The outstanding lifelong contribution to the Irish co-operative movement by Michael Parsons (the former Chairman and a current director of Kilkenny Co-operative Mart and a former director of Glanbia Co-operative) has been recognised nationally with the co-operative industry’s highest national honour - The Plunkett Award for Co-operative Endeavour.
Presenting the award, ICOS (Irish Co-operative Organisation Society) President Michael Spellman said: “In an extraordinary, exemplary and lifelong commitment to co-operative enterprise, Michael Parsons has made an enormous contribution to the success of Irish farming and our agrifood industry. He has demonstrated leadership, courage and a dynamic ability to motivate people around the shared ambition of co-operation as a driving influence for rural, regional and national economic growth and development.”
Michael Parsons was elected to the committee of Kilkenny Co-operative Livestock Mart in 1992. He was elected Vice-Chairman in 1998 and Chairman in 2002 where served with distinction until his retirement from this role in 2017 and he remains on the Board. He has been a member of the ICOS Marts Committee since 2003 to date.
He was a Board member of Glanbia Co-operative from 2000 – 2009, prior to which he served as a Glanbia local committee member from 1975 – 2015. He was also instrumental in driving the development of the €20m new Kilkenny Mart at Cillin Hill on the city outskirts of Kilkenny.
The Plunkett Award is the premier honorary award made by ICOS annually. Chosen from a shortlist of distinguished nominees, it is presented to just one individual each year who is regarded as having made an outstanding lifelong contribution to the co-operative movement in Ireland.