Ballyfin volunteer up for award

Dan Hooban’s tireless volunteer work for the Ballyfin community is being recognised at a banquet in Dublin Castle next Monday, December 5.

Dan Hooban’s tireless volunteer work for the Ballyfin community is being recognised at a banquet in Dublin Castle next Monday, December 5.

Dan is one of thirty national finalists shortlisted for the ‘Ireland Involved 2011’ award, with the overall winner to be announced on the night.

He was nominated by Frances Harney in the community work category. She wrote a powerful letter to the organisers, explaining why she felt Dan was deserving of the national recognition.

“Dan has devoted himself to the improvement of the parish over many years. He is a selfless volunteer who is not afraid to take initiative. When Dan sees a problem, whether its inadequate facilities or under-used resources, he sees potential to achieve a specific goal. Then he quietly gathers people with skills in these areas to work together. Often the results far outweighs the expectation of the assembled group – but rarely Dan’s. He is an enabler who never expects anyone to work harder or longer than he does himself.

He is innovative and always organised. Through his extensive fundraising ventures he has touched the lives of young and old, fit and unfit, the sick, the dying and the families of the bereaved at funeral times. These contributions alone deserve an award. However Dan is never complacent, and always has a new project in hand. Presently it’s the upgrading of our parish hall,” said Frances.

Dan also set up the charity fundraising Ballyfin Support Group and led a committee which raised €100,000 for a new parish school, to name but a few of his good works. He is also a lifetime Ballyfin GAA supporter, first as a player for over 30 years, then in administration.

“He is a remarkable man, volunteering his skills to many individuals, groups and parish causes on a continuing basis for many years. We are very lucky to have him,” says Frances.

Dan is delighted to one of the finalists for the national prize. His wife Mary and daughter Linda will be accompanying him to the banquet, along with Frances.

“It is wonderful to get this far, we’ll see what happens. I’m sure we will have a great night,” said Dan.

He admits he finds it difficult to say no when asked to do any volunteer work.

“When people know you’re inclined to do something, you get plenty of callers. If I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t do it though. Sure if everybody did nothing, it would be a sad situation,” said Dan.

Locals who want to send their good wishes to Dan can log on to www.irelandinvolvedawards.ie