The lifelong contribution to the Irish co-operative movement by former chairman of Dairygold Co-Operative, Bertie O’Leary, was recognised when he was presented with the Plunkett Award for Co-operative Endeavour.
Mr O’Leary, from Ballymakeera, Macroom, Co Cork, attended the ceremony in Dublin with his wife Joan, sons Sean, Timmy, Bertie Og, Seamus and extended family.
Presenting the award, Irish Co-operative Organisation Society (ICOS) president, Martin Keane, said: “Bertie is widely regarded and known for his passionate and unwavering commitment to Dairygold Co-Operative Society and to the greater co-operative movement in general.
“For almost three decades, Bertie has dedicated his invaluable time, leadership, integrity and vast knowledge to co-operative endeavour, dairy industry development and the success and sustainability of dairy farming. It’s our honour to recognise him and his many years of hard work and dedication by presenting him this prestigious award.”
ICOS represents over 130 co-operatives in Ireland – including the Irish dairy processing co-operatives and livestock marts – whose associated businesses have a combined turnover in the region of €14 billion, with some 150,000 individual members, employing 12,000 people in Ireland, and a further 24,000 people overseas.