MINISTER for Finance Michael Noonan proved a popular winner of the top merit award at the 2012 Limerick Press Ball last week.
Mr Noonan was presented with the Mid-West Media Merit award, sponsored by Limerick Institute of Technology, at the ball in the Carlton Castletroy Park last Friday night.
The award, which honours a person whose positive contribution to life in the Mid-West has made for good news stories across all media, left the long-serving Fine Gael TD “overcome”.
“Politics is a marathon rather than a sprint and if you give up easily, you won’t survive,” he said, thanking the media for its “objective and fair support” over his career.
“I’ll carry on in that unique role that many distinguished politicians carried on before me, being also the Minister for the Mid West and for Limerick, making sure that all the projects we want to advance are advanced and doing the networking to make sure that will be done.
“I’m overcome by this honour. I appreciate not only the honour, but the people who made the award tonight,” he added.
Two of the region’s best known retired journalists, Tony Purcell from the Irish Examiner and freelance reporter Brian McLaughlin were also honoured on the night
Decades of news gathering were celebrated at the event, which marked its own 60th anniversary this year and set about to raise funds for main beneficiaries St Vincent de Paul and the Limerick Marine Search and Rescue service.
Press Ball committee chairman, Ron Kirwan, said funds raised by the event would make “a real difference’ to both charities.
“I’m confident that when our final fundraising figure is announced, we’ll be able to make a substantial contribution to our chosen charities,” he said.
“I would also like to thank all those who contributed so generously on the night and I’m delighted that our 2012 Press Ball was such a fantastic success,” he added.