‘One of the most open’ awards

Irish Examiner - - Front Page - Sean O’Rior­dan

This year’s Cork Per­son of the Year Award is one of the most open in the event’ s 26-year his­tory, but ac­cord­ing to its or­gan­iser, two monthly win­ners were streets ahead when it came to hits on so­cial me­dia.

This year’s Cork Per­son of the Year Award is one of the most open in the event’s 26year his­tory, but ac­cord­ing to its or­gan­iser, two monthly win­ners were streets ahead when it came to hits on so­cial me­dia.

Event or­gan­iser Manus O’Cal­laghan ac­knowl­edged that it will be hard for the judges to choose a win­ner.

But he said the pub­lic re­ac­tion to the an­nounce­ment that de­vel­oper Michael O’Flynn and jockey Davy Rus­sell had won monthly awards was no­tice­ably far higher than any other monthly win­ners.

Mr Rus­sell, from Youghal, was given his award for his out­stand­ing ca­reer to-date and Mr O’Flynn got the ac­co­lade for his role as chair­man of Liam Miller Fundrais­ing Com­mit­tee.

How­ever, Mr O’Cal­laghan pointed out that one monthly win­ner, au­thor Louise O’Neill, said on the Ray D’Arcy TV show re­cently that her favourite to win Cork Per­son of Year was Mary Crilly of the Sex­ual Vi­o­lence Cen­tre.

An­other be­ing spo­ken about was Her­bie Hen­drick, con­duc­tor of the Cork But­ter Ex­change Band.

“Any spec­u­la­tion about the out­come is just that, mere spec­u­la­tion,” Mr O’Cal­laghan added.

The win­ner will be an­nounced at a gala lunch which will be held in the Rochestown Park Ho­tel on Fri­day, Jan­uary 18.

What is known, how­ever, is that two spe­cial awards will be made on the day to no­table per­son­al­i­ties.

Ire­land rugby coach Joe Sch­midt will be made an honorary Cork­man at the event, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of ac­claimed di­rec­tor David Put­tnam and leg­endary ac­tor Jeremy Irons.

Such has been Sch­midt’s suc­cess that if Ire­land beat Eng­land and Scot­land in the up­com­ing Six Na­tions they were leapfrog New Zealand to be­come the top team in world rank­ings.

World-renowned jour­nal­ist Fer­gal Keane will be pre­sented with a Hall of Fame award. As BBC Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent his cov­er­age of such sto­ries as the Rwanda geno­cide shocked the world and Amnesty In­ter­na­tional have marked his work with their high­est hon­ours.

“Fer­gal Keane has shone a light on the most im­por­tant sto­ries around the globe over re­cent years. That has never been more im­por­tant in a year when Time mag­a­zine’s own Per­son of the Year was “The War on Truth” which hon­ours jour­nal­ists who were killed, per­se­cuted and im­pris­oned,” Mr O’Cal­laghan said.

“Fer­gal has the skills of a his­to­rian and sto­ry­teller when cov­er­ing sto­ries, but then he is the son of that great ac­tor Ea­monn Keane and nephew of play­wright John B Keane,” added Manus.

Mean­while, a spe­cial award will also be pre­sented to the RTÉ Na­tion­wide team on the day in recog­ni­tion of the pro­gramme’s 25th an­niver­sary. It will be ac­cepted by the pro­gramme’s pre­sen­ters, Ann Cassin and Mary Kennedy, and pro­ducer Eoin Ryan.

Speak­ers at event will inl­cude Dee Forbes, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of RTÉ and Ro­nan McManamy, MD Ir­ish Ex­am­iner and Evening Echo.

The award judges are Tim Lucey, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Cork County Coun­cil and Ann Do­herty, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Cork City Coun­cil.

Award spon­sors are Ir­ish Ex­am­iner, RTÉ, South­ern Lexus Cork, AM O’Sul­li­van PR, Cork Crys­tal, Tony O’Con­nell Pho­tog­ra­phy, AV3 Me­dia and Mus­grave Mar­ket­place.

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