Fresh from Katie Taylor’s Olympic triumph, this week one of north Longford’s most instantly recognisable figures is hoping to continue that trend by becoming the country’s first ever community champion.
Dromard man Peter Masterson is one of several nominees from up and down the country selected to take part in the inaugural Calor Community Champion competition.
And with the added bonus of a €7,500 bursary for the winner’s designated charity together with €1,500 also being thrown in, it’s a prospect which isn’t lost on the likeable community activist.
“I was flabberghasted to be honest,” said a clearly taken aback Peter. “It’s a great privilege to be representing your county and for that I am extremely grateful.”
A prominent fixture behind the workings of community organisation Acorn for the past six years, Peter now finds himself on the staff roster at Longford Community Resources Ltd following its merging last year under the Local Community and Development Programme.
Still keen nonetheless to emphasise his deep attachment to Acorn, Peter’s appetite for volunteering is well documented.
Involved in local community life in his beloved Dromard for the best part of three decades, the former Moyne Community School student is a selfless individual.
A key protoganist behind the introduction of underage GAA structures locally, he and the late John James McCabe trained the first Dromard ladies football side in 1978.
Sporting involvement aside, Peter is perhaps better known for his almost insatiable desire to improve the prospects and day to day experiences of those around him.
From organising parish concerts to heading up a string of locally based events typified by the annual Wild West Festival in Arva, there isn’t much this obliging volunteer hasn’t achieved.
More recently, Peter has occupied a leading role in the successful introduction of the Gardai’s community text alert initiative, culiminating in its extension to almost 3,000 households across the region.
It’s an invention which has seen Peter deliver talks on the subject to other communities in Longford and further afield, including counties Cavan, Roscommon and Leitrim.
“It’s made the Gardai answerable to the public for the first time ever, so much so that you have people sending in text messages and asking questions like ‘what happened that black Audi?’ It’s a win, win for everybody.”
Bray may have Katie Taylor, but Longford looks to have found its very own champion, a flag bearer who illustrates all that is good about community life.
The Calor Community Champion 2012 will be announced on September 4. To get behind Peter’s campaign, simply log on to www.facebook.com/calorireland before August 20 and cast your vote.