Local councillor William Lavelle (FG) congratulates local man Joe Byrne, and his wife, Margaret, on being named Volunteer of the Year

A LOCAL volunteer has said that being named   Volunteer of the Year was a “great surprise”.
Joe Byrne, who volunteers with Liffey Sound 96.4fm, the Liffey Valley Park Alliance, Lucan Planning Council and Lucan Sarsfields GAA, was honoured at the Local Authorities Members’ Association (LAMA) awards last Saturday at a gala event held at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Northwood.
Joe originally hails from Dunmore, Co Galway, and lives with his wife, Margaret, and family in Lucan’s Beech Park.
Having lived in the area since 1975, Joe has dedicated countless hours to various local causes, and says that the award caught him off guard.
“It was a great surprise. I was told by Councillor William Lavelle (FG) that I had been nominated in November, and sort of forgot about it, then.
“He came back to me in December and told me I had been shortlisted, but I still didn’t think I would win. I am chuffed!”
Asked how he keeps up with his voluntary commitments, Joe admits that it requires some attention, but also passion.
“Well, it’s a bit of juggling. But a lot of [my commitments] don’t clash, so I’m able to manage.”
The key to maintaining this level of volunteerism is simple, says Joe. “The particular things I’m involved  with interest me, and I’m only interested in things that mean something to me.”
Having been involved with Lucan Sarsfields for many years, helping the Lucan Planning Council protect the likes of St Edmundsbury, and being a founder member of the Liffey Valley Park Alliance, Joe continues to work with all of them, as well as his work at Liffey Sound FM, where he is vice-chairman.
“I have made great friendships in all of the organisations. And if we can make small improvements in the area, that gives me great satisfaction.”