Family members the late Limerick mountaineer Gerard McDonnell gathered in Adare, County Limerick today for the launch of an awards scheme dedicated to his memory.
The Gerard McDonnell Contribution to Sport Award 2010 recognises contributions and achievements in sport by volunteers, participants and administrators throughout County Limerick. The initiative has been developed by the County Limerick Local Sports Partnership (LSP), in conjunction with the Limerick County Development Board.
Gerard McDonnell was entered into the history books when he reached the summit of the world’s second highest mountain in August 2008. The native of Kilcornan was tragically killed while descending the Himalayan peak just hours after achieving his lifetime ambition. The 37-year-old was part of an expedition team comprising seven climbers from Ireland, Holland and Australia.
Launching the second annual awards scheme at the Woodlands Hotel today, Cllr. Richard Butler, Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council and Chairperson of Limerick County Development Board said: “I would like to acknowledge and thank Gerard’s family and friends for approving his association with the award, which will help preserve his memory as well as celebrate the achievements of others in his native County Limerick. I would encourage people from across Limerick to once again nominate volunteers, participants or administrators from their local clubs and organisations whom they feel to be deserving of recognition for their contribution to sport in the community.”
LSP Coordinator Phelim Macken said that the aim of the competition is to award representatives of local clubs and organisations who in their outstanding efforts and persistence have made an excellent contribution to sport at a local level.
Mr. Macken added: “Among the factors that will be considered by the Selection Committee is the nominee’s length of service to their respective organisation, along with their versatility, impact on the club or group, impact on the sport, personal contribution, overall merit and other qualities. By giving their time and effort to the sport, the club and the community, the person who receives this award will have displayed a steadfast commitment to keeping sport alive in their local area together with promoting volunteerism on a countywide basis.”
“Ultimately the shortlisted nominees will reflect the qualities shown by Gerard McDonnell throughout his life, namely his steely determination, love for his native County Limerick, his inspirational attitude, and contribution to charitable and worthy causes”, concluded Mr. Macken.
The inaugural Gerard McDonnell Contribution to Sport Award was won in 2009 by Joe Cunningham, a rowing coach at Castleconnell Boat Club. Joe is credited with introducing Adaptive Rowing to the Boat Club and has trained rowers to win medals at European and World Indoor Rowing Championships. Club members also won Bronze at the World Cup in 2009 and are now in training to qualify for the Paralympics in 2012.
Closing date for receipt of completed nomination forms is 26th November 2010. A presentation to the winning candidate will take place in December 2010.
For further information on the Gerard McDonnell Contribution to Sport Award or to obtain nomination forms visit www.cllsp.ie, email email@example.com or telephone 061-496463 / 061-496428.
Notes To Editor:
- Phelim Macken is available for interview on request. Launch images also are available on request. To arrange please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Additional Information On Gerard McDonnell:
- In the two years since his tragic death, Ger has been hailed as a hero and awarded the Best of Explorers Web 2008 Award by the mountaineers’ websites, Explorers Web. Limerick County Council held a Civic Reception in his honour in March 2009.
- In June 2003, Limerick County Council bestowed Civic Honours on Gerard in recognition of his extraordinary achievement in climbing and reaching the summit of Mount Everest. In 2005, he joined up with Pat Falvey – to become a team leader on Falvey’s Beyond Endurance expedition in Antarctica in honour of Ernest Shackleton and Tom Crean. A decade before his K2 success, he had moved to Alaska where he hoped not only to work but also to develop his skills as a mountaineer. A plaque honouring him now rests atop Ireland’s tallest peak, 3,406-foot Carrauntoohil in County Kerry. Meanwhile, Gerard’s former electric engineering classmates at Dublin City University (DCU) have established a Living Trust in his memory