Members of the emergency services, who came to the rescue of scores of people in Bandon twice last December, were hailed as heroes at the annual West Cork Community Awards on Friday night.

The emergency services and many volunteers were lauded for their work during the devastating floods of December 5 and 29 last, caused by storms Desmond and Frank respectively.

A special Spirit of the Community Award was presented to Aidan Buckley, station master Bandon Fire Service who accepted it on behalf of 12 different groups including Civil Defence, gardaí, Army, the scout group and many more.

The event was organised by The Opinion monthly magazine and sponsored by Bandon Co-op.

Bandon-born Conor Hourihan, who led Barnsley to success in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final against Oxford, in Wembley last week was named Sports Star of the Year.

Skibbereen businessman John Field received the Community Award while the West Cork Literary Award was presented to Clonakilty’s Louise O’Neill, whose novels Only Ever Yours and Asking For It were best sellers.

Ger Condon, musical director of the Clonakilty Brass Band, won the Cultural Award.

Two sets of brothers bound for the Rio Olympics — David and Conor Harte, Kinsale (hockey), and the O’Donovan brothers Gary and Paul, Skibbereen (rowing) — were given special presentations.

Retired businessman Michael McCarthy, who established the Bandon Brass Band, received the Lifetime Achievement Award while the Bandon Youth Pipe Band’s success in securing silver at the World Championships in Glasgow was also recognised.

Other winners were county championship winners Newcestown and Bandon; All-Ireland finalists Bantry Ladies Football Team; Carbery Rangers’ John Murphy (Club Person of the Year award); Clonakilty Show which celebrated its centenary; Bandon Hockey Club, James French (rugby/athletics), Liam Coombes (rugby), Issie Hayes (swimming), and Fiona Everard (athletics).

Meanwhile, a Posthumous Hall of Fame Award was given to the family of GAA stalwart John Corcoran of Ballineen.


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