Diaspora

‘I would like to remember the great upbringing I had in the town of Clara’ – Offaly Independent

Clara man Ronan Scully was awarded the Oireachtas Human Dignity Award at a ceremony in Leinster House on Thursday morning.
The award is presented by the Oireachtas Human Dignity Group to a person or group whose commitment to the promotion of human dignity is exemplary.
Ronan Scully was honoured for his many years of service to others, both as a volunteer and professionally, in some of the world’s poorest countries, as well as his commitment to youth education and development. He worked across Africa, Asia and Ukraine.
Previous recipients of the Human Dignity Award were Sr Consilio Fitzgerald of Cuan Mhuire, Barney Curley, founder of Direct Aid For Africa, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow founder of Mary’s Meals, Gina Heraty of Our Little Brothers and Sisters Orphanage in Haiti, and Br Kevin Crowley of the Capuchin Day Centre.
Since 2010, Ronan has worked with Self Help Africa. Prior to that he spent 18 years as a volunteer and employee with GOAL. Over his career, he has raised millions of euros for various charities committed to human development and famine relief.
Seanad Cathaoirleach Mark Daly presented the award this morning at the request of the Oireachtas Life & Dignity Group.
“In honouring Ronan Scully, we are also paying tribute to countless Irish people who, since the foundation of the State, have worked to prevent and alleviate human suffering across the world,” Senator Daly said.
Independent Senator Rónán Mullen, who proposed Mr Scully for the award, described him as “a person of energy, enthusiasm, faith and hope, dedicated to the improving people’s lives in the toughest parts of the world.”
In his speech Ronan Scully paid tribute to his colleagues saying, “this award is not just recognition for my work, but the aid work, the missionaries and the many volunteers. That go out to many parts of our world who try to make a difference.”
He said, “In my work, I strive to serve humanity with all my head with all my heart with all my mind and all my soul…The pace of change in today’s world can be bewildering, but the values that underpin success and other things that does not change”
Ronan referred to how his upbringing in Offaly was integral to his development saying, “I would like to remember the great upbringing I had in the town of Clara, County Offaly, where I was shaped into the person that I am today…when I worked in the little town of Clara, I dreamt about helping as many people as I could. I dreamt of making the world better just as my parents and their parents did for me.”
He concluded his speech by speaking about his recent experiences work in Ukraine and the impacts of global warming, “this year I visited and worked in places such as Ukraine where it’s estimated that the conflict has taken the lives of approximately 200,000 people and then also in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia where the impact of climate change and drought is significant.”
He added: “We need more civic, political and faith commitment and we need more human resources…we need to believe that each of us can make a difference in our world.”

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