Contribution of Carmel Fox to Ballyhoura Honoured

Carmel Fox and Patricia Fouhy-Barry

Carmel Fox and Patricia Fouhy-Barry

Friday May 13th was in no way unlucky for the Ballyhoura Board and staff who held a special event to honour Carmel Fox’s contribution to Ballyhoura Country over almost 30 years.

The theme of the afternoon was ‘Ballyhoura – Community and Creative’ and Mother Nature was incredibly kind by delivering the most glorious summer’s day. The meeting point was Kilfinane Outdoor Education Centre where former Ballyhoura employee John Quinn gave a very informative, yet summarised history of how Ballyhoura Fáilte and Ballyhoura Development came about; moving on then to the Silent Garden at the back of the Ballyhoura Centre, John spoke about the devel-opment of Kilfinane from the 60s to the present day. All then congregated at the former Church of Ireland, Kilfinane where Aidan Gleeson, Chairperson of Ballyhoura Development welcomed everyone and outlined the proceedings. Pádraig Casey, the current CEO of Ballyhoura Development spoke on more recent achievements and milestones and enlightened everyone on how Carmel’s holidays often resulted in new ideas and more work because in reality, she was never really on holiday, she was always looking for the next thing that could be done to improve the area.

A former colleague from Carmel’s ACOT (Teagasc) days, Joe Sheehy gave an entertaining account of working with Carmel before she came to Ballyhoura; he told how Carmel had fought for equal pay for her colleagues and of course was successful.

Diarmuid McIntyre of Grey Heron Media put together a short video of a combination of former chair people, colleagues, former colleagues, community people and others, each of who gave a short line on what working with Carmel had meant to them. All the stories and the video conveyed the high regard that people hold Carmel in, and the respect people have for her – it aptly put across the extraordinary person she is and reiterated the unwavering contribution she has made to Ballyhoura Country.

Carmel’s presentation was a light hearted one; she was led to believe she was getting a mountain bike as a gift, which was not the case. Careful consideration was given to Carmel’s gift which was a chicken coop. She has since requested four chickens and is

…”looking forward to learning all about chickens again.”

Learners from the Ballyhoura Catering LTI based in Bruff prepared a feast and used some produce from the Ballyhoura area. The weather and the settings for the afternoon were all in fine fettle as were all the people who gathered to show their appreciation to a very dedicated and incredible lady.