Paddy Fitzgerald Award goes to Co. Clare

The winner of the Paddy Fitzgerald Award for 2018 is Michael Davoren from Carran, Co. Clare.

According to a statement from the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Davoren was “instrumental” in the founding of the Burren IFA’s campaign for an environmental scheme to protect “one of the most sensitive farming areas in the country”.

The Burren IFA succeeded in securing a derogation allowing the age-old practices of Burren Winterage farming to continue.

Davoren is also heavily involved in his local GAA club, spearheading a project in the late 1970s to mark the centenary of the GAA in honour of its founder Michael Cusack, who was from the same parish.

The award was presented at a dinner held in Adare, Co. Limerick, on Sunday, October 28.

The awards were established by IFA members from Co. Limerick in honour of the late Paddy Fitzgerald, who served as Munster vice-president and was also a founding member of FBD, which is marking 50 years in existence this year.

Commenting on the award, EU Commissioner Phil Hogan said: “Travelling throughout Europe in my role, I am struck by the fact that in every rural region of every EU member state, farmers are at the heart of volunteerism and community life.

Paddy Fitzgerald’s spirit lives on in communities across Ireland, and indeed across the EU, and the nine nominees can be very proud of their immense contribution to rural life.

IFA president Joe Healy said the Paddy Fitzgerald Award represents the spirit of volunteerism and the dedication of people to the betterment of their communities.

FBD chairman Liam Herlihy said: “The late Paddy Fitzgerald worked unselfishly to better the life of farmers, first through his work with Macra na Feirme in Co. Limerick and then in the NFA and Cork Marts.”