Dublin Bus awards just the ticket for local heroes
Local community groups who operate on a voluntary basis were honoured at the Dublin Bus Community Spirit Awards last night.
The event, hosted in Croke Park, acknowledged the groups who "embody the real spirit of Dublin communities" to improve the lives of young and old alike.
Karen Tracey, a member of the Down Syndrome Centre, who were one of the five big winners of a €5,000 prize on the night, said the money would go towards the group's occupational therapist.
"We're a centre that provides children with services currently unavailable in the health system, and so the money is greatly needed" Ms Tracey said.
Tommy Rapple, a coach at Monkstown Boxing Club, said the money would go towards equipment for the club, which has swelled to over 100 members in the last decade.
The prize money, in sums of €1,000, €2,000 and €5,000, is made up of unclaimed Dublin Bus tickets from throughout the year.
The organisation's ambassador, former soccer star Niall Quinn, explained how the awards were important to reward local groups for their "tireless work" in developing local communities, as well as giving the volunteers a night to enjoy and "loosen their collars".
Chief executive of Dublin Bus Ray Coyne said awards can make a major difference for the winners and the communities.
"Over the last 11 years we have seen the difference winning a Community Spirit Award can make to voluntary groups and communities across the capital," he said.