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Humanitarian of the Year award for the late Micheál ‘Mick’ Ryan

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Clare’s Micheál (Mick) Ryan has been posthumously named the Humanitarian of the Year by the Irish Red Cross.

At Tuesday’s virtual Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Awards, Mick was named as Humanitarian of the Year. His wife, Naoise Connolly Ryan accepted the award on his behalf.

Mick was one of 157 passengers who died tragically in a plane crash in Ethiopia last year. As reported by The Clare Echo this month, his family are continuing to obtain answers from Boeing to determine how the aircraft was deemed safe to fly.

A native of Lahinch, he dedicated his life to humanitarian work overseas. Mick worked tirelessly to ensure that vulnerable people in remote parts of the world had access to food and were protected from flooding and other disasters.

Speaking at the ceremony, Naoise said, “This award means so much to us and my only regret is that Mick isn’t here to accept it himself, I know he would be so humbled by it. To me it’s recognition of the person that he was, he was a humanitarian in every sense of the word”.

Naoise Connolly Ryan.

She added, “Mick believed that engineering was about people and people were at the heart of everything that he did. From the time we met at college he really believed he could make a difference in the world and he had the skills and talent to make that happen. But really, the reason that Mick was able to achieve all that he did was because he was intuitive about people, he was able to motivate them and have them share his enthusiasm and he did it all with such fun and laughter.

“He had a cheeky sense of humour and he was the kindest person you could meet and I know he would be blown away by this award and probably a little bit embarrassed too because he never liked to be the centre of attention”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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