Mary McNulty Community Hero December 2015

MAry McNulty Finn Valley Centre Community Hero

Mary McNulty with her husband Don

Mary McNulty formerly Mary McDaid from Drumkeen moved to the Twin Towns area after her marriage to Don 1975 who was originally from Castlefin.

Mary was working in Mulrines Draper Shop and on the advice of the late Francis Mulrine Mary and Don decided to locate to Woodlawn where they have lived ever since. They have a family of three, Tracy who lives in New York, Edel in Dublin and Adrian who resides in Australia. They have one grandchild in Dublin, who will be1 year old this January.

Mary gave up her work during her pregnancy with her first child in 1977 and after giving birth she began part-time work in the Ballybofey & Stranorlar Livestock Mart in 1978 where she worked for 22 years working long days and nights when she decided to retire in 2000. In 2001 she worked in the Donegal County Childcare office for six months and eventually began work in the Dergfinn Office in October 2001 where she remained until it closed 2008.

Since the closure of the Dergfinn project Mary now devotes her time exclusively to her family and her local community where she is and has been involved in several groups. These include the Women’s Group and volunteering in the Friday Club. She has performed many roles for these groups including treasurer and chairperson for the women’s group. Currently she is busy with the local conference of St. Vincent De Paul which she joined in 2003.

Mary pictured with her family

Mary pictured with her family

Her present role in St. Vincent De Paul is that of President for the past five years and acting treasurer. The St. Vincent De Paul organisation performs a very important function in communities all over the country particularly at this time of year where many families’ are needing help with Christmas, looming bills to be paid and children’s toys to be sorted. The local conference also provide help with education costs for families in need and support them at whatever stage the help is required which may mean from national school upwards to third level.

Presently Mary and the other conference members are involved in identifying families requiring help and making contact with them to give suitable support. The local conference then provide these families with vouchers which can be redeemed in five shops in the town for items such as food and fuel.

Fundraising for the conference is difficult with so many needy groups doing great work. To this end the conference recently held a quiz in the B & S Golf Club and the regular Church Gate collections enable them to do what they can for families requiring help in the community. As the conference is small in numbers, twelve members in total

St. Vincent De Paul conference

The local St. Vincent De Paul Conference committee and volunteers pictured at Jack Hannigan’s 100th birthday

with ten auxiliary members who collect at the church gate, it is difficult to organise toy collections therefore they concentrate on food collections in local shops. Mary states that people are very good at this time of year and many give donations which are crucial to the conferences continued work.

For those who wish to donate to the food collections there will be collection points in Kavanagh’s Supervalu and Aldi stores in the Twin Towns area. Mary would like to appeal on behalf of the local conference for new members who are always needed to take on various roles such as church gate collection teams, and those who are likeminded who would like to give back to their community.


As acting treasurer Mary uses her many years of experience in bookkeeping to help the conference and states that locally they have spent €37,967 in 2014 helping local families who required help and last Christmas the volunteers visited 115 homes in the community giving vouchers as well as help and support. This is a confidential service that is available to all who live in the community who require help regardless of race, religion or ethnic background.

Families requiring help can contact the local group on their mobile 087/9955351.

Society of St. Vincent De Paul

Society of St. Vincent De Paul

It is only through the fundraising and donations received and by the good work of those who give their time to help out that the conference can do their work. Mary states that her work and that of the local St. Vincent De Paul conference is totally dependent on people’s generosity and they are indebted to all who have supported their work in the past and present and they appreciate every means of help they have been given over the years.

At this time of year many young families in this locality, particularly those with young children are struggling to meet increasing financial demands and it is those families who depend on people like Mary who give of their time and their talents who perform a caring and supportive role in society. We at the Finn Valley Centre are delighted to have Mary as our Community Hero for December and indeed to highlight the work of all members of the local St. Vincent De Paul Conference who provide this crucial service in this community year round.

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