Cobh girl (11) receives prize for ‘invaluable’ Irish Red Cross work

Emma Hurley’s efforts with Cork Penny Dinners highlighted at awards ceremony

Emma Hurley with television presenter Deric Ó hArtagáin. Emma is involved with Cork Penny Dinners as well as other local community groups and helps her mother who is a wheelchair user with everyday tasks at home. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan

An 11-year-old girl from Co Cork who helps out with the Penny Dinners charity and assists her mother, who is a wheelchair user, has received the Irish Red Cross's Young Volunteer of the Year Award.

Emma Hurley, from Cobh was described as "invaluable" to her local Irish Red Cross branch in at the annual awards ceremony in Croke Park in Dublin on Saturday.

Ms Hurley is involved with Cork Penny Dinners as well as other local community groups and helps her mother with everyday tasks at home.

Emma Cullinane, a member of the Clonakilty Irish Red Cross branch for more than five years picked up the Youth Achievement Award. As a result of Ms Cullinane's efforts with the branch, food collection for those who are struggling or in need, has grown from eight crates of food to 53 crates. She is also involved with the Cork Penny Dinners.


Dr Andrew Kelly was named Irish Red Cross Volunteer of the Year. Dr Kelly has worked with the organisation for more than 20 years and is due to step down shortly from his position as medical director.

Liam Maguire, acting chairperson of the Irish Red Cross Volunteer Support and Development Working Group said: "The mission of the Irish Red Cross is to provide impartial humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable people in society, at home and abroad.

“This mission is exemplified in the wonderful and important work of our volunteers who dedicate themselves to helping those in need, and the winners recognised today are clear examples of this commitment across all generations.

“Their work, and the work of all our volunteers, should be considered a leading example and today is a fantastic occasion to shed light on their work.”

The Irish Red Cross Portlaw Branch in Co Waterford, which boasted over 6,000 volunteer hours last year, won the Branch of the Year award.

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day will be celebrated on May 8th, to mark the birthdate of the movement's founder Henry Dunant.

The full list of winners is:

Irish Red Cross Volunteer of the Year: Dr Andrew Kelly, Co Limerick

Irish Red Cross Young Volunteer of the Year: Emma Hurley, Co Cork

Irish Red Cross Special Status Award: Dóchas Centre, Dublin

Irish Red Cross Instructor of the Year: Pat Sheridan, Co. Louth

Irish Red Cross Health & Social Care Officer of the Year: Bernadette Morley, Co Kildare

Irish Red Cross Youth Achievement of the Year: Emma Cullinane, Co Cork

Irish Red Cross Unit Member of the Year: Finola Walsh, Co Tipperary

Irish Red Cross Branch of the Year: Portlaw branch, Co Waterford

Irish Red Cross Area of the Year: Dublin Borough

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times