New award honours Martin McCrossan

The Mayor, Elisha McCallion, pictured at the Guildhall for the launch of the Derry Journal People of the Year Awards 2015 with Johnston Press representatives and sponsors of this year's event. From left are Neil Devlin, Manager, Everglades Hotel, Marian Harkin, Advertising Manager, Derry Journal, Donall Henderson, CEO, Foyle Hospice, William Allen, JP Group Editor, NW/Mid-Ulster, Warren Butcher, MD, JP North-West, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man, Ashley Highfield, Chief Executive, Johnston Press, Adrian Boyd, Foyle Search and Rescue, Caroline Corr, Calor Direct, Declan Moore, Operations Director, Progressive Building Society, and Ian Clarke, Advertising Director, JP Northern Ireland. DER1615MC074

The Mayor, Elisha McCallion, pictured at the Guildhall for the launch of the Derry Journal People of the Year Awards 2015 with Johnston Press representatives and sponsors of this year's event. From left are Neil Devlin, Manager, Everglades Hotel, Marian Harkin, Advertising Manager, Derry Journal, Donall Henderson, CEO, Foyle Hospice, William Allen, JP Group Editor, NW/Mid-Ulster, Warren Butcher, MD, JP North-West, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man, Ashley Highfield, Chief Executive, Johnston Press, Adrian Boyd, Foyle Search and Rescue, Caroline Corr, Calor Direct, Declan Moore, Operations Director, Progressive Building Society, and Ian Clarke, Advertising Director, JP Northern Ireland. DER1615MC074

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The 2015 Derry Journal People of the Year Awards, in association with Progressive Building Society, have been formally launched.

Last year, the awards proved to be one of the highlights of the city’s social calendar, and the sold-out ceremony held at the Everglades Hotel was widely regarded as one of the best events of its kind to be held in the North West.

The 2015 Derry People Of the Year Awards will again recognise the contribution, commitment, and achievements of a wide range of people in the Derry area.

And this year, there will be a new category, in honour of the late Martin McCrossan.

The launch was attended by Ashley Highfield, the CEO of Johnston Press - owners of the Derry Journal - who visited the city to speak to staff and to meet leading representatives of sectors such as churches, business, politics, education, and community and voluntary.

Speaking at the launch, hosted by the Mayor, Elisha McCallion, in the Guildhall, Johnston Press Group Editor, William Allen, said: “Last year when we launched the inaugural Derry Journal People of the Year awards, I paid tribute to local businessman Martin McCrossan whose vision led to the first People of the Year Awards taking place many years ago. It was his mantle that the Derry Journal took up, and he attended the launch and the awards ceremony to show that we had his full blessing to carry on the great work that he had begun.

“Little did we know then that this symbolic handover would take on even greater poignancy.”

The new Martin McCrossan Tourism and Hospitality Champion of the Year award will recognise someone who, through their activities, has demonstrated outstanding achievement in championing the cause of tourism and hospitality, through innovation, promotion, campaigning or outstanding service. The awards recognise not only people with a public profile but also the unsung heroes within the community.

Declan Moore, speaking on behalf of Progressive Building Society, said the company was delighted to continue as corporate sponsor, adding that it wanted to help highlight and recognise the great efforts of so many people who deserve wider recognition for their achievements.

Details on how to enter will be published in the coming weeks.