Updated: 18/05/18 : 06:24:24
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Sligo Samaritan invited to Buckingham Palace party

Three Samaritans volunteers from Ireland have been invited to Buckingham Palace in recognition of their dedication to the crisis-support charity

Anne Cummins, from Sligo, Teresa Bell from Athlone and Mary McMahon from Dublin will be all glammed up for the 70th birthday of Britains Prince of Wales that takes place just days after the royal wedding.

The trio will bring more than 70 years of volunteering experience to the palace party, which celebrates the work of the charities and organisations that Prince Charles patronises.

They were nominated for providing years of emotional support to those most in need.

Anne Cummins a self-confessed royal watcher since she was a young child has been a volunteer at Sligo Samaritans for 33 years.

She said, Im absolutely thrilled, honoured, surprised, charmed and delighted to be going, but I feel so many more people deserved it more than me.

I have always been a royal watcher. When I was very small I had a royal scrapbook. I have been to Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guards, but I never thought Id be inside it. Its amazing. Its a wonderful opportunity. Im so lucky.

"Im six weeks older than Charles, Im 70 in September as well, so Ill see if weve both weathered the storm the same," Anne added     

Teresa Bell has volunteered in Athlone for 20 years.

She said: I couldnt believe it when I got the call to say I was going it was just wonderful. I was glad I was sitting down. Its fantastic.

Its so important for Prince Charles to understand the work that we are doing. Its a lovely recognition of our work and its so special to be invited to his birthday party especially for volunteers from Ireland.














                        Palace invitees Anne Cummings, Teresa Bell and Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon
became a Samaritans volunteer in Dublin 18 years ago after her friend lost a brother to suicide.

She always said if only he had spoken to somebody and it always stuck with me. A few years later when I had more spare time I joined and Ive loved it.

Cindy OShea, Irish regional director for Samaritans, said all volunteers did an incredible job and ensured the service was available and targeted at the most vulnerable.

Mary McMahon, from the Dublin branch, was nominated for her extreme commitment to the work with Listeners in the Irish prisons, Teresa Bell from the Athlone branch for her ongoing and longstanding commitment to Samaritans at a regional level, and finally Anne Cummins for her dedication and longstanding work at branch level in Sligo.


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