Special reception for Strabane ladies who have helped spread community cheer throughout the pandemic

A MAYORAL reception has been held in honour of five Strabane ladies who are the embodiment of community spirit.

Alderman Graham Warke, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, hosted the special event at the Guildhall last Thursday night for sisters Sinead and Mary Dermott, Ann-Marie McColgan, their cousin Mary Patton and friend, Hayley Devine.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular quintet have been spreading some much-needed cheer across Strabane town.

Widely-regarded for their community spirit, they do it all in the hope of bringing smiles to the faces to local people - and there has been plenty of smiles thanks to their efforts.

Not only have they helped organise a series of community events from street bingo events to fun days, but their efforts culminated in a hugely successful Christmas Market Village last November.

The festive event at Croaghan View, Melmount Road, proved to a memorable highlight of the town's festive programme with over 1,000 people estimated to have enjoyed the family orientated day.

It was the first-ever event held of its kind in the area with plans to now make it happen annually.

Mayor Warke said: "I was really pleased to welcome Sinead McDermott, Mary McDermott, Hayley Devine, Anne-Marie McColgan and Mary Patton to a Mayor's reception to recognise the fantastic community work they have carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Well done to them all."

Strabane SDLP councillor, Jason Barr, who proposed the reception said it was deserved recognition for the ladies who given so much to the Strabane community during the pandemic.

"Since the start of lockdown these five ladies have organised various events throughout the town to bring and spread a lot of much-needed cheer during the restrictions,2 he commented.

"I'm honoured that after making a request to the Mayor, to recognise these amazing women he held a Mayor's reception on January 20 in the Guildhall.

"I’m sure you’ll all agree they deserve this for all their work over the years.

"From community bingos, fair days and to many other community events, they went above and beyond to bring so much joy when it was needed to the place they call home.

"All five have said they don’t need or want the recognition because their recognition was when they seen the smiles on the peoples faces, but I feel it’s much deserved.

"Strabane and the wider area thank-you and this is just a small token of appreciation for all you have done."

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