Photos jbsphotos Kilkenny
A crowd consisting of family, work colleagues and friends gathered at City Hall in Kilkenny.
Bernadette Brophy was being presented a special Mayors award for her work in Community Development, and the general consensus on the night was that none deserved it more.
In the 1990s Ber started a children’s liturgy group in the newly opened St Fiacres church in Loughboy and that sowed the seed.
Little did she know that from that beginning there would follow over thirty years of work in Community Development.
In welcoming the gathering to City Hall, Cllr Joe Malone said he was delighted to see such a large turn out to honour Ber.
“I have known Ber and her family for many years and I have always admired her dedication to the work she has done in the community”.
The Mayor listed of many of the groups that Ber was involved with, including Community Development in Loughboy, The Liturgy group, The After schools programme, The homework and Child and Toddler group.
Mayor Malone continued: “When Ber moved to The Newpark Resource Centre she started many valuable community initiatives with the people of Newpark, through child and toddler groups, men health groups, single parent’s network, and Newpark Men’s shed”
The Mayor paid special tribute to Ber for her work with ‘The Nifty Fifties’ women’s group who have one of the largest older women’s groups in Kilkenny.
Attending on the night, John McGuinness congratulated Ber on her wonderful contribution to society. “ In this day and age, and now more than ever, Community workers , and their imput to society is so important.”
Mr McGuinness said he was delighted to see Sheila Donnelly in attendance, noting that Ber and Sheila had done colossal work in the advancement of the many projects at Newpark Close Resource Centre.
Deputy Mayor Martin Brett spoke of Bers dedication and said that she epitomises all that is positive about community development and this presentation was a great acknowledgement of her work.
Cllr Andrew McGuinness said that the Mayor had mentioned a lot of the groups that Ber had worked with. But the O’Loughlin Road based councillor says that he was amazed when he read the number of groups that Ber worked with. He recalled some including The Irish Wheelchair Association, SOS Kilkenny, St Patricks Kells Rd, The O’Neill Center & Enable Ireland, and Relay for Life and St Patricks Lourdes Fund.
She even packed food parcels for Snowbusters during our severe weather episodes.
Accepting the award from the Mayor, Ber said she felt very humbled and took the opportunity to thank family and friends for the support afforded to her over the last thirty years.
Speaking to The Kilkenny Observer Newspaper, Ber said: “To be honest, it was a labour of love, and it was great to have achieved what we did. However, none of our success would have been possible without the support of family friends and the community”, said Bernadette.