Betty stunned to pick up award on International Women’s Day

By Mary Dennehy

THE inaugural Kingswood Community Award was presented to resident Betty Fitzpatrick during a special event celebrating International Women’s Day.

Last Sunday, March 8, was International Women’s Day, with the Kingswood Community Centre staging a positive and energetic event which celebrated local women and the impact they have.

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Betty Fitzpatrick shows off her award with Mayor Vicki Casserly

One local lady recognised on the day was Betty Fitzpatrick, a retired nurse who has been living in Kingswood for the past 40 years.

Speaking with The Echo, Grainne Wall, Kingswood Community Centre manager, explained why Betty was chosen as the first recipient of the inaugural Kingswood Community Award.

“Betty is one of those volunteers who you wouldn’t know the half of what she does,” Grainne said.

“She’s been involved with the church and the community centre for years and we’d love to know the full extent of what she does, but she’d never tell you.

“Betty has also been hugely supportive to me since I arrived at the centre last June, linking me into other community groups and services.”

When contacted by The Echo, Betty recalled how shocked she was when her name was called out during Sunday’s celebration.

“I was stunned,” Betty said.

“Sure I couldn’t speak, I was totally overwhelmed.”

Originally from Ballyfin in Co Laois, Betty moved to Kingswood 40 years ago this month.

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“I remember Kingswood when there was nothing here, absolutely nothing . . . no church, no shops, no bus, not even a telephone!

“The area has grown considerably since then, it’s a beautiful place to live now.

“There’s such lovely people living here and such a great sense of community spirit.”

She added: “I do some volunteering with the church and the community centre, I do a few things when I can for the betterment of the community.

“I just love it, volunteering allows me to meet people every day.

“It’s great to get out and about and know what’s happening in your community.

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“I love [volunteering], that’s the best way I can say it.”

Thanking Kingswood Community Centre for the award, Betty also commended the staff on staging a “fantastic” event for the local community.

More than 160 people attended the celebration and enjoyed food, wine, cupcakes and music by the Kingswood Community Choir and RUGs (Rathfarnham Ukelele Group).

A number of speakers also contributed to the day, including County Mayor Vicky Casserly, Brid Smith TD, Ellen O’Malley Dunlop and The Echo’s Managing Director, Emma Kennedy.

For further details on Kingswood Community Centre follow them on Facebook or call 452 0590.

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