Laura Brennan set for Clare Association honour

Laura Brennan set for Clare Association honour


Laura Brennan was also honoured by UCD last month – Photo: Fennell Photography

A 26-year-old woman with terminal cancer will be honoured as Clare Person of the Year 2019 by the Clare Association in Dublin.

Muintir an Chláir has confirmed that Ennis woman Laura Brennan will be presented with her award at the associations annual dinner in Dublin in March.

The association said: “This award to Laura is for her courage and fortitude in the face of a terminal cancer diagnosis in publicly advocating in favour of the HPV vaccine so as to reduce the risk of other women developing cervical cancer.”

After her doctor informed her that her cancer was terminal, Laura contacted the HSE to offer her personal story in an effort to encourage parents to have their children vaccinated against cervical cancer.

Laura has also spoken on radio and television about her diagnosis and is credited with helping to restore public confidence in the efficacy and safety of the HPV vaccination in Ireland.

The vaccine is recommended by the World Health Organization, the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the the National Immunisation Advisory Committee.

The HPV vaccine is available free of charge from the HSE for all girls in 1st year of second level school. The vaccine is given through a school based programme, to ensure high vaccine uptake. However, in specific instances some girls will be invited to special HSE clinics for their vaccines.

The vaccination wasn’t available to Laura however when she attended school.

Just last month, Ms Brennan was conferred with an honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature by University College Dublin.

Previous recipients of the Clare Person of the Year Award include former President of Ireland the late Dr Patrick Hillery; former Clare hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald as well as John Burke, the first Clare man to summit Mount Everest, who was honoured last year.

The late Irish Coast Guard volunteer Caitríona Lucas who died tragically in the line of duty in 2016 was honoured in 2017. Caitríona’s family accepted the posthumous award at the association’s annual which was held in Clare that year.

The Association’s Hall of Fame Award will be bestowed up on Christy Killeen a founding member of the Friends of Clare GAA.

Christy has worked tirelessly over the years to promote all GAA activities associated with Clare and his love for Gaelic Games since his playing days for Cooraclare, has been evident in his endeavours as chairman to raise much needed funds for underage games in Clare.  His leadership has resulted in over €500,000.00 raised and forwarded to Clare GAA Co. Board.

The presentation of these awards will be held at the associations annual dinner at the Red Cow Moran Hotel on Saturday 02 March 2019 and all are welcome with dancing to the well known Patrick Roche Band.

Tickets for this award night can be obtained through the associations website or from Gerry on 0868498192.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.