The have been three winners so far this year in the Radio Kerry and Kerry’s Eye Local Hero Awards an initiative which honours unsung heroes throughout the county.
The first winner in February was Carmel Godfrey from Kilgarvan a woman who’s created a sense of family and unity in her parish.
The panel of judges which includes Chief Superintendent Pat Sullivan chose Carmel for her tireless work with Kilgarvan Youth Club and other groups.
She has also helped the local Alzheimer’s Centre, raised money for a defibrillator and has come up with imaginative ways of promoting parish unity.
The Local Hero March recipient was sixteen-year-old Donal Walsh from Blennerville who has raised €50,000 for Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin. Donal who himself is living with cancer has written this appeal:
Donal who has cancer has written this appeal:
“A few months left, he said. There it was I was given a timeline on the rest if my life. No choice, no say, no matter. It was given to me as easy as dinner. I couldn’t believe it, that all I had was 16 years here and soon I began to pay attention to every detail that was going on in this town. I realised that I was fighting for my life for the third time in four years and this time I have no hope. Yet still I hear of young people committing suicide and I’m sorry but it makes me feel nothing but anger.
I feel angry that these people choose to take their lives, to ruin their families and to leave behind a mess that no one can clean up. Yet I am here with no choice, trying as best I can to prepare my family and friends for what’s about to come and leave as little a mess as possible. I know that most of these people could be going through financial despair and have other problems in life, but I am at the depths of despair and believe me there is a long way to go before you get to where I am. For these people no matter how bad life gets there are no reasons bad enough to make them do this, if they slept on it or looked for help they could find a solution and that they need to think of the consequences of what they are about to do.
So please as a 16 year old who has no say in his death sentence, who has no choice in the pain he is about to cause and who would take any chance at even a few more months on this planet appreciate what you have, know that there are always other options and help is always there.”
YOU CAN CONTACT THE SAMARITANS 24 HOURS A DAY AT 1850 60 90 90.
The Local Hero for April was named as Ben Brosnan, a woman who is the heart and soul of the community of Mountcollins Mother of four Ben was nominated by her daughter Martina for her work in the parish and fund-raising for charities.
Ben lost her two sons to suicide within a year and has raised funds for suicide prevention groups and organisations that help people with depression. She’s created a sense of unity in the parish by organising events such as sports days and an annual candlelit ceremony in the graveyard.
Ben says losing her sons was devastating but says the support she got from the Mountcollins community and her family kept her going. She is also very grateful to the charity Ó Lá go Lá.