Buckingham Palace invite for Irish Samaritans volunteers

Anne Cummins, Teresa Bell and Mary McMahon will don their posh frocks for the 70th birthday of Britain’s Prince of Wales on Tuesday in recognition of their dedication to the crisis-support charity.

The three – from Sligo, Athlone and Dublin – will bring more than 70 years of volunteering experience to the palace party, which celebrates the work of the charities and organisations that Charles patronises.

They were nominated for providing years of emotional support to those most in need.

Ms Cummins – a self-confessed royal watcher since she was a young child – has been a volunteer at Sligo Samaritans for 33 years.

She said: “I’m absolutely thrilled, honoured, surprised, charmed and delighted to be going, but I feel so many more people deserved it more than me.

“I have always been a royal watcher. When I was very small I had a royal scrapbook. I’ve been to Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guards but I never thought I’d be inside it. It’s amazing. It’s a wonderful opportunity. I’m so lucky.

“I’m six weeks older than Charles, I’m 70 in September as well, so I’ll see if we’ve both weathered the storm the same!” she added.

Ms Bell has volunteered in Athlone for 20 years.

She said: “I couldn’t believe it when I got the call to say I was going – it was just wonderful. I was glad I was sitting down. It’s fantastic.

“It’s so important for Prince Charles to understand the work that we are doing. It’s a lovely recognition of our work and it’s so special to be invited to his birthday party – especially for volunteers from Ireland.”

Ms McMahon became a Samaritans volunteer in Dublin 18 years ago after her friend lost a brother to suicide.

“She always said ‘if only he had spoken to somebody’ and it always stuck with me. A few years later when I had more spare time I joined and I’ve loved it.”

Cindy O’Shea, Irish regional director for Samaritans, said all volunteers did an incredible job and ensured the service was available and targeted at the most vulnerable.

“Mary McMahon, from the Dublin branch, was nominated for her extreme commitment to the work with Listeners in the Irish prisons, Teresa Bell from the Athlone branch for her ongoing and longstanding commitment to Samaritans at a regional level, and finally Anne Cummins for her dedication and longstanding work at branch level in Sligo.”

- Press Association

Related Articles

Meghan joins best man Harry at his close friend’s wedding

American bishop who preached at royal wedding has surgery

Princess Eugenie to do a Meghan and invite ordinary people to her wedding

Megan Markle's father gives his first interview since the royal wedding

More in this Section

Sides meet again after 'constructive' talks in Ryanair dispute

Dublin's Lord Mayor apologises for parking in cycle lane to attend ribbon-cutting ceremony

Fresh calls for Brendan Howlin to agree to Labour leadership contest

Hotelier to fund return trip for 80-year-old Jim

Today's Stories

Paralysedman was attacked as he slept in camper


New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

More From The Irish Examiner