Betty Doyle Scopes The South East Radio Talbot Hotel Person of the Month Overall Award

The red carpet was rolled out at the Talbot Hotel last Friday, 30th March to honour the 12 monthly recipients of the Southeast Radio Talbot Hotel Person of the Month Award. 

The evening was a dazzling affair, beginning with a champagne and canapé reception followed by a spectacular gala dinner in the Slaney Ballroom.  Certificates were present to each of the deserving winners in a fabulous awards ceremony presented by Alan Corcoran of Southeast Radio. 

The overall winner, chosen by a panel of judges, was announced by RTE’s Marty Morrissey.  The emotion and atmosphere in the room was intense when Betty Doyle of Wexford Women’s Refuge was announced as the winner.  Betty received a standing ovation for her commitment and dedication to women’s welfare and has been an advocate for this for almost 20 years. 

Born and raised in Glynn, Betty set up a women’s action group in 1993 with a view to supporting women in the areas of adequate childcare, health screening and educational programmes for women across the county.  She started work with the Women’s Refuge in Wexford in 1998 which provides a safe haven for women and their children during troubled times.

Speaking on the night, Betty credited the people she works with and the local community for the ongoing success of the refuge which becomes harder to maintain every year due to cuts. She commented “it’s important to acknowledge that the refuge has saved lives and for me there is nothing more rewarding than after supporting a family seeing them walk out the door happy again.”

The awards were set up some years ago to reward local people in the voluntary, charity, sporting and business sectors of our community and to acknowledge their giving of their time or their exceptional achievements.


Each month, nominations are invited from listeners of Southeast Radio.  The winner is then surprised live on air.  The Talbot Hotel are delighted to announce their continued commitment to the awards and are encouraging people to continue to vote for the unsung heroes of our community such as Betty Doyle

Betty Doyle, Overall Winner of the 2011/2012 South East Radio Talbot Hotel Person of the Month Awards

Profiles of Nominees for Person of the Month March 2011 – February 2012

March – Bernie O’ Neill

Bernie O Neill who hails from Enniscorthy has done tremendous work over the past 10 years in raising much needed funds for local charities County wide.

Bernie and her mother before her are Irish dance teachers giving her the inspiration to set up Celebrity Jigs and Reels. In 2009 Bernie and her dance troop raised a staggering €75,000 for charities. 22 Wexford “celebrities” gave their time to work with another 22 dancers to develop their own unique dance routine to compete in the jigs and reels competition. The competition had huge appeal as it involved people in the local community giving to charities in the local community. To date Celebrity Jigs and Reels has raised €140,000 for 44 charities in County Wexford.

Charities like Make a wish Foundation, St Patricks Special School in Enniscorthy, Search and Rescue in Enniscorthy , The alzheimers unit in St Senans are among the charities benefiting from this fantastic initiative.

And as if this wasn’t enough Bernie became involved with the Special Olympics in County Wexford.  She is on the local Enniscorthy Special Olympic Committee. She travels to Athens in the coming weeks to accompany the team. Only 2 people from the Enniscorthy committee are travelling with the Special Olympic team and Bernie is one of these. She had to raise €3250 to pay for her flights and accommodation. She has been working with local athletes to help train them and prepare them for the upcoming event.

Bernie has also had a long standing involvement as a volunteer on an annual trip to Lourdes where she helps those in need throughout their stay in Lourdes so that they experience the pilgramage to its full.

April – Shirley O Connor


For the past 8 years Shirley O Connor from Ballyedmond, has been a volunteer leader with the Monamolin Foroige Youth Club. During this time she has been a member of the Wexford District Council of Foroige and has presented the Wexford Foroige Clubs on the National Council and National Executive of Foroige. She is a trained mentor in the Youth Adult Support programme. She is currently one of the representatives on the board of management of the primary school in Monamolin along with being a member of the Gorey area Community Forum. All of this work is done in a voluntary capacity with nothing asked by Shirley in return.

In addition to all of her youth work, Shirley is a carer for her mother and has herself recently been diagnosed with cancer but in true form she carries on regardless. Shirley is a very motivated person, hard working and an active member of our community. She believes that if there is something wrong, not to complain and do your best to make it better. She is always on hand to help out whatever the situation.
Through her involvement with the youth club she has encouraged the youth of the area to take leadership. She helps them to develop programmes, projects and activities and realise their full potential and become active members in their community and beyond.

May – Seamus Buggy

Seamus is a retired handball champion. He played handball nationally and internationally and is a well-known veteran in the handball arena around the world. Seamus during his time serving as Wexford Handball Board chairman was rewarded for a lifetime of involvement in the sport and was presented with the hall of fame award for 2001. He follows in the footsteps of previous Wexford winners, Dick Lyng (1999) and John Ryan (1994).

Unfortunately his days of playing handball were cut short following an operation 7 years ago. His passion for handball has been quoted to be “both beautiful and inspirational”. He continues to pass on his love and knowledge of the game when he trains young people to play twice a week and he is a regular fixture at “Josephs” the local handball court where he spends every other evening either maintaining the handball court or referring matches. He has a huge heart and gives his time and expertise freely to those that require his help.

June – Special Olympic Medalists

June 26th and the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games were officially underway in Athens following a spectacular opening ceremony in the historic Kallimarmaron Panthinaikon Olympic Stadium – site of the first Olympic Games of the modern era. 

Over 7,000 athletes from 180 nations took part in the parade of athletes. 4 athletes from Wexford were among the 124 strong team that represented Ireland at these Games – the highest level of sport in the World for Special Olympics athletes. All of their hard work in preparing for the games paid off hugely when they did themselves, their families, friends and their County proud by bringing home a whopping 7 medals between them! 

Badminton Champion Bernadette Kennedy from Gorey won 2 silver medals in the Doubles and Mixed Doubles and a bronze in the singles. 

Artistic Gymnast Carole Ryan from Wexford somersaulted to win 2 golds in the Vault and Uneven bars. 

Table Tennis Champion Mary O Brien from Duncormick, Co Wexford struck gold in the doubles event at the Games. 

Ace Table Tennis player Ann Marie Talbot proudly secured gold for her efforts in the singles event. 

Well done to everyone!

July – Georgina Rothwell

 The July winner of Person of the Month Georgina Rothwell has done outstanding work in a voluntary capacity throughout her life in Glynn.  She has worked all her life for others.  Her energy and enthusiasm are the same now as they were when she came to Glynn over 50 years ago.

At a time when there weren’t very many social outlets for women in rural Wexford Georgina founded the I.C.A. in Glynn and served as President in her time there.  Georgina has worked tirelessly across a wide range of organisations across the County.  Here is just a flavour of the many projects that she was involved in throughout the years past and present and an example of the lives that she has touched:

She worked in the early days with the Enniscorthy Workshop for people with special needs. Georgina was the driving force behind the Meals on Wheels Project. She single handedly co-ordinates the Field Day in Johnstown Castle each year. She is the woman behind the scenes at the Christmas Fast each year ensuring that the money is counted, banked and then paid out.  She has been the chair and is on the board of the Christian Media Trust.  She has worked for years with the Association for the blind. And lastly be by no means least she is cited to be a hugely supportive neighbour and member of the community in Glynn.

August – Deirdre Bowers

Deirdre Bowers on the surface to those that don’t know her is a Diabetes/Paediatric Nurse who has worked in Wexford General Hospital for the past twenty years.  But to those that have experienced her care, her professionalism and enthusiasm she is so much more. She is cited to go “go above and beyond the call of duty” She is on call at any time to help her patients and no task is too great for her.

When the Paediatric ward opened in 1992 she moved here where she was a Ward Sister for two years. Deirdre is now a specialist in diabetes education for children and has helped launch a secondary school diabetes awareness campaign, where she goes into the schools and not only educates children on diabetes but the teachers also. Deirdre established a parent’s support group and she is the events manager for  children’s parties and events. Along with running summer camps for the younger children, she is heavily involved in the teen active group which integrates teens into sport and games while also educating them on diabetes and how to manage it safely.

Anybody who has encountered Deirdre in the course of care has only kind words to say and they are quick to express their gratitude for the marvellous work she continues to do in and out of Wexford General Hospital.

 September – JJ Doyle

JJ Doyle is no stranger to the Wexford community, having brought great success over the past few years to the camogie scene with both the Wexford intermediates and seniors. The Marshalstown native is an alumnus of Marshalstown national school and C.B.S Enniscorthy and represented the latter at all levels of football and hurling in his days there. Along with representing his own club at all levels he has also donned the purple and gold hurling jersey at all levels up to and including minor.

While studying at third level he played in the prestigious Fitzgibbon cup with N.U.I Maynooth. Upon moving to Gorey and playing senior hurling with Naomh Eanna, he was actively involved in restarting the camogie club and got involved in coaching all levels from under 12 up to adult. His contribution did not stop just in the GAA club as he also coached in the local community school.

He moved to Ballymitty in 2008 and helped out with the schools teams which won the Rackard League in Girls and Boys football. His first major success came in 2010 when he coached the senior girls to an All-Ireland final and came out victorious. This was quickly followed up the following year with an unprecedented double All- Ireland success with both the intermediate and senior girls.

A massive individual award was given to him when he received manager of the year at the 2011 all-star awards. JJ has helped contribute to the massive growth of camogie in this county and with him at the helm there seems to be much more success on the horizon, making him Wexford’s August Person of the Month.

 October – Jamie Codd

Jamie Codd is the October winner of the Person of the Month award. The Mayglass man gained his love of horses from a very early age, as his family always kept horses on the farm. His routine consists of riding out during the week and then taking part in a race meet at the weekends.

His proudest moment as a jockey is surprisingly, not when he rode all six winners in a single point to point race card, but when he surpassed the magical one hundred race winners in a single year (he managed one hundred and five).  Jamie has also ridden two winners in the Cheltenham festival over the years and regards Kato Star as the greatest horse he has ever seen.

When asked which form of racing he prefers Jamie replied it is the point to point version as it is what he was raised on and it is in the family.  Despite numerous and often horrific injuries of which a broken femur and lacerated liver are those which he regards as the worst, Jamie’s passion for racing never dwindles and he hopes, as do the people of Wexford that he will remain in horse racing for the foreseeable future.  Asked what it felt like coming up to the winners post in first place he responded “I just like winning”, a determination that will no doubt stand in good stead to him in the future

November  – Betty Doyle (Over All Winner)

Betty Doyle of the Womens Refuge in Wexford, is the latest winner of the Person of the Month award. Having reared six children put Betty in good steed for her future work. Born and raised in Blackhall ,Glynn Betty set up a women’s action group in 1993 with a view to support women in the areas of adequate childcare, cervical smear tests and proper education for women across the county. She started work with the Women’s Refuge in 1998 and come October 2012 she will be her position for ten years. She credits the group of people she works with and the local community for the ongoing success of the refuge which becomes harder every year due to cuts. Betty says “its important to acknowledge that the refuge has saved lives and for her there is nothing more rewarding than after supporting a family seeing them walk out the door happy again.” Betty also said that she feels blessed to get up every morning and do something she loves.

December – Breda O Sullivan


Breda O Sullivan is the December recipient of the Person of the Month award. Breda was born with a visual impairment but has not allowed that to affect her in her campaign for the PWDI. The People with Disabilities in Ireland was the only national cross disability organisation funded by the Government. It aimed to help people with disabilities to take part in and influence the decision making process that impacted on their lives and opportunities.

This courageous woman a mother of 11 children, has guided her five visually impaired children through to third level education and has helped them prosper at that level also. Breda has spent 15 years campaigning on behalf of people with disabilities and even though the funding has been cut completely it hasn’t affected her enthusiasm for the cause. After  the recent meeting with minister Kehoe  when he told her she was the only one campaigning she told Alan Corcoran on the morning mix that it wouldn’t matter if she was the only one she would still be out there campaigning for the rights of people with disabilities.

Breda is also a staunch campaigner for the retention of the Special Needs Assistant or SNAs within schools as she had first hand experience of the benefits of their service with her own children in school.

A humble and gracious woman she was stunned to receive the person of the month award stating “ I always said that I didn’t do this for rewards”

January – Marion Mahon

Marion Mahon is our latest recipient of the Person of the Month award. Marion is the Centre Resource Manager for the Carer’s Association in County Wexford. Marion’s first experience of caring came when she was still quite young. When her cousin’s husband developed MS, Marian became an indispensable support to her aunt and is still supporting her today. Marian became active in the Irish Wheelchair Association and also became the chair person of North Wexford Division of the MS society. Marion strongly believes that professional counselling services should be made available to carer’s free of charge, so much so that she is currently undertaking a degree to become a qualified counsellor herself. Marion says her life has always been dedicated to helping others and although she maybe a bit overworked she finds her line of work very rewarding . Perhaps the future looks bleak but Marion says she has the confidence in Wexford organisation and particular the Wexford people themselves to see it through.

February – Mary and Nick Ryan

Mary and Nick Ryan are our February winners of the Person of the Month Award. Mary and Nick both established Compassionate Friends which was launched on the 29th June 2008 in memory of their daughter Nicola.   

Nicola died on 12th June 2002 from Sudden Cardiac Death and was just fourteen years old.  Since her death Mary and Nick have experienced every emotion available to humankind from despair to hope and back to despair again.  They can honestly say this has been the worst journey of their lives.  However along the way they say they have met wonderful people, people like themselves whose child had died.

These people offered a helping hand and somehow over the years they have managed to struggle through.  Now they say it is their turn to offer a helping hand to those of who have lost a child.  Teach Beag is a cottage renovated specifically for people who have lost their child to come and sit for a while and chat if they wish or take a walk through the garden. As everyone’s experience of grief is different Mary and Nick understand this more than anyone else and know that sometimes there is a time to talk and sometimes people just want to sit quietly by themselves. Teach Beag offers this facility.

They are not counsellors but they can listen and can sit with you in your heartbreak. Compassion is what we all need during the grieving process and good friends are always welcome at Teach Beag.