‘It’s also nice to do something for people who are doing good in their community’

By Mary Dennehy

AS THE countdown to the 35th Tallaght Person of the Year begins, the award ceremony’s special guest Emmet Kirwan recognises the importance of the event in acknowledging the community’s unassuming heroes.

On Friday, November 16, the awards will once again take to the stage of the Red Cow Moran Hotel.

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Emmet Kirwan on the set of Dublin OldSchool

While, like all communities, Tallaght has had and continues to have its struggles, the awards night always captures the resilience of the people who live here and their DIY-approach to building their community into a better place.

It also acknowledges those who have helped grow Tallaght into a vibrant, diverse and caring community – that thrives on an inherent sense of volunteerism and activism that is being passed onto younger generations. 

Looking back on his childhood growing up in Springfield, Emmet Kirwan remembers this sense of volunteerism in a place where “a lot of people were pulling together”.

A well-known poet, playwright and actor, Emmet, who has received recent acclaim for his play Dublin Old School and its film adaptation, is this year’s special guest.

Speaking with The Echo he expressed his pride over being asked to attend the local awards ceremony.

 “It feels great, it’s a really nice thing when your hometown asks you to do something like this”, Emmet said.

“It’s also really nice to do something for people who are doing good in their community.”

According to Emmet, the idea of community is incredibly important however, in today’s world the essence of community can be forgotten in the face of individualism.

The former St Mark’s Community School student believes that while we are citizens, we are also members of families and communities.

“There are people who don’t just look after themselves but work for their community… and this is what a republic is supposed to be”, Emmet said.

“A lot of these people work on the peripheral and in silence and are not doing it for the recognition… they do it because they have to or want to”.

When asked about the importance of community awards like Tallaght Person of the Year, Emmet said: “Awards like this are incredibly important.

“A lot of the time groups and individuals fill in a vacuum when the State doesn’t pick up the slack.

“[These awards] give people who are unassuming heroes the publicity and acknowledgment that they deserve.”

Nominations for Tallaght Person of the Year are open until Friday, October 26.

The awards cover seven categories;  Arts and Culture, Business, Sgt Callinan Community, Michael Dooley Environment, Special Needs and Carers, Heart of Gold, Philip Preston Sports and Maurice Mc Connell Youth.

Tickets, which cost €40, will be on sale from The Echo box office, which will be opening on Thursdays and Friday only from October 18.

For further details or to nominate online visit www.tallaghtpersonawards.ie

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