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Ireland’s volunteer heroes honoured by Concern

Press release4 July 2023
Concern Volunteer Awards 2023 recipients outside Concern's Dublin office
Concern Volunteer Awards 2023 recipients outside Concern's Dublin office

Ireland’s volunteer heroes who raise money for people living in extreme poverty in the world’s poorest places were honoured at an award ceremony hosted by Concern Worldwide.

The humanitarian organisation awarded 32 of its volunteers with medals at the annual Concern Volunteer Awards where it praised all its supporters for their work. 

“Volunteers are behind every fundraising walk, bucket collection and cake sale. For those and the many other efforts made to help us reach the poorest people of the world, we thank you,” said Concern’s Chief Executive, David Regan. 

Mr Regan and Concern’s chairperson, Donal D’Arcy, presented each awardee with a medal at a ceremony held on Saturday at Concern’s Dublin office where they applauded their volunteers. These include fundraisers who help the organisation fund its overseas relief and development work and volunteers who adjudicate school debating contests run by Concern as part of its Irish schools programme.

“We are truly grateful to all our volunteers and donors for their support,” added Mr Regan, who was a Concern volunteer himself in the 1980s and who worked overseas as an aid worker years before re-joining the organisation last year as its CEO. 

“We are also extremely thankful to those volunteers who adjudicate our school debating competitions, which are wonderful contests that get students thinking and talking about the challenges facing the whole world.”

The awardees included Patrick Bolger, from Trim in Meath, who was given an Outstanding Commitment Award after raising €55,000 during annual Concern Fast fundraisers since 1989.

The married father-of-two, who has two grandchildren and who is originally from Finglas in Dublin, thanked his family, friends, colleagues and neighbours for all their support for his Concern collections over the years.

“I was delighted to get the award and did not expect it,” said Patrick, who is a service engineer, working mainly on coffee machines with Siemens, Bosch and Neff.

“I just go out every year and collect whatever I can.”

Public health nurse, Frances O’Keeffe, from Limerick, also received an award for her outstanding commitment to Concern having been both an overseas aid worker and a fundraiser. 

Concern’s Volunteer Awards began in 2013 to celebrate the vital contribution made by the organisation’s volunteers in Ireland.  

Many raise funds that enable Concern to continue to alleviate poverty and hunger, which last year alone saw 36 million people reached in 25 countries.   

Its volunteers also include people who adjudicate at Concern’s national primary and secondary school debating competitions when students debate topical global issues.  

Concern was formed in 1968 in response to the Biafran famine in Nigeria.  

More information about Concern’s work or how to support the humanitarian organisation can be found on its website  


For media queries, please contact Kevin Jenkinson at  

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