Cork man Padraig O'Reilly has been named Irish Red Cross Volunteer of the Year for 2018.
A volunteer with the Irish Red Cross for just shy of 20 years, Mr O'Reilly works a full-time Job in Dunnes Stores is a retained firefighter with Cork County Fire Service and he holds no less than three positions in the Irish Red Cross – Branch Secretary, Branch Youth Officer and he is also a training officer in the unit structure.
Under his leadership, Clonakilty Red Cross Branch opened their new branch premises in 2016, and was also the driving force behind getting the Advent Food Collection in aid of Cork Penny Dinners off the ground
This year’s collection gathered no less than 42 crates of food and 12 bags of toiletries.
During the 2012 flash flooding in Cork, Mr O'Reilly, despite his car being damaged by the water, helped his community assisting homes and business where he could.
More recently, he drove nurses and patients to hospitals in the Clonakilty Branch's 4x4 ambulance during the heavy snows of Storm Emma.
Also winning an award today was Sarah McConnellogue who took the Young Volunteer of the Year award.
The 12-year-old has been a member of the Muff Brand in Donegal for three years and has completed numerous programmes including first aid training.
Miss McConnellogue has an impeccable attendance record and he role as a recuriter is seen as her greatest talent - 19 members of the group are from he class in school.
Those who nominated her describe her as "an enthusiastic, committed volunteer who shows a willingness to learn and develop new skills - she and is a true humanitarian.”
The Irish Red Cross National Volunteer Award kicks off celebrations for World Red Cross Red Crescent Day which is held each year on May 8 to celebrate the work of the Red Cross and Red Crescent globally and locally.