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’re presenting a profile of the winners who stood out in making a big difference to the lives of others.
Gerry Fay – Lifetime Volunteer Category
Gerry Fay insists that he has no idea why he’s been nominated for a Good Citizen award, when asked he replies ‘’Your guess is as good as mine’’. A man with strong opinions and passionate beliefs, Gerry is modest to the core when it comes to taking any credit for his achievements. The facts however, tell a different story. For the past three decades, as Chairman of the North Wall Community Association, local shopkeeper Gerry has been working tirelessly on behalf of the locals in one of the inner city’s most historic areas.
Gerry first got involved in community activism back in 1986. “The government of the day introduced the Urban Renewal Act, which led to the building of the Financial Services Centre,” he remembers. “What you had at the time over in Sheriff Street, across the road, was 18 blocks of flats, 570 odd housing units’, and then suddenly “you had was the most disadvantaged part of irish society living alongside the most advantaged”. The suits all came down and told us that this was going to be wonderful, that it would revitalize the area, that we were all in this together. We thought that we’d won the Lotto. But things didn’t exactly turn out that way.”
Over the years since, Gerry has been a fierce advocate for the rights of the North Wall’s residents, often in the face of economic hardship, while helping to organize any number of popular community projects and events. “We’re a close integrated community,” he says. “We put up a fight when they tried to move us out to the suburbs thirty years ago, and we’re still here, putting up a fight today.”
Gerry won the Dublin City Good Citizen Award in the Lifetime Volunteer Category. This category recognises individuals whose contributions to their communities is measured not in months or years but in decades of service, dedication.