Cashel Person Of The Year Revealed

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Johnny Fogarty was the very popular recipient of the Cashel Person of the Year Award 2022.

The ceremony took place last week in Halla na Feile.

This is an annual event organised by Cashel Lions Club since 1978.

Johnny received the award in the presence of a large gathering which included Johnny’s family and friends, members of Larkspur Park Tennis Club and members of Cashel Lions Club.

Mr Fogarty was selected for this year’s award in recognition of his lifetime of service to Larkspur Park and in particular for highlighting Cashel’s wonderful built environment and heritage, by building models of twenty six local buildings which were featured so prominently in the recent RTE Nationwide programme.

In his introductory remarks at this year’s award ceremony, Cashel Lions Club President, Eddie Morrissey stated that the list of previous recipients of the Cashel Person of the Year Award read like a ‘who’s who of active community volunteers who contributed to the overall quality of life in the recent history of Cashel’ and he was delighted that Johnny Fogarty will now be the thirty sixth recipient if the award.
Speaking at the recent presentation, Michelle O’Meara, who nominated Johnny on behalf of the Larkspur Park Tennis Club, said that she was delighted to nominate Johnny as he had made a phenomenal contribution to Larkspur Park and had spent many years, playing, coaching and transporting many young people in Cashel to and from tennis and badminton matches.

He was responsible for nurturing many of the current tennis and badminton players in Larkspur and building the prominence of these sports in Cashel.

Michelle also highlighted the ‘iconic scaled models of the historic buildings in Cashel that were made with such dedication and precision by Johnny and that will help the people of Cashel appreciate the lovely heritage we have on our doorstep’.

She went on to say how brilliant it was to have, ’these models and the town showcased on Nationwide recently’.
In his acceptance speech Johnny thanked Michelle and the Larkspur Park Tennis Club for nominating him and Cashel Lions Club for selecting him as Cashel Person of the Year 2022.

He acknowledged the joy and fun he and his family had experienced over the years in Larkspur Park, which he described as ‘one of the best clubs in Ireland’.

He acknowledged the friendship and welcome he had always received there and expressed his delight at seeing the club grow and develop over the years. He also gave a special mention to his daughter Olive, his ‘clerk of works’, who is responsible for painting the models and checking that ‘every detail of the models is of the very highest standard’.

He also thanked Seamus King for the encouragement he had given him over the years and for initiating the contact with Nationwide.

Councillor Michael Fitzgerald remarked on the positive response he had received around the country after Johnny’s appearance on the recent Nationwide programme which he described as ‘one of the best editions of the programme ever’.

He also thanked Johnny and the Fogarty family for the ‘tremendous contribution they had made to the business, sporting and community life of Cashel’.

Mark Fitzell, the Cashel Person of the Year 2021, said how delighted he was to have Johnny as his successor as Cashel Person of the Year. He said he was delighted that Johnny had featured in Volume Two of The Many Faces of Cashel. Paying tribute to Johnny’s attention to detail in making the models he recalled meeting Johnny in the car park in Halla-na-Feile when ‘Johnny was going around with a measuring tape and a notebook, checking the exact measurements of the windows and doors of Halla na Feile, before starting the model of that building’.
Before making the presentation to Johnny, Eddie Morrissey mentioned how one of the many highlights of the last year’s Arts Festival was the display of Johnny Fogarty’s scaled model buildings in Halla na Feile during the Festival. He concluded by saying that ‘there are books and TV programmes on active retirement, but here in Cashel we don’t need to consult books to discover the secrets of a long and active retirement, we merely have to take a leaf out of Johnny Fogarty’s book of life, as he is a role model for all of us’. Eddie concluded by saying that he was delighted to present the Cashel Person of the Year to Johnny Fogarty, ‘one of life’s and one of Cashel’s true gentlemen’.
The event concluded with a presentation to Mark Fitzell to commemorate his year as Cashel Person of the Year 2021 and this was followed by tea and refreshments at the end of a most enjoyable evening.