The James O’Loughlin Perpetual Trophy for the Cork Area Volunteer of the year presented by the Cork City Branch to Hannah “Ma” Sheahan by Branch Chairman Liam O Connell, also pictured (left to right) Peggy Mangan (treasurer), John Connolly (Bantry Branch Hon. Sec.), Ger McAuliffe ( Cork Area Chairman), Peter McDaid (hon. Sec.), and David Walsh (Unit Officer).
The first recipient of the James O’Loughlin Perpetual Trophy for the Irish Red Cross Cork Area Volunteer of the year, presented by the Cork City Branch in memory of the late James O’Loughlin, is Mrs. Hannah Sheahan, which would have delighted James as they were great friends and colleagues, between them giving over one hundred years of voluntary service to the Irish Red Cross. James was a long serving and much loved member of the Cork City branch who like Hannah was dedicated to his branch and the organisation as a whole and who sadly passed while serving as both the City and Area Community officer.
Hannah or “Ma” as she is affectionately known is still an active member in her sixty first year of unbroken service and was one of the founding members of her beloved Mallow Branch. Through the years she has held many positions within the organisation from volunteer right through to Central Council all of which she served with great distinction, integrity and selfless dedication, on the way inspiring and nurturing many of the great volunteers we have today. As well as the great work she does as a volunteer within our organisation, Ma is also active within her own community and is highly regarded in the Mallow area, where she has been inducted in the Mallow Hall of Fame. A founding member of both the Mallow St. Patricks Day Parade and the Mallow day care centre for the elderly, she has shown the true meaning of volunteerism, generosity and caring for others, and always with a warm smile and a great sense of humour.
Her famous catchphrase “we seek no honour we seek no pay” is well known, and one she has lived up to all her life. But last year at a function to celebrate her sixty years of service to The Irish Red Cross she received a letter from the President of Ireland honouring her outstanding work, an honour she so deserves after all the years of selflessly putting others in need before herself. This Trophy is in recognition of the high regard she is held in by her fellow volunteers and for the great work she has done and is still doing within the Irish Red Cross. True to form, in accepting the trophy Ma said that it was a great honour for her but she believed that there were volunteers more deserving of the award than she, a typical response from a very modest lady.
The Cork City Branch would like to congratulate Ma, and thank all those who nominated people for the award, all deserving their nominations. They would also like to thank the adjudicators and the Cork Area Committee for their co-operation.