Above: At the Clonakilty Mayoral Council reception at O' Donovan's Hotel, Clonakilty: Back from left – Leo Buckley, Wayne O' Sullivan, Liam O' Leary, Paul O' Driscoll, Richard Nyhan, Kelly Newman, Alan Coakley, Melissa Collins, Eamonn Donnelly, Jessie Nicholson, Damien Chambers, Rose Dempsey (Manager Clonkilty Special Olympics Club), Laurna Levis (COPE activities co-ordinator). Front: Darren Lawless, members of the Mayoral Council John Loughnan, Mayor Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin, Gretta O' Donovan, Anthony McDermott (Deputy Mayor) and Mairead O' Sullivan. (Photo: Édaín Ní Dhomhnaill)
The 13 bowlers from Clonakilty’s COPE and CoAction centres who participated in the All Ireland Unlimited Road Bowling Finals at Aughagower, Co. Mayo from September 8 to 10 were honoured by the Clonakilty Mayoral Council at a ceremony held at O’Donovan’s Hotel on September 21.
Mayor Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin welcomed everyone, praising the achievements of all the bowlers and commending their families and support workers at the CoAction and COPE centres.
He said that in the past, the Town Council would have accorded a civic reception for the group and it was only right and fitting that the Mayoral Council, as the elected representatives of the people, would now organise an event to salute “our local heroes”.
Fellow Mayoral Council colleagues John Loughnan, Anthony McDermott and Gretta O’Donovan also addressed the gathering of around 50 people, which included many proud relatives of the bowlers and staff members of COPE and CoAction.
Bowlers Eamonn Donnelly from COPE and Melissa Collins representing her CoAction colleagues, both spoke on behalf of the athletes, thanking all involved who have helped and supported them along the way, and the Mayoral Council for organising the pleasant function.
Ger Ahern, Manager of the Clogheen COPE Centre in Clonakilty, thanked everyone for the support given over the many months of training the athletes, in particular his colleague Laurna Levis, and also to the Mayoral Council for organising the reception, which was very much appreciated by all.
The Mayor then presented each bowler with a personalized ‘Recognition Scroll’ on behalf of the people of Clonakilty.
The recipients were Darren Lawless (Intermediate All Ireland champion); Eamon Donnelly (Silver Novice); Liam O’Leary (two Silver Trophies Novice Targets and Skittles); Paul O’Driscoll, Wayne O’Sullivan, Leo Buckley and Richard Nyhan (all Highly Commended medals); Kelly Newman (Runner-up Novice); Alan Coakley (Participation medal); Melissa Collins (Runner-up Women’s Junior Skittles and Targets); Jessica Nicholson (First in Women’s Junior Skittles and Targets); Damien Chambers (Participation Medal); Mairead O’ Sullivan (Runner-up Novice, Runner-up Women’s Novice Targets and First in Women’s Novice Skittles).