Tributes were paid to Councillor Blackie Gavin, Cathaoirleach of
Mayo County Council, at a function in Castlebar Celtic clubhouse at
Cllr Gavin was presented with the Dr. John Kennedy , CBE, Irish
Diaspora International Award in recognition of his 25 years service to
the cause of the Diaspora.
The award was presented in person by Dr. Kennedy, who had flown in
from the UK , and who said it was an “ honour " to
formally recognise all that Blackie Gavin has done for the emigrant
Host for the evening was Kevin Bourke, who recalled that, twenty five
years ago, he had first mentioned to Blackie Gavin his plans for
reaching out to Irish emigrants, especially those who had fallen on
The response, he said, was that Blackie would run the marathon in
Dublin , where he raised the then substantial fund of € 5000 for the
emigrant liaison project.
Referring to the Cathaoirleach as a firm friend of diaspora down
through the years, he said that Cllr, Gavin had never failed to support their efforts whenever help was needed.