A man working to introduce universal cervical cancer vaccinations in Co Monaghan was among three philanthropists recognised recently for their work in Ireland and abroad at the Philanthropist of the Year Awards.
The Awards are organised by the Community Foundation for Ireland.
International property developer Cathal McCarthy from Ballybay, Co Monaghan, received the local philanthropist of the year award for establishing Ireland’s first county fund for community projects three years ago.
He will work with local doctors to role out a scheme to vaccinate 500 young girls in his county against cervical cancer in the New Year – if he succeeds at getting discounted vaccines. “The Government is silly not to be doing it,” he told the Irish Times. “We should’ve done this when we had the opportunity. The only chance this country has is our youth.”
Full-time philanthropist Chantal McCabe was awarded national philanthropist of the year for activities with three social innovation organisations which she co-founded and funded. These include The Immigrant Council of Ireland, Young Social Innovators and Social Innovations Ireland, which Sr Stan Kennedy helped set up.
“It was my husband’s idea,” said Mrs McCabe, who immigrated to Dublin from France and married businessman Bill McCabe in 1981. “He gave me a budget and told me to go find a way to spend it.”
The Immigrant Council of Ireland is a human rights group. Young Social Innovators encourages social projects among transition year students. “We would like to grow to a point where it becomes part of the education system,” she said. “We want to reach every child and give them a social conscience.”
Farmer John Clarke was awarded international philanthropist of the year for his work with Friends of Ireland. He co-founded the organisation six years ago with broadcaster wife Marian Finucane after witnessing the impact of HIV during a trip to South Africa.
Community Foundation grants committee chairman Anna Lee called on the Government to facilitate philanthropy in the Budget by providing incentives for people to give time and money. “As the public budget becomes under more pressure the need for philanthropy becomes more important,” she said.
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