One letter removed sees Limerick activist miss out

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

A CAHERDAVIN man who does invaluable work in the community was left disappointed as a man with a similar name won an environmental prize.

A CAHERDAVIN man who does invaluable work in the community was left disappointed as a man with a similar name won an environmental prize.

John Lardner, 78, of Rossroe Avenue, Caherdavin, got dressed up for the Limerick Leader-sponsored Going for Gold awards after thinking he had won a prize in the Individual Merit Award Category.

The local residents association alerted him to this, when they read that a Johnny Gardiner had won an award, which recognises work done by individuals in cleaning up their communities.

They thought that it was a spelling error - and John, whose surname is one letter out, was in line for the prize.

But John was left disappointed when he realised that Our Lady of Lourdes man Johnny Gardiner had in fact won the award.

“Someone came along, and they asked John to go up there [on the stage]. But I wasn’t too long up there, before I was told to return to my seat,” he laughed.

Not to be outdone, however, the Caherdavin Residents Association presented John with a plaque acknowledging the work he does in keeping his community clean. For the last 15 years, the Galway native has dedicated his life to helping his community.

Up at 7am some mornings, he cuts lawns, hedges, cleans the paths, and keeps the flower beds tidy.

John, who spent the majority of his career as a materials handler in Shannon Airport, said: “I have nothing else to do really. I love meeting people, and helping the community. It breaks my heart to do some work, then come out the following morning and see all the papers thrown around.”

Cllr Cormac Hurley said everyone felt bad about John missing out at the Going for Gold Awards: “The man is invaluable to the local community. I don’t think there are too many more like him around Limerick. He is out when the weather is agreeable, and when it is not so agreeable. He is always seen with his lawnmower or shovel. He had a big part in Caherdavin being awarded third prize. If it were not for the work of John, they would not have done so well,” he said.