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Stalwart community worker retires after decades of helping others

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Stalwart community worker retires after decades of helping others thumbnailUrsula Gallagher, Strabane Community Project, makes a presentation to Danny O’Hagan who has retired as project manager. A special function was held in St Pat’s Hall last Wednesday in his honour.

WARM tributes have been paid to a stalwart community worker who has retired.

Strabane man, Danny O'Hagan, who has given three decades of unwavering service to Strabane Community Project - which runs out of St Patrick's Hall - has retired as its manager.

A special celebratory event was held in the hall last week to mark Mr O'Hagan's outstanding contribution and selfless dedication to the local community.

As well as members of Mr O'Hagan's family others in attendance included Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Maoliosa McHugh, local parish priest Rev Declan Boland, community representatives and project workers.

At the event many tributes were paid to Mr O'Hagan. Leading those was Rev Boland who described him as "a colossus" who "richly deserved his time of rest and relaxation".

"Without his social awareness, boundless energy, determination and sheer hard graft we would simply not be where we are today. He will be the first to admit that it was a team effort, but every team needs a captain with vision, passion and application to bring success and achievement and he has done that in great measure," he said.

"It all started with humble beginnings in 1987 with an ACE scheme and 15 people. Today 600 dinners a week go out to people who need them. As well as the Luncheon Club and Meals on Wheels we have the Good Morning Project, food bank and fuel stamps, advice, Care and Befriending Services, social events, charity shop Rummage, Grassroots Café, the Handyman Scheme, Citizens Advice, the Social Supermarket and Transport.

"The Community Project is a hub, a partnership, bringing together volunteering opportunities, the unemployed centre, transport partnerships, older people, and Parenting NI."

Rev Boland, who is chair of Strabane Community Project, added: "In all of that marvelous progression and evolution Danny was like a colossus - guiding, strategically planning, thinking ahead, staying ahead of the pack, innovating and reading the signs of the times - always available, always moving, never sitting still.

"It is only fitting that he should now have a well deserved rest. His service to our community far and near is incalculable. The debt we owe him and his team can never be measured.

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