The Mayor of Clare and Members of Clare County Council last evening hosted a Civic Reception to honour the Samaritans, in recognition of the organisation’s 30 years of service to the people of County Clare.
The Civic Reception took place in the Council Chamber at Áras Contae an Chláir and was attended by past and present volunteer members of the Clare and Ennis branch of the Samaritans, including the organisation’s Director Gerry Dobbin.
Reverend Prebendary Edward Chad Varah, an Anglican vicar in London, founded the Samaritans in 1953. The Clare and Ennis branch was set up in Ennis on June 7, 1982.
Speaking last evening, Mayor of Clare Councillor Pat Hayes said: “There are a large number of voluntary organisations that neither receive nor seek recognition for the work they carry out. Consequently, it is only through those they have helped that their good work is promoted. Clare County Council is delighted to be able to officially acknowledge the local branch of the Samaritans and in doing so promote the work and services of the organisation.”
“Depression and loneliness are issues that are encountered by everyone in their lives at some point or other, whether that is personally or through a family member or friend. Now more than ever, in a time of great social and economic change, family units and individuals are feeling the stresses of everyday life. It is reassuring to know that the Samaritans are there to lend a supporting hand,” he stated
Mayor Hayes noted the contribution of the estimated 600 volunteers to the local Samaritans organisation during the last three decades.
He continued “I would like to pay tribute to the many volunteers around the county for their efforts in raising the necessary funds to maintain the services provided by the Samaritans here in Clare. Irrespective of the weather conditions, time of day or time of year, they have walked the streets of Clare to fundraise and in doing so have contributed immeasurably to the organisation’s success. This culture of volunteerism also creates a sense of neighbourliness and helps carry local communities through good times and bad.
“In recognising your contribution over the past 30 years, it is important that we acknowledge that your work is ongoing and how now more than ever your services are being called upon,” Mayor Hayes concluded.