Maurice Healy, chief executive of The Healy Group based in Cooktown Industrial Estate, was named National Philanthropist of the Year by the Community Foundation of Ireland at a ceremony in Dublin yesterday.
Mr Healy set up The Healy Foundation in 2009 to help a number of local support groups, charities and community projects and some of the organisations they have supported are An Cosan in Jobstown, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI), Anam Cara, Haven and Special Olympics Ireland.
He was nominated by Anam Cara which provide support services for bereaved parents and siblings.
Speaking after he received his award, at a luncheon hosted by Marian Finucane, he said:
“I would like people who are giving to stand up and say they are giving.
“Vulgarity does come into it, but we need to encourage people who are not giving and the more examples we have of people giving, the better we feel about it.
“People want to give with certainty.”
Originally from Cork, Mr Healy moved to Dublin in 1971, where he began his professional career working at a haulage company.
He set up the Healy Group, a food ingredients and chemicals distributor with turnover of about €100 million per annum, in 1985.
Mr Healy said the company gives 20 per cent of its profits to the foundation.
The other winners yesterday were Applegreen as Corporate Philanthropist of the Year for generating over €1million in support for a number of children’s charities including Barnardos, ISPCC and Debra.
SAP won International Philanthropist of the Year for their African Coding Week initiative which to date has supported over 400,000 young people in Africa.
Commenting on the award winners, Tina Roche, CEO, The Community Foundation for Ireland stated:
“Within The Community Foundation for Ireland, we believe that a strong trust and foundation sector is an inherent part of a healthy democracy.
“Philanthropy provides an alternative source of funding, which is much needed in Ireland given the traditional over reliance on state funding.
“Philanthropy also provides a form of social engagement – allowing those who have done well in society to give back.
“But perhaps most importantly in these turbulent times, philanthropy is crucial in questioning and challenging the status quo and in supporting marginalised communities and advocacy.
“I congratulate these wonderful winners as we hope they will inspire many more individuals and companies to give strategically and with impact.”