Tipperary Association announce their Person of the Year

Hall of Fame Award also announced

Denis Floyd, Chairman of Birdhill Tidy Village Committee

Denis Floyd, Chairman of Birdhill Tidy Village Committee, with Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu, and Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development

The Tipperary Association Dublin have announced their Person of the Year – and who joins the Hall of Fame this year.

Denis Floyd, Chairman of Birdhill Tidy Village Committee is the Tipperary Association Dublin’s choice of Tipperary Person of the Year for 2017.

Floyd, along with hard working committee members, drove the Tipperary village to the pinnacle in 2017 in scooping the ultimate prize of Ireland’s tidiest town.

Denis Ryan, Newport and Halifax, Canada, member of Ryan’s Fancy Folk Group and lifelong international ambassador for and promotor of Irish music and culture will be inducted into the Association’s Hall of Fame.

The awards will be presented at a function in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Dublin on Friday, February 23.

Person of the Year 

Speaking at the announcement of the award, Liam Myles, President of the Tipperary Association Dublin, stated that this year the Person of the Year Award is going to a man who has lead from the front in promoting his local village and community.

The award is a recognition of his role in Birdhill being named as the prestigious winners of the National Tidy Town of the Year. It is also recognition – at the highest level – of the work of the Birdhill Tidy Village Committee members and the wider Birdhill community.

Significantly, it is a timely recognition of the importance and benefits of volunteerism and community spirit at work. Volunteers are at the heart of all that happens in communities, especially rural communities, and the Association is glad and proud to recognise that fact in making this award.

Myles went on to say “if any one person deserved to be honoured for his commitment to his local community, his dedication and leadership and his unceasing hard work on behalf of Birdhill and, by extension, County Tipperary, then Denis Floyd is surely a most deserving choice.”

While he was nominated by his own committee for his role in bringing honour to Birdhill and Tipperary, Denis Floyd was and is not a “single trick pony”. He has shown he is the ultimate volunteer and community leader in many previous and different roles.

While principal of Burgess National School he cultured and promoted a community spirit publishing a book on the history of the area.

He has and continues to play a huge role in the GAA having played hurling and football at all levels and then went on to get involved in administration at club, divisional and county levels, and if that wasn’t enough, he also undertook coaching and went on to manage Newport teams to two county titles in Under 16 football (first ever for a North Tipp team) and Intermediate hurling. He also got involved in refereeing and even found time to co-write a book about the history of Newport GAA club entitled “By the Mulcair Banks”!

Myles concluded by saying that “Floyd played a key role in achieving National Tidiest Village success on four occasions but his dedication, commitment, hard work and leadership over many years and, critically, his perseverance and persistence in pushing Birdhill to the top accolade of Tidiest Town in Ireland makes him a most deserving winner of the Person of the Year for 2018.”

Hall Of Fame Award 

The Association has also announced that Newport native, Mr Denis Ryan is to be awarded the Association’s Hall of Fame Award for 2017 to mark his lifetime contribution to and achievement in the field of Irish folk and culture – both at home and abroad.

From an early age he was a member of the local Comhaltas Ceolteoirí Éireann branch and won a number of competitions at national level.

He worked in Dublin for a period and became involved in various music groups.

He was invited to perform in Newfoundland where he immersed himself in their music and culture. Here he formed the group Ryan’s Fancy who performed and travelled extensively in Canada and Ireland.

Denis has appeared in over 200 television shows in Ireland, USA and Canada. Not forgetting his native home he included songs like “Newport Town” and “Mulcair River” in his repertoire and his many releases.  He has performed for former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, US President Ronald Reagan and Queen Elizabeth.  

In the 1990’s Denis hosted the CBC TV series “Up on the Roof”. He played the role of a Judge in the Trailer Park Boys movie “Live in Ireland”.

He immersed himself further into his music and took a degree in Folklore in Memorial University in Newfoundland.

Denis later moved to Halifax where he set up an investment management business. He became involved in many community projects in Halifax, including the Chair of Irish Studies at St. Mary’s University and the Board of Governors of St. Francis Xavier University.  He has an Honorary Degree from St. Mary's University.

He founded Nova Scotian Crystal – Canada’s only hand cut mouth-blown crystal. He met with former Waterford Glass employees as part of his research and arranged for some of them to travel to Halifax to advise and help in the venture.

Each autumn, Denis travels to Cape Breton to MC and perform at the Celtic Colours International Festival. His group, Ryan’s Fancy, hosted the Cape Breton – Ireland musical bridge for years. In 1993 he was key to the holding of the festival in Cork. This festival celebrates the Celtic cultures of Ireland, Scotland and Canada through music, song and dance.

Denis tours Ireland regularly and runs many charitable events and training programmes.

He uses every opportunity to promote visits by business groups to Ireland – even down to driving the bus and, of course, providing the entertainment! He also has brought many Canadian music & folk groups to Ireland over the years in an effort to promote his country and Irish music and culture.

The Tipperary Association Dublin is delighted to announce Denis Ryan as the winner of the Hall of Fame Award for 2017 for his lifetime contribution to and promotor of Irish music, culture and business.

Tickets (€40 each) available from Pat Ryan, 11 Foxfield Grove, Raheny, Dublin 5. Mob.: 087 6376663 Email: psoriain@eircom.net