Cordelias Foundation is a non-profit entity that sources hot food and delivers it free of charge to the homeless, recently bereaved families and numerous front line workers within a 10 mile radius of Armagh City.


County Armagh People Of The Year Awards 2021

Friday 26th November 2021

Armagh City Hotel

friday 26th November 2021

Armagh City Hotel

Black Tie & Evening Wear Event

Drinks Reception

Dinner Served at 8pm Sharp

Awards Ceremony


Dress Code: Black Tie & Evening Wear


The 12 Award Recipients 

To Vote for the Overall County Armagh Person of the Year 

Text AWARDS followed by the name of one of the 12 finalists above to the shortcode 64343.

Lines close at 5pm on Friday, November 26th.



Users must be 18+ & have the bill payers permission.
Service provided by Digital Select Ltd. Helpline: 03301039999. For entertainment purposes only.

If you have any queries please contact: 07599 124888

Robert Hunter is a well-known figure throughout County Armagh. Having lived near Mowhan for all of his working life he now resides in Markethill. He established and grew the family farm with hard work, determination, and enterprise over several decades along with his wife Eleanor and has enjoyed the past time of bowls from the early 1970s, having been a dedicated member of several clubs up to the present day. He has been a principal figure in the clubs of Mountnorris, Cladymore and Makethill while in recent years he has been a mainstay of the indoor Jethro Club in Lurgan and Markethill outdoor club as well as a long-standing Committee member at Armagh County level. Since the 1990s he has helped to fundraise for the NI Chest, Heart and Stroke Association through an annual tournament in conjunction with Markethill Community Festival and in recent years he has been an integral Festival Committee member. In fact, it was due to indoor and outdoor bowls matches being suspended, owing to the coronavirus pandemic, that he turned his hand to do something else during his spare time. What started out as a daily walk soon became a litter collection and since early April 2020 Robert has been visibly hard at work collecting litter and rubbish from the roadsides around Markethill, Mullabrack and Loughgilly. Now his trusty car and trailer, laden with bin bags and all sorts of debris can be spotted anywhere from Armagh to Richhill and even the outskirts of Newry. So far, he has spared our environment from just over 800 bags of rubbish which is a tremendous effort for a man now entering his ninth decade.

Mervin Speers from Elmpark Farm, Killylea (64) was milking a herd of crossbred fleckveigh cows, doing a small bit of contracting and supplying a number of people in the area with farm fresh turkeys at Christmas. He started feeling unwell on Christmas Day 2020 and subsequently tested positive for covid 19 on December 27th, 2020. On December 28th, he was rushed to Craigavon Area Hospital and onto ICU in Belfast City Hospital. The last  thing he remembers is the door closing on the ambulance. He was put on a ventilator and remained on it until January 30th, 2021. During this time, he took a number of mild heart attacks, and his family were sent for a number of times. On January 30th, after several failed attempts, he was taken off the ventilator and the nurse placed a phone to his ear to make an emotional call to his family. On February 6th, 2021, he was transferred to Daisy Hill Hospital, where he spent the rest of the month of February learning to feed himself and walk again. He returned home on March 1st to feed himself and walk again. He returned home on March 1st, 2021, and has been on the road to recovery since. While he is now able to drive again, long covid restricts his ability to do manual work but that doesn’t annoy him. He is glad to be alive.


Sean McArdle is married to Teresa and lives in Clady, Co Armagh. The father of four has many interests including rallying, football and renewable technologies. Sean and Teresa together had an idea to create a Skip Car which they have successfully used as their mascot vehicle to promote their Fundraising events. Many will recognise the Skip Car for famously leading The Orchard Truck and Tractor Run- indeed it even has its own song! It has been a huge honour and a privilege for Sean to fundraise for Marie Curie Cancer Care and Southern Area Hospice over the past 10 years. During these 10 years Sean has also had the opportunity to fundraise for The Children’s Heartbeat Trust, Katie Rose’s Journey and The Hugs Charity. Sean’s fundraising group, a small team of family and friends fondly known to everyone as “The Skip Car Crew” have along with Seán worked hard to create various fundraising events and Sean would like to acknowledge that this achievement would not have been possible without the team and his award is shared with each and every one of them. Together they have all raised over £500,000 for the charities!


Oisín is 3 years old and a real-life little miracle with the most infectious smile. He was born at 25 weeks weighting 950grams. He has been through so much in his short life, spending the first 7 months in NICU where he had some major ups and downs, nearly losing him multiple times and being told he would never make it home, with 35 operations (another 3 in the pipeline) and constant hospital visits he continues to face new challenges on a daily basis. He still remains tube fed and is on oxygen at night. Oisín has quadriplegic cerebral palsy among other conditions. This means he has difficulties with muscle control, balance, and coordination, so simple things such as sitting without support is extremely difficult. He’s incredibly determined and tries so hard every day to learn these things and on average does a minimal of 3 hours of physio a day. Oisín has had a bumpy ride from day one but what he’s endured in his first few months of life is nothing compared to what he deals with daily. He is still fighting to be his best daily and we think he is bloody AMAZING!!!

Fr. Sean Moore has been Parish Priest of Middletown and Tynan Parish for the last eighteen years. The second of ten children, he grew up in Derrynoose and after leaving school at the age of fifteen, he spent almost twenty years farming and working in the constructing industry before deciding to become a priest in 1979. Renowned for his charity work he is held in high esteem by all denominations throughout the county and beyond. Like all people in religious ministry, Covid 19 and its restrictions has had a major impact on Father Sean. Many of the things that he enjoyed most, the house visits, the meetings, the cup of tea, have all been replaced by technology, the mobile phone, and the web cam. Despite his dedication to his ministry, he never lost his love for farming and continues to breed Pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle. Along with his late sister Rose, who sadly passed away earlier this year, he has won the best small herd competition on two occasions. When it was announced at the masses in Tynan and Middletown, that Father Sean was one of the twelve County Armagh People of the Year, the rapturous and prolonged applause that echoed through the churches summed up the deep affection that his parishioners have for him.

Rebecca Boylan has been involved in the hairdressing business in Armagh city for over seventeen years. This has led her in recent years to research hair loss and the treatments that are available. Many of us take for granted the locks that God gave us, but for those inflicted with hair loss, either caused by alopecia, thinning hair or as a result of medical treatment, it can have a detrimental effect on their whole outlook in life. Thanks to Rebecca’s generosity and willingness to help others, she has put a smile on so many peoples’ faces by giving them back the confidence they thought they had lost forever. From handmaking and donating wigs to cancer patients, to fitting integration systems free of charge, she has helped numerous adults and children all over the province. Never one to give up, during the Covid 19 pandemic, she fought the legislators to have the work she does deemed essential so that she could continue to help others. While she gets great joy by putting a smile on someone’s face, her passion for what she does has been an emotional rollercoaster. The joy achieved by her contribution to the person’s wellbeing is sometimes tinged with sadness by the failure of other medical treatments that they received. Currently she is in the process of training others to continue her good work.


Sue Bloomer and Joanne Hale are two sisters from Killylea who have been heavily involved in the local community for a long number of years. As members of Tiny Tots Playgroup Committee, they organised their first big charity event, a tractor run to raise funds for NI Children’s Hospice. The event has now become an annual one with new charities added in each year. Following a trip to the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance base at the Maze they have become regular volunteers and to date have raised over £10000 for this wonderful cause. During the Covid Pandemic they organised Rock the Boat on the main Street of Killylea as a thank you to all the front-line NHS workers. With Christmas approaching they’re busy planning their next venture A Santa’s Cottage which we gather is already booked out.

Laura Nelson has turned her indescribable grief for her daughter Emily into a beacon of light for mums with similar experiences across Ireland, North and South and beyond. In August 2016, at a routine twenty-week scan, she received the devastating news that baby Emily would not be coming home to stay with her and her family. To the disbelief of the medical staff, Emily was born with life on November 24th, 2016, but sadly passed away shortly afterwards in Laura’s arms. Laura resorted to exercise to navigate her way through her grief. She retrained as a pre- natal and post-natal fitness instructor, and from there Strong Mums NI was born. Laura offers live online fitness classes via zoom. She loves helping other mums to enjoy exercise and reap the physical and mental health benefits. She also provides free monthly fitness and support classes for mums affected by baby loss. Emily’s classes, as they are called, are live via zoom, which means the mums can partake in a safe and welcoming environment in the comfort of their own home. This also provides a forum for grieving mums to connect, share and/or listen to others experiencing similar heartache. Emily Nelson’s footprint may have been small but thanks to her mother Laura, she will leave her mark.


Bridget Mone grew up on a farm outside Armagh, before marrying Paul Mone in 1993 and moving to Keady where the Mone family were synonymous with the license trade and were renowned undertakers. Blessed with five children she combined family life with her job as a night duty nurse in Craigavon area hospital, where she was held in high esteem by everyone for her caring nature and genuine thoughtfulness. But God had greater plans for her. On August 2nd, 2014, Paul died suddenly, and her and her five children’s lives changed dramatically. Whilst she had no serious intention to continue the business that Paul had built up, it just happened. In 2015, she trained and qualified as a professional embalmer and this combined with her caring, thoughtfulness, nursing characteristics, has saw her become one of the most successful businesswomen in the county – a feat all the more remarkable as she has achieved this in what is traditionally a male dominated business. The number of people that have contacted us expressing their praise and relaying stories of the comfort that she has brought them in their hour of need has been further testament to Bridget’s success. Her work may be unpredictable but her thoughtfulness, level of care and attention to detail are not.

Kelly Mallon is without doubt one of Armagh’s greatest sport stars; if not the greatest. Be it camogie, ladie’s football or road bowls she has achieved and set standards that will probably never be equalled. From captaining her native Madden to a first county camogie title in over 30 years in 2014, to the triple achievements in 2021, her record on the sporting field will stand the test of time. For not only did she captain Armagh ladies to back to back Ulster titles in 2021, she also gave a player of the match display in the ladies county final, top scoring in the match as Armagh Harps also claimed back to back county titles after a 22 year gap from their previous success. To complete the hattrick of wins, she also claimed a ninth ladies road bowl championship by regaining her title and at the same time consolidating her place as the most successful lady in the history of the sport. Apart from the range of notable achievements on the sporting field, it is the great esteem in which she is held by her teammates which makes her a superb role model. A tough sportswoman with a warm heart, she has the ability to reach out and relate to teammates of all ages on the county squad and at club level. A great ambassador for County Armagh Kelly Mallon has finally got the wider recognition she deserves for her achievement, commitment and quiet efforts for others.

Gillian Gardiner has been involved  in the food retail business for many years but her latest venture has to be admired. Adjacent to her potato bar café in Lurgan, she has turned an alley way into a dog friendly eaterie called “Scruffy Spuds”, a place where people can come and eat in the company of man’s best friend who incidentally also have a menu of their own. Generous to a fault, rumour has it around Lurgan that she actually gives away more food free to the homeless and the vulnerable than she sells. During the first lockdown, she spent hours cooking food for elderly people and providing meals for charities as far away as Belfast.  Humans have not been the only ones to benefit from Gillian’s generosity as she has also provided a safe home for animals, mainly cats, that are no longer wanted or cared for by their owners. In recent times she has teamed up with Roof, a charity that provides homeless people in Belfast with food, clothes, and shelter. Every Sunday night, she travels to Belfast, where along with a group of other likeminded individuals they set up stalls in an area of the city where the homeless come to them. Even when her own health dictated otherwise, Gillian still managed to paint on the big smile and make someone’s day.

Peter Haughey has been the driving force behind Newtown Together Group. On a piece of unused land on St. Michael’s GAA Grounds, Newtownhamilton, he has dedicated all his energy and time into building a vibrant, welcoming community space. Peter’s constant enthusiasm in the group is an example of creative community development and a model of good practice. He has inspired many other groups, particularly ‘Men’s Sheds’ to strive to achieve something from nothing, through hard work and dedication without limits. During Covid, Peter invested all his time into alleviating isolation and loneliness amongst older people in South Armagh, making connections and ensuring everyone had someone. He epitomises the best of community work. He takes time with everyone, finds a place for every new place. A fine example of positive volunteering, teamwork, and leadership. Peter was also one of the first in the county to source and deliver care packages of PPE to the elderly often funded out of his own pocket. To keep the younger generation occupied, he made bird nesting boxes and opened a community garden incorporating a grow wild project. His craft classes have opened up a new world to people of all ages. Peter Haughey is your ultimate community person.


Special Guest

Lily Rose Caherty

Eleven-year-old Lily Rose Caherty is a star in the making. A first year student at St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook, she hails from Meadowvale Newtownhamilton.  The oldest of three daughters of parents Claire and Sean, she has been singing and playing guitar from a very young age. Through her studies at M.D Rafferty School of Music she has come to prominence and Cordelias Foundation are delighted that she has accepted the invitation to entertain us tonight.


Tickets go on sale from Thursday November 11th 2021. To purchase or book tickets call or text 07599124888 or email Tickets are also available at Cordelias Takeaway Armagh, call 02837527890 or 07566744600. 


Tickets can be bought individually at £50 each or a table for 10 at £500.  

List Of Nominees

Robert Hunter – Markethill

Rebecca Boylan – Armagh

Gillian Gardener – Lurgan

Bubba Ali – Armagh

Fr. Sean Moore – Middletown

Livingstone Family – Killylea

Joanne Mullan – Jo Jo’s Drama

Roma Carlyle and Kate Martin – Armagh

Blaine & Amy McCartney – Armagh

Tom The Dandy McNally – Derrynoose

Jacqueline Donnelly – Armagh

Ronan Quinn – Ballymacnab

Oisin Traynor – Ballymacnab (age 3)

Andy Gilkinson – Lurgan

Edith Sloane – Tandragee

Benny O’Kane – Armagh

Stanley and Randal Livingstone 

Karen and Marty Kelly – Richhill

Kate Quinn – Lislea

Marie Morgan – Keady (Surgery)

Casey Quigley – Armagh

Keepers of the Callan River

Alex Clifford – Lurgan


Joe Kernan – Crossmaglen

Marty Rafferty – Armagh

Bridget Mone – Keady

Sean McArdle – Clady

Jarleth Burns – Bessbrook

Oisin McConnville – Crossmaglen

Sean Duffy (Boxer) – Armaghbreague

Peter Haughey – Newtownhamilton

Peter Donnelly – Keady

Rory Best – Poyntzpass

Ann McGinley – Armagh

Sue and Joanne Bloomer – Killylea

Kirsty Killen – Armagh

Alisha Devlin – Armagh

Stephen Fields – Armagh

Francie Bellew – Crossmaglen

Karen and Marty Kelly – Richhill

Willie Monahan – Darkley

Kathleen Duffy – Armagh

Ita Gibney and Niall Murray – Newtownhamilton

Dr. F. O’Hagan and her team – Armagh

 Aimee Mackin

Jacqueline Prentice – Killylea


Mervin Speers – Killylea

Harriet Cooke – Hamiltonbawn

Aisling Grant – Armagh

Raymond Hutchinson – Tandragee

Kelly Mallon – Madden

Stephen McCleary – Armagh

Laura Nelson – Portadown

John Boyle – Boylesports

Triona Rafferty – Armagh

Richard Thompson – Armagh

Hanratty Family – Arthurs Villas

Noreen Evans – Armagh

John Woods – Linwoods

John Fields – Armagh

Kitty O’Hare – Lurgan

Neil Casey – Lurgan

Nora Quigley – Armagh

Ben Sergeant – Craigavon

Sharon Porter – Mountnorris 

Felicity hEagra – Armagh

George Ballentine – Markethill

Orla Kelly – Armagh

Paddy Kelly – Milford


2 people that were nominated have requested that their names be removed from the list of nominees for personal reasons.

If someone has been nominated and their name is not on the above list, this is most likely the reason why. 

County Armagh People of the Year Awards 2021

Award Rules


Anyone who has or who has ever had a connection with County Armagh is eligible to be nominated. 

They can be nominated for their achievements, their contribution to society or for the obstacles they have overcome that makes them an Armagh person to be proud of.

  1. To be eligible for the final 12, nominees must be able to confirm on Friday November 12th, 2021, that they are available to attend the Gala Ball in the Armagh City Hotel on Friday, November 26th
  2. A nominee who knowingly falsely declares on the 12th of November 2021, their availability to attend the Gala Ball in the Armagh City Hotel on Friday, November 26th 2021 will be disqualified from receiving an award.
  3. The 12 nominees will be chosen on a combination of the reason for their nomination and the public votes that they receive.
  4. The decision of the judges (consisting of 3 media representatives in the county, one Cordelias Foundation representative and one judge from outside of the county) is final.
  5. Cordelias Foundation reserve the right to amend the rules without prior notice.
To Nominate

Text to 07599 124888 or email the person’s name, where they are from, the reason why you want to nominate them and your name.

Nominations close on Monday, November 8th at 12 noon.


For those that have been nominated and have not made the final 12, Cordelias Foundation will give a percentage of the tickets for the County Armagh People of the Year Awards Gala Ball, which cost £50 each, complimentary (on a lottery basis) to the nominees and also to front line workers.

With this generosity in mind, Cordelias Foundation are calling on all businesses and organisations throughout the county Armagh to consider sponsoring a ticket for a nominee or for a front line worker.

Any business that wishes to sponsor an award is also welcome to contact Cordelias Foundation. 


Main Sponsor

Cordelias Takeaway Armagh 

Drinks Reception Sponsor

Mairead & Gerald Mackle of Tarasis Enterprises

Tarasis Enterprises - Creating Innovative Solutions for the Future of Living

12 Award Sponsors

Shabra Plastic and Recycling

Encore Consulting LTD

Keenans Foods

Inflatable World

Ticket Sponsors

Superbites – Crossmaglen

Bakers Takeaway Dublin Road, Newry

Daniel Mallon – Bessbrook

A29 Service Station – Newtownhamilton

Rapid Development – Newtownhamilton

Park Butchers – Newtownhamilton

Slate Rock Structural Engineering – Armaghbreague


Thank you

Thank you to Ulster Gazette, Portadown Times, Lurgan Mail  and for all their help and publicity. 


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