We are delighted to announce that Teresa O’Reilly, from Bailieborough, County Cavan, has been selected as this year’s winner of the President’s Merit Award. This award is designed to recognise the unsung heroes and heroines of Irish bridge – the people who do all the hard work behind the scenes without which bridge clubs and competitions could not function, but without ever seeking official status or other recognition for themselves.
Teresa is a great example of this selflessness. She was involved in setting up Bailieborough Bridge Club more than forty years ago, and ever since then she has been an enthusiastic advocate of bridge in the area, teaching beginner and improver classes all over Cavan, generally without any payment. The many nominations she received mentioned her tireless work, and also her patience, enthusiasm, and generosity; Aileen Timoney, who knows a LOT of bridge players, commented that she couldn’t think of anyone who “had put such love and devotion into bridge” or deserved the award more.
There were, as ever, several deserving candidates nominated for the Award this year, but there can only be one winner, and President Pat O’Mahony was convinced that it should be Teresa. He travelled to Cavan to present her with the award as part of the IBU Seniors Congress; our thanks to Aileen Timoney for organising that presentation, which many of Teresa’s friends and club-mates were able to attend. Teresa is pictured below with Councillor John Paul Feeney, Chairman of Cavan County Council, and Pat O’Mahony, President, CBAI. We understand that a lovely evening was had by all, and the celebration also made the Anglo-Celt newspaper (attached). Many congratulations to Teresa on her well-deserved award!