The Cork Person of the Year Award has been running since 1993, when Manus O’Callaghan established the now long running prize. Covering Cork City and County, the award has become a badge of pride for Cork residents and winners alike. Every month since 1993 the Awards scheme has been nominating someone as Cork Person of the Month and each year another Cork Person of the Year is announced. The award is designed to highlight the best of the county, in terms of people and what they can accomplish. What makes the award nice is its diversity and how it does not shy away from awarding the prize to social campaigners as well as sports stars.
A Snapshot of Cork Culture
In 2014, Irish Examiner journalist John Daly, decided that the 21st anniversary of the Cork Person of the Year Awards, deserved some commemoration, in writing and pictures. What followed is quite simply titled 21 Years of the Cork Person of the Year Awards and it forms a vital resource in terms of cultural and community history. If you are looking for a good social history of Cork since the early 1990s, this is a good place to start. The book gives us a snapshot into the culture and zeitgeist of each year documented.
21 Years of the Cork Person of the Year Awards features articles on each of the annual winners up to 2014. It also highlights many of the 252 people who were presented with monthly awards up to that time. Printed by Lettertec in Cork, the book is limited edition, hard back and beautifully crafted. Lettertec went on to win an Irish Print Award in 2014, for the “outstanding quality of the book”.
From Social Justice to Sport
Over the years the Cork Person of the Year Award has had a wide focus, with award winners who work in the area of homelessness and social justice to those from the field of arts or sport. There have been business people and theatre people, campaigners and choristers and a host of others among the winners. From Olympic medal winner and World Athletics Champion, Sonia O’Sullivan to John Bermingham of the Cope Foundation, which supports people with intellectual disabilities, the winners have brought both pride and community to the county. Those who have fame in a range of areas share the stage with lesser known people; but all have devoted time and energy to their communities, cause, sport or pursuit.
21 Years of the Cork Person of the Year is a limited edition written and photographic history of the event over the years. Some copies are available in the Lettertec Bookshop.