The Glenties Municipal District of Donegal County Council will honour Sr Mary Dolores Sweeney at a special reception in Dungloe Public Service Centre on Monday next.
Sr Mary Dolores Sweeney received a Presidential Distinguished Service Award at a special ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin yesterday for her work in helping disadvantaged and hearing impaired children in Sierra Leone.
These awards are presented by the President each year in recognition of hard work and dedication to making a valuable contribution to improving the lives of others and
Rosses native Sr Mary Dolores Sweeney was selected this year as a recipient in the Peace, Reconciliation and Development category.
Cllr Maire Therese Gallagher, Cathaoirleach of the Glenties Municipal District said that she is delighted to be in a position to host a special reception to honour the contribution that Sister Mary Dolores has made to the lives of children in Sierra Leone and to acknowledge the fact that she has received this prestigious award from the President of Ireland.
“Sr Mary has dedicated her life to ensuring that these disadvantaged and hearing impaired children in Sierra Leone get every opportunity to receive an education in a safe and welcoming environment. I am delighted that Sr Mary has received this prestigious award from the President of Ireland and I think it is fitting that we in the Glenties Municipal District acknowledge the wonderful contribution made by Sr Mary”.
Sr Mary arrived in Sierra Leone in 1972 as a primary teacher, eventually founding and running St Joseph’s School for the Hearing Impaired, which now supports more than 200 children.
The 72-year-old Dungloe woman has spent over four decades in the West African country which has been shattered by a brutal civil war and more recently by the Ebola crisis. Sierra Leone is without doubt one of the most difficult countries in the world in which to live and the obstacles for a hearing impaired child from a poor background are immense.
Sr Mary is well known in her native Dungloe not least because her family owned the well known Sweeney’s Hotel in the town but she is also known for her dedicated missionary work and her fundraising efforts for the disadvantaged children of Sierra Leone and her commitment to St. Joseph’s School for the Hearing Impaired.
The special reception will take place in her honour in Dungloe Public Service Centre on Monday, 12 December 2016 at 2.00pm.