International Award Winner
National Chairman wins International Award
(l-r) Allen O’Connor was presented with MSIF’s 2011 James D. Wolfensohn Award for International Person with MS by Peer Baneke of MSIF
MS Ireland is delighted to announce that Chairman Allen O'Connor has been declared the 2011 winner of the James D Wolfensohn Award for International Person with MS. The award, presented by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF), recognises the valuable contribution people with MS make to the worldwide fight against MS.
Allen has been active at a local, national and international front, continuously advocating for the rights of people with disabilities and people with MS. In his time he has been involved in many Irish organizations such as the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities and the Disabled Drivers Association. He has also held posts in the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform (EMSP) and MSIF.
It was in 1993 that Allen first became involved with MS Ireland, first as a local branch treasurer, followed by National Treasurer. He became a Director in 1999 and was elected Chairman in 2002. He is currently Chairman of the organisation. This is indeed his second term as Chairman.
Allen says he is humbled to have received the award,
"I am truly honoured to win the award. There are so many of us who try to make the voice of people with MS heard in their own countries and abroad. I believe passionately that people with MS can live positive, fruitful lives with the correct support. I hope I have play a part in ensuring that support is there for people with MS and their families.”
Allen lives in Cork with his wife June. They have two adult children, Gayle and Shane. He became a grandfather in 2010. He is a retired bank manager. Allen was diagnosed with MS in 1985 after a number of personal tragedies.
The Wolfensohn Award is a biennial award made by MSIF to recognise the valuable contribution people with MS make to the worldwide fight against the disease. The award is named after James D. Wolfensohn, former President of MSIF.
Peer Baneke, MSIF Chief Executive, said, “So many people with MS drive the worldwide fight against the disease. The Wolfensohn Award exists to shine a light on them. All the nominees this year showed remarkable qualities, but Allen stood out because of his tireless campaigning for people with disabilities, both in Ireland and internationally, and his leadership of MS organisations".
Read more about Allen and his achievements