Special Recognition Awards 2018

Two other Distinguished Awards were presented on the event night - Special Recognition Awards were presented to Liam Fenlon and Padraid Donlon.

Liam Fenelon

Liam Fenlon was born and brought up in Esker, Ballinalee. He attended Ennybegs national school, where he and association life president, Gerry Quinn, were classmates. He’s had a rather varied life, but it as a competitive runner he is widely known.

It was in 1984 that Liam ran his first marathon. Since then he's run over three hundred more and doesn't plan on stopping just yet! Seventeen years ago the first Longford Marathon –and in which he was involved in bringing to his local town - was his 100th marathon. He and the Longford Marathon have been going strong ever since.

Over the past thirty years plus Liam has run close to 100,000 miles and has raised hundreds of thousands for charity, mostly locally based, and travelled all over the world. His goal was to run 300 marathons before he turned 75, a goal he has achieved - and his joints are still in tact!

Liam ran his own television businesses in Longford town,Mullingar and Carrick-on-Shannon for 35 years and before that he worked for Bord na Mona. Now retired (except of course from running!), the business he started off in Longford is still going as the Computer Clinic with his son-in-law, John Sheehan from Cork in charge. Liam lives in Ballymacormack with his wife, Mary, and they have three grown up daughters, Fiona, Sharon and Michelle.

Padraig Donlon

Pádraig Donlon has established himself as one of the greatest pipers in the country at this stage and travels the world playing to massive crowds. He taught himself the pipes having a great ear for music and in fact it was by ear that he learned to play his instruments.

It was through Comhaltas and Fr. Quinn that he began meeting other accomplished traditional musicians – “people that were hugely influential on me”, he says.

Padraig is known and respected the world over and has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows down through the years as well as receiving many awards and accolades. His most recent achievement is that of being honoured with the Ard Ollamh na Fleadh award came as little surprise to those working in the area.

A proud Longford man, he is a native of Lanesboro, now living in Dundalk, Co. Louth with his wife Valerie Leech, an Irish dancing teacher, and the couple’s four children, who are also involved in the music scene – their daughter is an All-Ireland harpist. Padraig’s sisters, Teresa and Nuala are also accomplished musicians and are very involved in Comhaltas; his first cousin, Tim Donlon, is a life president of the Longford association in Dublin.

Photo Credits Eamonn McPartland

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