Annual Awards Dinner 2023

The Clare Association, Muintir An Chláir is pleased to announce that our 2023 Awards Ceremony will take place on Saturday the 2nd of September, 2023 at the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon, Co. Clare. Entertainment on the night will be provided by the Kilfenora Céilí Band.

Clareperson of the Year 2023

This year’s 2023 Clare Person of the Year Award goes to Professor Peter Daly for his work in oncology. An Ennis native, Professor Peter Daly, received his early education at Kilmaley NS and St. Flannan’s College, Ennis. He studied at St.
Patrick’s College, Maynooth, and UCD. He undertook basic medical
training at at Mater Misericordiae, St. James’s, the Royal City of Dublin( Baggot Street) and Sir Patrick’s Dun’s hospitals before becoming a member of the Royal College of Physicians in 1975. Between 1976 and 1979, he was a Fogarty International Fellow at Baltimore Cancer Research Centre of the National Cancer Institute (US-NCI), completing a three-year fellowship in medical oncology.

He was appointed a consultant physician with an interest in malignant diseases to Mercer’s and St James’s in 1979 and, with the closure of Mercer’s in 1983, he became Consultant Physician/Medical Oncologist at St. James’s. This was the first post in the Irish health service to have the medical oncologist designation conferred by Comhairle na nOispideál.

In the academic environment, he was successively lecturer, senior lecturer and Associate Professor of Medical Oncology at Trinity College Dublin (TCD). In these roles, he taught successive generations of medical students, nurses and other disciplines related to medicine. He became a Fellow of RCPI aged 36 in 1983 and was an active participant in the affairs of the college into his retirement, serving on its council from 2007-2013.

Between 2002 and 2008 he served as National Speciality Director for Medical Oncology within the Irish Committee for Higher Specialist Training (ICHMT) and mentored the majority of those holding consultant positions in the field to-day. He served for many years as national representative on the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) as well as being a member of its education committee. Part of that was devising and conducting examinations for ESMO membership and accreditation. He was a founder member of the Irish Society of Medical Oncology (ISMO) in 1997, becoming its first secretary/treasurer and second president.

At St. James’s he established a joint department with Clinical Haematology and this has evolved into one of the main cancer centres in Ireland which includes the National Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation service for adults. The department-later the HOPE directorate- played an important part in the development of cancer services through developing excellence in care, education, training and collaboration with other centres throughout the world. Professor Daly served on numerous national, European and international committees including the first and second National Cancer Forums, the steering group which established BreastCheck, the EU Cancer Experts Committee of the Europe Against Cancer programme and the US-NCI/Ireland/Northern Ireland initiative on cancer established on the back of the Good Friday Agreement.

In the face of all this the Clare born professor continued with a heavy clinical workload being a lone consultant in his discipline at St. James’s for almost twenty years. He managed to maintain an interest and activity in clinical research and was author/co-author of about 120 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

One of his greatest achievements was to lead a small team of Irish researchers which contributed to the discovery of the BRCA2 cancer- predisposition gene. The 25th anniversary of that achievement was celebrated at St.James’ in November 2019 by the unveiling of a sculpture titled ‘Structural Symmetries’. The event was attended by Professor/Sir Michael Rudolf Stratton, Director of the Sanger Institute, who was leader of the international consortium in 1994 and who has always warmly commended the Irish contribution. The relevant paper was published in ‘Science’ and the sculpture sits in the main concourse at St. James’s.

In retirement since 2008, Professor Daly was active for a few years at RCPI and ICHMT, chairing assessment and interview panels as well as participating in hospital assessments throughout the country to determine suitability for training. He also served on the council of the Irish Hospitals Consultant Association between 2009 and 2015, representing retired colleagues. In the later years he has restricted himself to serving on the boards of several charities, notably the Mercer’s Hospital Foundation (MHF) from 2002 to the present time, St. Francis Hospice Dublin (SFHD) 2008 to the present time and the Bobby Bastow Genetics Foundation (2014-2021). MHF is the legal successor to Mercer’s Hospital and, with the return on investment on money from the sale, it has supported numerous healthcare initiatives to the tune of over €5 million since 1987, including the Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing at St. James’s. The new hospice at Blanchardstown has been built and opened since Professor Daly joined SFHD and presently he serves as chair of the Quality and Safety Committee and as a member of the Fundraising Advisory Group during the development and early years of Blanchardstown and, to the credit of all and especially the local population, the €22.5 million building cost has been paid and, as they look forward to the re-development of Raheny, SFHD is debt free.

With a life lifelong interest in history, Professor Daly has written some works in retirement. Most recently he has been working on a summary of the heritage of Mary Mercer as the 300th anniversary of the building of her first house at the location of the hospital will occur in 2034. That has been submitted and he is now working on a biography of his great granduncle, Professor Brian O’ Looney of Monreel, the 200th anniversary of whose birth will occur in 2028.

Hall of Fame Award 2023

This year’s 2023 Hall of Fame Award goes to Kieran Hanrahan for his lifelong dedication and promotion of traditional Irish Music both at home and abroad. An  native of Ennis, Kieran Hanrahan is a well-known musician and radio broadcaster. He is best known for his contribution to traditional Irish music
and his tireless efforts in promoting the music of his native country.
He is one of the founding members of Stockton’s Wing, Inchiquin, and
the Temple House Ceili Band. Kieran achieved a 1st Class Honors master’s degree (M.Mus. Hons) and was also awarded the DIT Gold Medal for Academic Achievement in 2012.

He has also played on three film soundtracks with the Chieftains and recorded with them on the Grammy Award winning CD The Long Black Veil which also featured Mick Jagger, the Rolling Stones, Sinead O Connor, and Tom Jones. He co-arranged and performed the traditional music in the Jim Sheridan movie, The Field. In addition he arranged the traditional music and played in the Aidan Quinn movie This is My Father. Other recordings were with Tommy Hayes and Ronnie Drew. He also has a solo recording to his credit The Irish Tenor Banjo. He has been invited to attend festivals all over Ireland, France and the US and has taught in the University of Limerick and Boston College. A music broadcaster with RTÉ since 1991, he has presented shows such as The Fleadh Club, Both Sides Now and of course Céilí House, the flagship traditional music programme.

Tickets are now on sale for the award ceremony and dinner dance. Please contact  association officers Tom Conway (0864640085) and Gerry O’ Reilly (0868498192) or email muintiranchlair@gmail.com .

All are welcome to attend! Fáilte roimh chách!

(Special thanks to Tony Mulvey for the biographical details above)

Annual Awards Dinner 2022

The Clare Association Dublin – Muintir an Chláir is delighted to announce that the Awards Dinner will be held in the Falls Hotel, Ennistymon on 1st October, 2022 following the postponement of the Annual Awards Dinner in 2020 due to the pandemic.

For tickets please contact Gerry O’Reilly at 086-8498192

Clare Person of the year 2020/22

Dr Susan Crawford

The Clare Association – Muintir an Chláir is pleased to announce Dr. Susan Crawford, Autism Advocate, as the Clare Person of the Year for 2020.

Susan is being recognised for her efforts to address quality of life issues for children and adults with autism.

Through her commitment to education, research and the provision of practical programmes she is striving to make a real difference in the lives of those on the autism spectrum. She promotes the necessity of fundamental movement skills in regulating behaviours especially those of people with autism.

Susan’s interest in the area of autism was inspired by her own son, Tomás, being diagnosed with autism in 1998.

She specialises in focusing on autism from research, policy and practice perspectives. She has been actively involved in addressing the learning and overall development of education, health and activity programmes for children and adults with autism for over 20 years.

She completed a PhD in the field of Fundamental Movement Skills and Autism in 2007. She is a two time Fulbright Award winner for her work on development of autism awareness programmes. She has researched and developed the Get Autism Active online programme.

Get Autism Active is committed to developing skills of movement for children and adults on the autism spectrum. Research has demonstrated that having a repertoire of movement provides opportunity for further development of health related physical activity, participation in exercise and sport and social inclusion. It also enhances inclusive practice and development of opportunity particularly for children and adults with diverse needs.

The objectives of the programme are to attain equality of access for all especially in the areas of skill development, education and health. Its specialty area of expertise and research includes fundamental movement skill development for children and adults with autism and health related research across the lifespan.

Susan is actively involved in fundraising and developing awareness of and for Autistic Spectrum Disorders. She has completed marathons, half marathons and 10k runs all over the world including one in the Antarctic. Susan’s son Tomás is also a keen runner and has joined her to complete several 10km runs and half marathons nationally and internationally. In 2019, she undertook a 2,500 km walk, run and cycle along the Wild Atlantic Way from Kinsale to Donegal in a bid to build awareness around autism and to promote Ireland as “autism active and autism aware”

Hall of Fame Award 2020/22

Mary Fitzgerald of Clare Haven Services

The Clare Association has voted to honour Mary Fitzgerald with a Clare Association Hall of Fame Award for her outstanding contribution in the area of domestic abuse in County Clare in providing refuge and support services to women and children fleeing domestic abuse through Clare Haven Services.

This award honours not only Mary’s efforts and also recognises the dedication and efforts of Colette Redington, Gerry Brennan and Madeline McAleer and the tremendous work of the Clare Haven Horizons Charity Shop which supports both the frontline services and the development work

Clare Haven Services is a voluntary organisation providing 24 hour residential refuge accommodation together with support and information to women and children who experience domestic abuse. It has an extensive range of support services to meet the needs of each individual and each family situation.

Haven Horizons, a national charity, has also been established to work to break the cycle of domestic abuse through international best practice and evidence-based prevention models and is committed to the elimination of gender based violence in society.

Meitheal Award

A Meitheal award will be presented to the Ennis Tidy Towns Committee for their outstanding contribution to their local environment and for their consistency of achievement in the National Tidy Towns Competition.

Ennis Tidy Towns has over the years received a number of accolades from the National Tidy Towns Competition and is currently ranked Ireland’s tidiest large urban centre.

New chair 2021

The Clare Association in Dublin (Muintir an Chláir) has a new chairperson in 2021

Tom Conway, a native of Ballyea, Inagh, will now lead the association for the coming year after his unanimous election at the association’s annual general meeting in September 2021 at the Clasac Comhaltas Ceoltoírí Centre, Clontarf.

He succeeds Gerry O’ Reilly, who stepped down after a very successful term as the association’s chairman.

The new chairman, together with the long standing association officer, Liam O’Looney, also from Inagh, were among those who paid tribute to Mr O’ Reilly for his efforts and wonderful work on behalf of the association. He will continue to support the association as one of its officers.

Mr O’Reilly thanked all members of the association for their endeavours and all who assisted the association in any way during his term in office.

Mr Conway, who was a chief superintendent when he retired from An Garda Siochana in 2016 after 41 years service –most of it in Dublin- joined in the appeal for more Clare natives or people with Clare connections who are living in and around Dublin to join or support the association.

He said that they would especially welcome younger members with new ideas to join them.

Elected were Pat O’Donnell (president), Liam O’Looney (vice-president), Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe (patron), Tom Conway (chairman), Mary Kennedy (vice-chairman), Mary Forbes (secretary), John Brooks (PRO), Liam O’Looney (assistant PRO), Kieran Barry (honorary treasurer), Gerry O’Reilly (assistant honorary treasurer), Fr Finbarr Neylon (spiritual director), Brother Seán McNamara, Ennis CBS (Representative in Clare), Tony Mulvey, Ennis (assistant Clare representative).

Elected to the committee were Mary Browne, Donal O’Loinsigh, Martin Vaughan, Michael Clancy, Michael Anglim, Tom Hillery, Ita O’Looney, Mary Barry, Paddy Kelly, Michael Kelleher, John McGrath and Michael Forbes.