Emily O’Halloran with Irish Red Cross Secretary General, Deirdre Garvey, and representatives from the organisation’s Board of Directors and Volunteer Support and Development Working Group.

Local Red Cross branch named best in Ireland

The Bailieboro branch of the Irish Red Cross is celebrating after its volunteers picked up two awards at the 2023 Irish Red Cross National Volunteer Awards earlier this month.

Bailieboro won the ‘Branch of the Year Award’, beating off competition from 73 other groups around the country. One of the Bailieboro’s volunteers, Emily O’Halloran, also received the ‘Volunteer of the Year Award’, chosen from nominees from the organisation’s 3,000 plus volunteers nationwide.

The Irish Red Cross Bailieboro Branch has been operating for over 50 years, providing several vital community-based supports to people in the area.

Over the past year, activities included supporting the Irish Blood Transfusion Service by assisting with local clinics in the town; supporting Ukrainians who have come to live in the area; sponsoring and maintaining two defibrillators in the town; and carrying out defibrillator and CPR training locally.

Volunteers from the branch also visit and support the local Rehab Care Centre, often providing first aid talks and demonstrations.

Emily O’Halloran has volunteered with the Irish Red Cross for over 10 years and has held numerous positions within the organisation. She is a trained Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and has provided support, training and guidance to numerous other volunteers in the area.

Emily currently holds the position of chairperson of the Bailieboro Branch and has led volunteer participation in various community projects. She is currently leading a fundraising drive to replace the town’s defibrillators, which have been in place for over 15 years.

Speaking about these awards, Deirdre Garvey, secretary general of the Irish Red Cross, said: “The Bailieboro branch and its volunteers, including Emily, are a wonderful example of community spirit, volunteerism and humanitarianism in action.

“For over 50 years, the branch has provided important community and health-based support to the community in and around Bailieboro, and we are delighted to recognise the dedication and commitment of its volunteers with these awards.”