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. We are presenting a profile of the winners who stood out in making a big difference to the lives of others.
Pat Hooper – Sports & Recreation Category
My name is Pat Hooper and I’m a retired insurance manager, I’m also a former Olympic athlete and Irish marathon champion (NB: Pat represented Ireland in the 1980 Moscow Olympics). For my whole life, I’ve been involved in Raheny Shamrock Athletic Club, both as an athlete and a coaching official. I’m also the treasurer – they’re in the process of building a new club house.
I’m also involved in a few other local charities. I suppose one of my best-known achievements is that I’m the founder and race director of the Axa Raheny 5 Mile Road Race, which is the biggest sporting event held in the Raheny area – last year it attracted over 4,000 competitors. We first held it in 1985 and it’s gone from strength to strength. That would be what most people would regard as my main achievement, but I organize a lot of other events and races. I’m also a member of the Raheny Business Association, and a board member of St. Michael’s House (a nondenominational voluntary body providing facilities and services to over 1500 people with learning disabilities in Dublin City), and I try to help out at a few local things as well.
I live a very active retirement. Basically, I have a ferocious appetite for sport, athletics in particular – I think it’s the ultimate sport, where everyone gets to compete. No matter what your talent is, we can find you an event. It keeps you healthy, and it’s good for character development.
What’s my favourite part of it? When Raheny Shamrock athletes win (laughs). That is my main goal. To have us competitive and winning. Volunteering is also very enjoyable. It keeps one active, especially when one sees results for one’s efforts, you know? With my pension, I have enough to live on, so I feel like contributing to society. I enjoy it.
I think that it’s very import that people are civic-minded, because after all it’s our city, and our country, and if people don’t put something back into it, there’s no place for the future of the country. In 1916, celebrating 100 years, that’s what the state was founded for. It wasn’t founded for greed, it was founded for the betterment of all its citizens. That would be my philosophy in life.
I was thrilled to get the nomination. It’s nice to get a bit of recognition. If I win, in the football parlance, I’ll be over the moon.
Pat won the Dublin City Good Citizen Award in the Sports and Recreation Category. This category recognises the dedication and drive of the organisers of our sporting clubs.