Detective Garda Colm Dunne from Wexford Garda Síochána is originally from Limerick and moved to Tipperary when he was young. When he started in the garda collage he was told ‘you have to get involved in your community to be part of your community’.
But Colm Dunne did not have to be told this. As soon as Colm arrived in Wexford, he joined the Clonard GAA. He then moved to the country and became involved with Saint Martins and has been with them ever since.
When Colm’s late mother was very sick, North Tipperary Hospice Homecare did wonderful work looking after her. It was this that spurred Colm to start the fundraiser called ‘The Blue Light Ball’, to raise funds for the local charity, Wexford Hospice Homecare which was close to his heart. To date they have rise approximately €34,000 in the last five years. Hospice rely so much on this money. The first year they only had 180 people at the ball which raised a few thousand euro. It was such a great night and people enjoyed it so much, he decided to run it for a second year and it just now keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Colm is a very unassuming man. He puts in months of work and never looks for recognition or to be in the spotlight. He is just happy that the money is raised and people have a good night. Approximately 250 people now go to the ball every year in the Talbot Hotel, Wexford and there is normally a waiting list for tickets.
Robert Miller, General Manager in the Talbot Hotel was in the South East Radio studio to present Colm with the November South East Radio Talbot Hotel Outstanding Achievement Award. Also, present were Sergeant Graham Rowley, Inspector Syl Hipwell, Eamonn Mernagh from the Hospice, his family and other colleagues.
‘Colm’s dedication, drive and commitment to the Ball and fundraising is second to none and he definitely deserved this accolade’. It is wonderful to put such a smile on Colm’s face as he is the man who normally puts a smile on everyone else’s face with his amazing work. He is an unsung hero. Colm is a ‘doer’, he just rolls up his sleeves and gets on with the job at hand. These awards are for people working quietly in the background and that is exactly what Colm does.
Colm said it was a shock and a hugh honour to receive this award, but it was not just him. There is a wonderful team behind him to help organise this fundraiser for such a deserving charity and most of all it is the people of Wexford who come to the event and the sponsors who make the night what it is each year.
Colm is also involved with Murrintown Community Center Development Committee which has started a project to build a playground, pitch, walking track and peace garden for the community. Colm is with the fundraising committee and has started a lotto syndicate which will raise €30,000 for the project on its completion. Also, Colm is on the fundraising committee at St. Martins GAA Club, Piercestown who ran a highly successful event last summer ‘Live at the Castle Marquee’ to raise funds for the flood light at the sports complex.