The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Mary McCamley, paid tribute to the work being done by Fingal’s six Lions clubs at a civic reception in the Council Chamber at County Hall, Swords, on Monday, November 13.
They are part of a worldwide organisation that was founded 100 years ago in America and the Mayor used the occasion of the centenary to honour the clubs which are located in Balbriggan, Castleknock, Howth/Sutton, Portmarnock, Malahide and Swords.
Addressing the large gathering of Lions Club members from across the county, she commended them on their volunteerism: “Some of the work done by the Lions Club, like the Christmas food appeal, is high profile. But a lot of what you do in serving the communities you live and work in is low key. I know that all of your members are volunteers in the true sense of the word. You do not seek or desire rewards for what you do,” said the Mayor.
Joining Mayor McCamley at the presentation in the Council Chamber were Fingal County Council Chief Executive Paul Reid, Lions Club District Governor Teresa Dineen, Fingal County Councillors Anthony Lavin, Brian McDonagh, Eithne Loftus, Jimmy Guerin, Darragh Butler, Anne Devitt, Ted Leddy and Joe Newman and President of the Swords District Lions Club, Seán Quigley, who spoke on behalf of the six Fingal clubs.
Mr Quigley described the varying volunteer projects that the Lions Club undertakes annually. These include the Christmas Food Appeal which benefitted 70,000 people in Ireland in 2016, Suicide Awareness and Prevention Programmes as well as fundraising for Senior Citizens Holidays and International Humanitarian Aid.
He also used the opportunity to highlight the need for volunteer groups in Ireland: “In this age of modernity and prosperity it is sad to see that there are still ‘the have nots’ in our society. Whilst there is a welfare system in place, too often it is not sufficient and that is why we have charities appealing to the better nature of people.”
Mr Quigley added: “We believe the world gets better and problems get smaller when people unite to serve their local and global community.”
Praising the volunteerism of the Lions Club, Chief Executive Paul Reid said: “This evening is a great opportunity to acknowledge the various volunteering and fundraising projects undertaken annually by the Lions Club who are valued hugely in Fingal. Myself and the staff within the Council are pleased to work with the Lions Clubs on a number of events. They are great role models within the county and it is extremely important for us, in building communities, to have role models like them as we are both serving the public.“
District Governor Teresa Dineen, who heads up the Lions Club organisation in Ireland, said she was delighted to attend the event and show her support for the clubs in Fingal. “I am very pleased to see the outstanding work that is being done by the clubs in Fingal being recognised by the Council and I would like to congratulate the Mayor on her decision to dedicate her year in office to the volunteer.”
The international, secular and non-political Lions Club organisation was founded in Chicago by Melvin Jones 100 years ago and has since grown into an international body located in over 200 countries with 46,000 clubs and 1.4 million members. The first Lions Club to be formed in Ireland was in Dublin, in November 1955.