Journal’s Joe named Community Champ

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Derry Journal photographer Joe Boland has been named Calor Community Champion 2012.

Joe, who had been nominated as Donegal Community Champ - and who topped the poll in the initial phase of voting - was named all Ireland champion after the competition’s judging panel, including Hector Ó hEochagáin, GAA and sports broadcaster, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh and Jennifer Fagan from Calor, completed their deliberations.

“It’s a fantastic honour,” Joe said yesterday before travelling to Dublin to collect his new title at last night’s presentation.

Joe’s win is testament to his two decade association with the Scouting Ireland movement, and for his tireless community work in the Strabane-Lifford area.

The Derry Journal photographer receives a prize of 1,500 euro - which he is to share between the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary, the Rainbow Rehoming Centre and the Lifford Hospital Restoration Fund - and a bursary of 7,500 euro to give to the Scouts group in Lifford.

“I’m really pleased that this award raises the profile of the Scouts, it’s recognition for all Scout leaders across Ireland,” he says.

“I would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support right throughout the competition.”

Joe says the bursary will allow the Lifford Scouts to upgrade their equipment - for the first time in 26 years.