Mary Gallagher stunned by People of the Year award for Ballaghaderreen

A Ballaghaderreen resident admits she was hugely surprised the town’s efforts at helping Syrian refugees secured them a People of the Year Award

A delegation from the west Roscommon town attended a special function last night in the Mansion House in Dublin where they picked up the Community Group of the Year award.

Syrian refugees and asylum seekers have been living at the EROC based in the Abbeyfield Hotel in the town since last March with several local initiatives developed to help them feel welcome in their new home.

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Last night’s event was also marked by a special message from astronaut Chris Hadfield who praised the Ballagahderreen community for their kindness shown to the Syrian refugees.

Mary Gallagher, who has lived in the town for decades, told the Joe Finnegan show that she was surprised that they could be rewarded for their kindness: