Category: Archive

Group honors Aran Islands benefactor

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The Friends of St. Nick was founded in 1992 after a group of Norwood residents attended a Friends of St. Patrick’s celebration in a nearby town and then decided to hold a similar event at Christmas to raise funds for cancer victims, this while honoring a local resident for exceptional service to the community.
Donahue is well known throughout the Boston area for his acts of generosity on behalf of needy individuals and deserving organizations. He is the vice president of the New England Employee Benefits Council and has worked in the non-profit health planning and policy field at the regional, state and federal levels.
Donahue was less known for his charitable work in Ireland – that is until Mary Sugrue McAleer of the Irish-American Partnership in Boston addressed the audience at the event, held at Concannon’s Village.
Donahue, whose grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from the island of Inisheer, has been a prime mover behind the enhancement of educational and sports opportunities for students in the primary schools on the Aran Islands.
McAleer praised his efforts in obtaining a grant for library and sports facilities on the islands.
“Charlie and his wife Nancy were moved by the fact that some of the parents would never have seen their sons or daughters play at a club or county level due to the fact that the matches were played on the mainland just over Galway Bay,” she said.
The Donahues were instrumental in funding gaelic games jerseys and equipment for the football and hurling teams on the islands, that’s approximately 110 players on five teams. In addition, they were behind the construction of playing fields and sports facilities.
“Charlie decided to give back to his roots,” McAleer said. “He acknowledges his heritage, and he honors the memory of his grandfather, father and uncle in a very tangible and unassuming way.”
Donahue, who was recently inducted into the Norwood High School Athletic Hall of Fame, is a member of the Boston Leadership Group of the Irish-American Partnership. He has also served as chairman of the board of trustees for the New England Chapter of the Ireland Chamber of Commerce USA.

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