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  • Southside

Inspirational Southsiders are in the running for new awards

Thursday, 14th November, 2019 1:00pm
Inspirational Southsiders are in the running for new awards

Flossie Donnelly from Sandycove.

Inspirational Southsiders are in the running for new awards

Flossie Donnelly from Sandycove.

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FOLLOWING a nationwide search to uncover Ireland’s most inspirational people, three young Suthsiders are celebrating after being named as finalists in the inaugural Gala Retail and Sunday Independent Inspiration Awards.

With hundreds of entries hailing from across Ireland, an expert judging panel had the challenging task of shortlisting the top three finalists in each of the six categories from the hundreds of entries received.

Established to shine a light on those individuals who make Ireland a better place with their selfless acts and inspirational deeds, Laure Tymowski from Crumlin, Flossie Donnelly from Sandycove and Patricia Kane from Foxrock, all  impressed the judges in the category – Inspiration in Environmental Change.

Last November Laure donned her raincoat and started picking litter for an hour on her own.

Every week, Laure continued and as each week, people inquired and joined her and within weeks ‘Crumlin Community Clean-up’ was formed.

Now a group of more than 20 regular volunteers, a diverse mix of different nationalities, age groups and different abilities have held over 50 clean-ups.

Over 500 bags of rubbish have been picked up, the River Poddle has been cleaned twice, countless weeds cleared and numerous social events for participants have been staged.

The judges were impressed with Laure’s vision, enthusiasm and determination which has made the group such a lifeline for the community, a social outlet for isolated locals and an environment light in the local community.

In a hotly contended category, 12-year-old Flossie stood out among the judges. A mini marine environmentalist from Sandycove, in 2017 Flossie started a weekly beach cleaning club with the aim of spreading awareness of the plastic problem to children of all ages. Vocal in her campaigns, Flossie raised over €4,000 to get the first two Seabins in Ireland.

Harriet Donnelly, Flossie’s mother, said: “Flossie is so excited to be named as a finalist in the inaugural Sunday Independent /Gala Retail Inspiration Awards.

“It is a great honour that she has been nominated, let alone to have been named as a finalist in the ‘Inspiration in Environmental Change’ category.

“It’s great that people’s contributions are being celebrated at these awards and Flossie is so looking forward to being in a room full of inspiring people later this month,” she added. “I am beyond proud of my daughter.”

Patricia Kane is the lady behind Reuzi - a minimal waste lifestyle store, which opened in Foxrock earlier this year, with a strong online presence.

The business offers solutions for single-use plastics and on top of that Patricia runs workshops for the community on the subject of recycling, eco-living and sustainability.

Education is a major pillar, so Patricia runs lunch & learn sessions at businesses and schools – the first business with this kind of mix in Ireland.

Judges including the Sunday Independent Life magazine wellness columnist, Alison Canavan; RTE’s Marty Morrissey; Special Olympics Ireland’s CEO, Matt English; Gala Retail’s CEO, Gary Desmond and Head of News at the Sunday Independent, Paul Sheridan, sifted through the extraordinary and emotive stories to select the final 18 nominees.

Commenting on the quality of the entries, Gary Desmond, CEO of Gala Retail, said: “We teamed up with the Sunday Independent to create the Inspiration Awards as we often hear of inspirational stories from our stores’ communities, and we wanted to reward those who are making a difference to Irish society.

“My fellow judges and I were astounded by the remarkable acts of kindness, commitment and amazing feats which many of the entries featured.

“It was incredibly hard to whittle down the entries as there are so many worthy stories to share, however, we felt that Laure, Flossie and Patricia along with the other 15 finalists are truly inspirational and are the people who make Ireland a better place.”

With just three weeks to go until the awards evening, the finalists’ stories will be front and centre at the first-ever Sunday Independent / Gala Retail Inspiration Awards event, taking place at Dublin’s Marker Hotel on November 20.

With six categories,an overall Inspirational Person of the Year will be crowned at the Gala awards evening.

Patricia Kane from Foxrock.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here