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The Volunteer Ireland Awards

The Volunteer Ireland Awards

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The Volunteer Ireland Awards is an awards programme that makes a difference. It aims to shine a light on the remarkable work of volunteers around the country by celebrating them on a national level. The Volunteer Ireland Awards are a unique opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to ordinary people doing extraordinary work across the country. President Michael D. Higgins is Patron of the Awards. The 2017 Volunteer Ireland Awards took place on 1st December 2017.

Each year, people from all over Ireland are encouraged to nominate someone they know who gives their time and energy voluntarily. South Dublin County Council Housing Social and Community Development Department nominated Suzanne O’Neill for her outstanding work in the Community Garden for the Unemployed in Sean Walsh Park, Tallaght. She was the winner in her category.

Suzanne has been volunteering in the Community Garden in Sean Walsh Park for over 7 years. A qualified horticulturist, she uses her expertise to give advice and guidance on maintaining the garden, which is a social outlet and safe space for those in unemployment. She works with a group of 20 people (continuously growing in numbers) in a non- threatening and safe environment.

She has created a social outlet for people and friendships have grown as a result. Through her teachings the participants have seen how things can grow and they are able to harvest the fruits of their labours. Every month she delivers workshops in the community garden on different topics including floristry, making hanging baskets, vegetable window boxes, composting, garden design, plants for the different seasons and maintenance. She has utilised the poly tunnel in the garden to grow melons, tomatoes and pumpkins. She even provides recipes to include the produce that the participants have grown.

South Dublin County Council are delighted that she has received the recognition that she deserves and wish her every success.

For further information please contact:

Maria Finn, Social Inclusion Officer, South Dublin County Council

Tel: 086 3803 060/01 4149270 or Email:


  • Group photo of all winners
    Group photo of all winners
  • Suzanne O'Neill & Liz O'Neill
    Suzanne O'Neill & Liz O'Neill
  • Suzanne O'Neill accepting her award from Ciaran Hayes, Chief Executive of Sligo County Council
    Suzanne O'Neill accepting her award from Ciaran Hayes, Chief Executive of Sligo County Council

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