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Sean McArdle has been announced as County Armagh Person of the Year at a glitzy ceremony in the Armagh City Hotel at the weekend.

Sean and his 'Skip Car Crew' fundraising team have raised over £500K for charities includin the Southern Area Hospice. Sean was one of twelve finalists in the first year of the award. The finalists were Sue Bloomer and Joanne Hale, Rebecca Boylan, Gillian Gardiner, Peter Haughey, Robert Hunter, Kelly Mallon, Sean McArdle, Bridget Mone, Fr Sean Moore, Laura Nelson, Mervyn Speers and Oisin Traynor.

First year student at St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook, Lily Rose Caherty entertained the crowd on the night with her singing and guitar playing.

Co.Armagh People of the Year Awards Caolan Mone and Eamonn Doyle Armagh City Hotel Armagh. Photograph: LiamMcArdle.com

Sean lives with his wife Teresa in Clady. The father of four has many interests including rallying, football and renewable technologies. Sean and Teresa together had an idea to create a Skip Car which they have successfully used as their mascot vehicle to promote their Fundraising events. Many will recognise the Skip Car for famously leading The Orchard Truck and Tractor Run- indeed it even has its own song!

It has been a huge honour and a privilege for Sean to fundraise for Marie Curie Cancer Care and Southern Area Hospice over the past 10 years. During these 10 years Sean has also had the opportunity to fundraise for The Children’s Heartbeat Trust, Katie Rose’s Journey and The Hugs Charity.

Sean’s fundraising group, a small team of family and friends fondly known to everyone as “The Skip Car Crew” have along with Seán worked hard to create various fundraising events and Sean would like to acknowledge that this achievement would not have been possible without the team and his award is shared with each and every one of them. Together they have all raised over £500,000 for the charities!

Speaking after he was named the winner on Friday night, 26 November, McArdle said "I am extremely proud to be chosen as The Winner of Armagh Person of the Year 2021. I had a fantastic night at the Cordelia’s Foundation Awards Ceremony. And would like to say a massive congratulations to the other 11 finalists. Each and everyone of you are doing fantastic work and it was a privilege to share this special evening with such a wonderful group of people. 

"I would like to say a big thanks to Cordelia’s (Brian and Cordelia) for hosting such a wonderful event the First ever County Armagh Person of the Year it had it all - glitz, glamour, sparkle and splendour!
I feel blessed to have such a wonderful group of family and friends known as the Skip Car Crew who have championed me throughout and without them I certainly could not have achieved this award, and so this is shared with each and every one of you.

Co.Armagh People of the Year Awards Teresa and Sean McArdle Armagh City Hotel Armagh. Photograph: LiamMcArdle.com

McArdle thanked everyone who voted for him and commenting on his fundraising drives he said "I am blessed to have the continued support of my Sponsors and community support which enables the fundraising to take place continually year on year; each and everyone of you have a special part in my award.

"I was delighted to have had my sponsor Adrian McGeown and his wife Clodagh join us to celebrate on the night. And wish to thank them-McGeown Commercials for their sponsorship from the beginning of my fundraising Campaign at Basil Sheils and also to our Tractor Run sponsor S.G Curry for their continued support thank you. Indeed last night we were also joined by our Special Friend Country Music Singing Star Paul Kelly who made the journey from Donegal to be with us. Paul has become an honorary member of Our Skip Car Crew and we thank him for his continued support.

"To my wonderful family who keep me on the right track and spend endless hours helping prepare and deliver all the fundraising events I thank you all. 

"I can’t possibly finish of without a special mention to a founder member of the Skip Car crew who sadly is no longer with us, Anne O’Neill I hope you are celebrating with us in heaven because you also own a part of my award.

"I look forward to continuing our fundraising in 2022, and we can all share the great party atmosphere that has proved so successful at our fantastic host venue Basil Sheils, Tassagh over the past 10 years!
And so, as Armagh Person of the Year 2021 I want to once again say from the bottom of my heart a huge thank you to you all"

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