The Person of the Month Overall Winner for the year 2007/08 was Joseph Lawlor.

Joseph and his family suffered a deep personal tragedy in November last year with the death of his beloved sister Tracie and the age of 24.

Tracie suffered from cystic fibrosis.

Every since her death Joseph has campaigned for a special, dedicated unit to be established for cystic fibrosis patients nationally. Joseph has spoken movingly about the conditions Tracie endured during her many hospital stays including the lack of privacy and danger of cross contamination from other patients – something which can pose a real danger to CF patients whose health is already compromised.

While Tracie was well known and loved as an out-going vivacious young woman, Joseph, who also has cystic fibrosis, is shyer and not one to seek attention. All the more remarkable then that this 20-year-old has found the courage to speak out in the national media, giving interviews on radio, television and in national newspapers about the campaign. And the lobbying by Joseph and other cystic fibrosis patients and supporters is bearing fruit – the Department of Health has promised to provide a special isolation unit. Joseph and his colleagues vow to continue their campaign to have a specially dedicated CF unit as part of this new facility.

Joseph was also recently involved in a fundraiser for the Wexford Branch of Cystic Fibrosis, along with other family members. The cabaret and dance in memory of his late sister Tracie raised over €11,000

The Person of the Month Overall Winner for 2006/07 was Margaret McDermott

Margaret McDermott has won this year’s overall winner’s title in the “South East Radio / Talbot Hotel Person of the Month Awards for 2006/07”. The announcement was made at the culmination of the Awards Ceremony which took place on Thursday Night at a black-tie Gala Ball at the Talbot Hotel in Wexford. Margaret received a Waterford Crystal trophy and a continental holiday for two.

Margaret McDermott’s commitment to, and involvement in, Community Games in County Wexford spans well over three decades. Margaret was enthusiastic from the start about the games which operate an ethos of participation rather than winning and involve children and young people between the ages of six and 16.

A voluntary organisation operating through local communities, the games have over 500,000 participants and 20,000 volunteers. They operate at four levels, area, county, provincial and national. County Wexford has the third biggest involvement in Ireland.

All of that requires a huge amount of effort and organisation of course and Margaret is an example of the best kind of volunteer, giving freely of her time to the games at local, county and national level. She served as county chairperson for 16 years and is also in her 16th. year as general treasurer. As national treasurer she was responsible for the funding of 32 community games councils of Ireland. This involved negotiating with the Irish Sports Council of Ireland as well as negotiating sponsorship and insurance deals.

Her unflagging dedication and efforts over the years is truly remarkable especially as Margaret has, in recent times, battled with serious illness.

Margaret is still as enthusiastic about the games and their value in helping young children to grow and develop in a positive way today as when she started helping at local level all those years ago. Truly her contribution has been enormous, her involvement given selflessly throughout.

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