The Dublin City Good Citizen Awards ceremony took place in the Mansion House on the 18th May 2016. The awards acknowledge and celebrate the contribution made to Dublin city by countless hidden heroes of everyday life. Over the coming weeks, we’re presenting a profile of the winners who stood out in making a big difference to the lives of others.

Jimmy Bolger – Arts & Culture

My name is Jimmy Bolger, and I live in Crumlin. I belong to the Crumlin Youth Band, we take kids off the corner and teach them how to read music and play instruments. We keep them safe, so they’re not running about the roads at all hours. The kids all love it. In years to come, the music will stand to them. The beauty of it is that a lot of them stay with us, there are a load of former band members on the committee.

We’re a brass band ­trumpets, saxophones, trombones, clarinets, flutes, drums, there’s 36 members at the moment. They’re all getting on a bit, turning 19 and 20, so we’ll be recruiting a new bunch soon. We’ve been all over the world with these kids, to Germany and New York, we can only go every couple of years because there’s a lot of fundraising involved.

The band’s been going since 1990, I joined in 1991: my young fella wanted to join and was told to bring his Da with him. I was sitting there eating me dinner, and he’s like ‘Come on, we’ll go down…’ And it all went from there. My three kids ended up in the band. Me? I don’t have a note in my head, never did, still don’t (laughs). I open the place up for the kids, and keep an eye on them ­ they do music theory classes, as well as learning their instruments.

Winner Jimmy Bolger with an tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh and Councillor Mary Freehill

Winner Jimmy Bolger with former Lord Mayor Críona Ní Dhálaigh and Councillor Mary Freehill

Why do I do what I do? I just enjoy it, that’s the main thing. My kids got me in on it, so I just wanted to give something back. It’s brilliant seeing them enjoy themselves and learning how to play. We’re always in the Rose Of Tralee every year. They love going back to it, they’re always like ‘Are we going? When are we going? Is it time yet?’ They get back, and they’re raring to go again.

It keeps them off the street. They’re in for three hours upon an evening, and when it’s time for them to go home, none of them want to go. We always have a bit of craic. It’s great fun.

I couldn’t believe when I heard that I’d been nominated. When the man rang, I asked if he had the wrong number (laughs). I thought ‘There’s something wrong here…’ Then I asked a few of the women ‘Do you know anything about this?’ ­ and they started laughing. There’s a few of them involved. I know there is. As long as I’m not in trouble, I don’t really mind (laughs).

Jimmy won the Dublin City Good Citizen Award in the Arts & Culture Category. This category recognises those who have worked to make people in their communities lives richer, and more fulfilling, and in doing so making communities brighter, more stimulating places to live.

Good Citizen #1: Liz O’Connor

The Dublin City Good Citizen Awards ceremony took place in the Mansion House on the 18th May. The awards acknowledge and celebrate the contribution made to Dublin city by countless hidden heroes of everyday life. Over the coming weeks, we’re presenting a profile of the winners who stood out in making a big difference to the lives of others. Liz won the Dublin City Good Citizen Award in the Children & Youth Category. This category recognises those whose work has a positive impact on the lives of children and young people.

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Good Citizen #2: Esther McGrath

I’m Esther McGrath, I live in Donnybrook, and I’m a member of the Beech Hill Community Group. I do some volunteering with the elderly in the area. I visit the elderly, and do their shopping for them. With a lot of people, their family live away from them, so I drop in and see if they’re all right, especially if they’re housebound. For ten years, we’ve been doing an elderly shopping trip on a Friday afternoon, a bunch of volunteers drive them there and back. I think people appreciate it. I do voluntary bingo for the senior citizens, too. I think quite a few of them nominated me. Why do I do what I do? Because I enjoy it. In my time, I’ve seen a lot of cutbacks in home help, so you try to fill that gap as much as you can - be it doing a bit of washing, bringing the dog for a walk, or making sure their milk doesn’t go sour. People have learned to trust me over the years.

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Good Citizen #3: Marius Marosan

My name is Marius Marosan, and I’m trying to help my community, of Romanians living in Ireland. I guess that I’ve been nominated for this award for helping a lot of people. With a group of other people from Romania who are based here, I help in a lot of different ways; with translations, information, the filling out of forms, representing people at RPTB (Private Residential Tenancies Board) ­if they have problems with their landlords, or their employer, I try to give them advice. If somebody has died, I help them to repatriate the body.

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