our club members to continue the good work that we already do and to hopefully develop new projects to ensure that we continue to support the community as much as possible. I want to sincerely thank all those who continuously support and sponsor our Club initiatives – without your ongoing support, we wouldn’t exist and we are all very thankful.”