Denis Floyd receives the Tipperary Person of the Year Award from Louis Fitzgerald in the presence of Tipperary Association President Liam Myles. Photograph: Bridget Delaney
The passion and sense of pride in his native place shown by Birdhill man Denis Floyd over his lifetime makes him a very deserving winner of the Tipperary Association Dublin’s Person of the Year award for 2017, attendees at a gala function heard on Friday last.
Mr. Floyd was presented with his Award at a function in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Dublin, when it was stated that he is a leader in every sense of the word, but mostly he leads by example.
The Hall of Fame Award was presented to Denis Ryan, founding member of Ryan’s Fancy folk group and well known for his lifelong involvement in and contribution to Irish-Canadian music, culture and business and as one who has forged strong links between Canada and Ireland.
Mr. Floyd is Chairman of Birdhill Tidy Village Committee who scooped the National title of Tidiest Town in Ireland in 2017.
Mr. Floyd was described as “true community activist and leader. He has been involved in Birdhill Tidy Village Committee for over 25 years and is currently Chairman of a very hard working and effective committee. Birdhill won the tidiest village in Ireland in 2006, 2007, 2008 and again in 2016 but the double win in 2017 of Tidiest Village and Tidiest Town in Ireland was truly a remarkable achievement and one which Birdhill can rightly feel proud of, as can the whole of Tipperary”, the President of the Tipperary Association Dublin, Mr. Liam Myles stated.
“He is constantly ‘on the beat’ in the village and takes responsibility for it as though it were his own garden. He can be seen litter picking, weeding, washing, watering, painting and tidying daily. It is said he will be found more often in the village than in his own home!”, said Mr. Myles.
A teacher by profession, Mr. Floyd taught for 35 years in Burgess National School. On retirement he wrote a history of Burgess – “Shades of Ara” - focussing on the school and it’s influence on the community there. Along with Michael Collins he co-wrote “By the Mulcair Banks” – a history of the GAA in the parish of Newport, published in 1986.
Mr. Myles stated that Denis Floyd through his leadership, dedication, commitment, hard work, perseverance and persistence over many years has played a key role in the Birdhill success story.
“A leader and guide to the 20 strong committee, he ensures that the work of keeping Birdhill tidy is well planned and executed throughout the year. He also focussed on the bigger picture by developing strong relationships with other agencies and never missed an opportunity to attend talks and presentations so that the committee could continuously learn for others. Attention to detail includes having groups taking responsibility for wildlife, landscapes and community events”.
“He has and continues to be deeply involved in all matters GAA. He played hurling and football for Newport, and took up coaching and management positions in the club. He went on to manage Newport teams to two county titles - in Under 16 football (first ever for a North Tipperary team) and Intermediate hurling. He also got involved with Tipperary GAA administration at all levels. He was club chairman, North Board Vice-Chairman and Treasurer and became the youngest ever North Board Chairman in 1982. The centenary celebrations in 1984 took place during his reign”.
A member of the Tipperary Co. Board for many years, Mr. Floyd has served in various roles such as Youth Officer, Irish Culture Officer and as Coaching Officer. He coordinated the Tipperary GAA Strategic Plan 2012 – 2016 and is currently secretary of the County Development Committee which is working on a new strategic plan for the future.
“Denis Floyd through his leadership, dedication, commitment, hard work, perseverance and persistence over many years has played a key critical role in the Birdhill success story. A brilliant people person, Denis Floyd is the epitome of a community leader in every sense of the word and has worked hard at instilling a pride of place in Birdhill and surrounds. A true volunteer who gives unselfishly at all times to his community, the Tipperary Association Dublin is delighted to recognise the role of volunteers and community leaders who are key to the well-being of rural communities in particular”.
“It is only right that such community volunteers and leaders are recognised for their commitment, dedication and work on behalf of others. The passion and sense of pride in his native place that Denis Floyd has shown over his lifetime is to be admired. His pivotal and crucial role and his strong influence in driving Birdhill to achieving the “double” and the highest accolade in the land in the Tidiest Town Awards makes him a very deserving winner of the Tipperary Association Dublin’s Person of the Year award for 2017”, added Mr. Myles.
Thanking all involved, Mr. Floyd said it was privilege and an honour to receive the Award. He thanked the Tipperary Association Dublin for the great honour bestowed on himself and Birdhill and said “I am proud to be a Birdhill man standing here tonight”. He also stated that it was unique to have two people from the same parish receiving awards and he was “proud to be in the company of a music legend”.
Mr. Floyd said he was very struck by the list of illustrious former Tipperary Persons of the Year and was very humbled to be honoured in joining that list.
He stressed that he was part of a community that had brought All-Ireland glory to Tipperary. He was part of a team that had one three in a row and they were, he said, going for the second three in a row next year. “I have been part of a team that won 12 gold medals in a row and we are not finished yet. Teamwork is the hallmark of success. That has been the case in Birdhill. The support of the local community has been pivotal in bringing success to Birdhill”. He thanked all who made themselves available when required. He also thanked his family - ten out the Floyd family of eleven were present at the awards function - and commended the Tipperary Association Dublin for focusing on community in this Award. Tidy Towns, he said, is a community organisation and community spirit, involvement, participation and support are all part of life in Birdhill. “We are involved because of love for and the pride we have in our native place. That participation creates a better life for all of us in Birdhill”, he added.