‘Outstanding contribution’

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Mid Ulster District Council held its second Civic Awards ceremony of 2017 to recognise those in the district who have made an outstanding contribution to business, sport and community.

In all, there were 12 award-winners at the ceremony, which was hosted by the Deputy Chair of the Council, Councillor Sharon McAleer, at Seamus Heaney HomePlace, Bellaghy.

The largest category of the evening was Business with five local businesses being awarded for varying reasons. Keystone Group for being named Northern Ireland Company of the Year at the 10th annual UTV Business Eye Awards, Brendan McGurgan from CDE Global for doing the double at the Director of the Year Awards being named Young Director of the Year and also the overall Director of the Year (Brendan was unfortunately unable to attend on the night to collect his award).

Craemill Vetinary Clinic for receiving the award for Innovation and Excellence in Animal Healthcare, Powerscreen for celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Heron Bros for marking over 60 years in business (61 years).

The next category was Sport with five awards being distributed to mark excellence in athletics, Gaelic football and boxing. Molly Curran from Galbally was awarded for her extensive achievements in athletics including being named Champion in both the Ulster and Northern Ireland Under 13s Pentathlon, Caolan Devlin, student at St. Pius’s College Magherafelt, for his success in all levels of Gaelic football, including winning an Ulster School’s Football All Star (GAA) Award.

Next were three boxers who all brought titles home form the Irish Senior Novice Boxing Championships. Kayleigh Magee for being named the 52KG Irish Champion, Brian Cassidy for taking the title in the 60KG male Irish category and Dean Scullion for winning the top spot in the 91KG male category.

The final category of the evening was Community with two awards being distributed. The first went to one of our own Councillors, Councillor George Shiels to mark his contribution to the community having recently been named one of Lidl’s local heroes, one of only 38 people across the country to receive such an accolade.

The final award in this category and of the evening went to Lavey Early Years Playgroup. Not only is the group celebrating 25 years in business, it was recently awarded the accreditation of a HighScope Early Years award, a hard-won national accreditation which recognises excellence in childcare provision.

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Chair of the Council, Councillor Sharon McAleer said: “My sincere congratulations to all the winners here this evening. You are all doing incredible work on a daily basis so I am delighted we are able to recognise it here tonight and present you with a small token of our appreciation.

“There is such an abundance of talent and success in Mid Ulster that another Civic Awards evening is already planned for May. I look forward to hearing about the many other terrific things our local people are doing, and indeed excelling at, in our district!”