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Everyday Heroes

A Celebration of Volunteering in Ireland

Author(s): Fiona Murdoch

ISBN13: 9781853908309

ISBN10: 1853908304

Publisher: Veritas

Extent: 198 pages

Binding: Paperback

Size: 23.8 x 15.4 x 1.2 cm

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  • Question: What do TV presenters Mary Kennedy and Duncan Stewart have in common with comedian Des Bishop and the late King of the Roads Joey Dunlop?

    Answer: They have all devoted time and energy to helping people less fortunate than themselves.
    Their stories appear in Everyday Heroes alongside those of many other volunteers in Ireland today. Some, like Adi Roche, are high profile while others are less well known, but they all share one characteristic , a sheer determination to make a difference. None of the contributors thinks of themselves as heroic and yet their remarkable stories deserve to be heard.

     

    What makes two young people abandon high-flying careers for voluntary work? Why does a midlands couple choose to spend their spare time helping the homeless and wheelchair users and befriending Travellers? Why did Jonathan Irwin and Mary-Ann OBrien set up the Jack and Jill Childrens Foundation? What made Richard Donovan and Mark Pollock run marathons all over the globe to fundraise for charity? And why does Margaret McKinney, whose son disappeared thanks to the IRA, go out of her way to comfort people bereaved and traumatised in Northern Ireland?

    While society may appear increasingly interested in a selfish, competitive pursuit of materialism, it is also true that a third of the Irish population does some kind of voluntary work. Everyday Heroes celebrates this fact.

  • Fiona Murdoch



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    Fiona Murdoch has interviewed a cross-section of Irish men and women who spend much of their lives on voluntary work. Some of those included in this "Celebration of Volunteering in Ireland" are very high-profile, among them Adi Roche of the Chernobyl Children s Project and the late Joey Dunlop, who made a number of journeys to Eastern Europe taking trailer loads of items for children in orphanages. However Ms Murdoch also celebrates those who work tirelessly but whose work is often not acknowledged. Enda Farrell and Patricia Higgins both entered the world of voluntary work through the Jesuit-founded Sli Eile Volunteer Communities and have gone on to work full-time in the voluntary sector. The volunteers have been prompted by differing motives; for some it was the example given by their parents, and Adi Roche and broadcaster Mary Kennedy fall into this category. Others were prompted by their faith to dedicate some part of their lives to others, while two women, Mags Riordan and Margaret McKinney, were spurred to help others through losing their sons in tragic circumstances. There is a universal expression of gratitude by those included in the book, gratitude for being given the opportunity to help others and a firm belief that they have taken from the experience more than they have given to those whom they are helping.

    - Book View Ireland, December 2004

    Ireland could not operate as a proper society without the volunteers who give their time in an endless list of charities. A third of Irish people, Fiona Murdoch tells us, carry out some voluntary work. In acknowledging that the majority receive little appreciation, she casts a spotlight on some of the unknowns as well as on a few familiar names, including Adi Roche and Mary Kennedy. What motivates such people? That s what this book sets out to examine. The author knows that to sell a book like this, she must focus on the most interesting stories. There has to be an angle that compels us to continue reading. So, she searches for the point of time that people she interviewed reached in their lives where they longed for an opportunity to make the world, or a part of it, a better place to live in. After putting down this book readers are likely to ask questions about what they are doing with their own lives. If they feel the urge, and have the time, to make a difference, they will have encountered here an array of organisations that would welcome their participation or support. Some may be inspired to start a programme unique to a situation they ve discovered themselves...

    - Books Ireland, May 2005

    This book is intended by its journalist author for an adult audience. But I think it will also appeal to the idealism of many teenagers. Young people today have strange ideas about heroes: it is hard to see anything really heroic in the sports stars who take drugs or singers who exploit the youth market. The heroes of this book are ordinary people who have decided they will try and make a difference to us all. They include people like Adi Roche, Des Bishop, Geraldine Toner and Christine Riordan. Their stories are truly remarkable and encouraging, emphasising the value of the volunteer.

    - The Irish Catholic, December 2004


  • Fiona Murdoch has interviewed a cross-section of Irish men and women who spend much of their lives on voluntary work. Some of those included in this "Celebration of Volunteering in Ireland" are very high-profile, among them Adi Roche of the Chernobyl Children s Project and the late Joey Dunlop, who made a number of journeys to Eastern Europe taking trailer loads of items for children in orphanages. However Ms Murdoch also celebrates those who work tirelessly but whose work is often not acknowledged. Enda Farrell and Patricia Higgins both entered the world of voluntary work through the Jesuit-founded Sli Eile Volunteer Communities and have gone on to work full-time in the voluntary sector. The volunteers have been prompted by differing motives; for some it was the example given by their parents, and Adi Roche and broadcaster Mary Kennedy fall into this category. Others were prompted by their faith to dedicate some part of their lives to others, while two women, Mags Riordan and Margaret McKinney, were spurred to help others through losing their sons in tragic circumstances. There is a universal expression of gratitude by those included in the book, gratitude for being given the opportunity to help others and a firm belief that they have taken from the experience more than they have given to those whom they are helping. Book View Ireland, December 2004

    Ireland could not operate as a proper society without the volunteers who give their time in an endless list of charities. A third of Irish people, Fiona Murdoch tells us, carry out some voluntary work. In acknowledging that the majority receive little appreciation, she casts a spotlight on some of the unknowns as well as on a few familiar names, including Adi Roche and Mary Kennedy. What motivates such people? That s what this book sets out to examine. The author knows that to sell a book like this, she must focus on the most interesting stories. There has to be an angle that compels us to continue reading. So, she searches for the point of time that people she interviewed reached in their lives where they longed for an opportunity to make the world, or a part of it, a better place to live in. After putting down this book readers are likely to ask questions about what they are doing with their own lives. If they feel the urge, and have the time, to make a difference, they will have encountered here an array of organisations that would welcome their participation or support. Some may be inspired to start a programme unique to a situation they ve discovered themselves... Books Ireland, May 2005

    This book is intended by its journalist author for an adult audience. But I think it will also appeal to the idealism of many teenagers. Young people today have strange ideas about heroes: it is hard to see anything really heroic in the sports stars who take drugs or singers who exploit the youth market. The heroes of this book are ordinary people who have decided they will try and make a difference to us all. They include people like Adi Roche, Des Bishop, Geraldine Toner and Christine Riordan. Their stories are truly remarkable and encouraging, emphasising the value of the volunteer.

    - The Irish Catholic, December 2004
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Everyday Heroes