My first encountered with AJ was a few years prior at a Madra Mania event. AJ and his friend Emer Murphy came to admire my standard poodle Reeva. I believe both were familiar with Christina O' Brien, my poodles breeder. AJs quick smile and chatty personality made him instantly easy company. He was also an immediate hit with my 2 poodles.
Following this introduction I would later meet Aj at other canine events such as shows and grooming seminars. He would always have words of encouragement or offers of help and quite often he would left holding someone's dog whom he would talk to as if it were his own. I also believe Aj was one of the main instigators of acquiring our "Galway Groomers" what's app group. Somewhere Galway groomers can go ask for help or info on dogs or clients. I for one love the idea of groomers locally based helping and aiding each other in our ever changing profession.
It would be in late November this year where I believe AJ truly manifested the Spirt of Mary Toland. My dad had been unwell and had to spend some time in hospital where he would later under go a procedure for stents. My dad has never bn unwell and It was a worrying time for my sisters and I.
During a brief message to Aj regarding something else I would confide in him my dad's condition and how I was finding it extremely daunting and difficult to keep my grooming appointments. ( my sister and I were covering my father's driving job and I also work part time in a pharmacy) I believe it is routine of AJ to take the last week of November off work so he has adequate rest in the run up to the Christmas period. Upon hearing about my predicament AJ offered to come to my salon, which is over an hour from his home and groom my clients dogs to help me out. I was so touched at this gesture. Being self employed we are all way to familiar with how sacred our holidays are and here AJ was offering up his cherished time off to help me out.
Further to this offering I was later to hear of another kind gesture from AJ this time to one of his clients and a friend of mine. This lady owned a v charismatic boxer who was getting on a bit and to our heart break had a untreatable tumour of size growning in his heart. Although still hail and hearty he was able to attend AJ for his regular grooms. Prior to one of his grooms his owner Informed Aj that she may not be able to bring him and her Chinese crested for their up coming grooming appointments citing financial strain due to increased medical cost in treating her beloved boy. AJ told her not to worry about paying him in this instance and groomed her dogs free of charge, again this single gesture at a time of need touched deep and my friend was to remember such kindness with fondness
AJ is always v encouraging and active on social media when groomers have asked for advice or opinions. His true love of dog grooming and all things canine are plain to be seen in all that his does. I dont think any of us have ever experienced an awkward silence while in conversation with Aj or even just a silence 🤣 and he has an unique way of inspiring, encouraging and aiding fellow groomers. I believe he truly embodies the spirit of Mary Toland. ❤
Kate Mc Namara
We are thrilled to announce Felicity Kirwan as very deserving winner of our prestigious Spirit of Mary Toland Award 2020
“Felicity is such a lovely genuine person.
She always has her finger on the pulse of the Association and frequently checks in with those that she senses are in need of some support. She does this quietly and discreetly, often it is only when the person emerges from their struggle that they will mention how Felicity supported them.
She is such a humble person she doesn't rate her contribution to the grooming world as anything much. Yet the care and attention she gives her little 4 legged customers is amazing both cosmetically and mentally. Her 2 legged clients are mad about her and rightly so.
When anyone does anything nice for her she is overwhelmed and feels completely undeserving. Felicity is constantly giving of herself and very rarely asks for help even though there are times she could very well do with just a shoulder to lean on for a bit. She is a super person very deserving of this award just to remind her that we think she is great and we have her back if she needs us”
Nominations are open but will be closing soon for our
2020 "Spirit of Mary Toland Award"
To learn more about our most prestigious award and nominate an IPDGA member - Click Here
The Spirt of Mary Toland
Nominations are coming in at a steady pace for the Spirit of Mary Toland award. Has some one really gone out there, inspired you to do your best and is always there when you need them? Why not acknowledge their effort and nominate them for The Spirit of Mary Toland award.
The direct link is here
The winner will be announced during the prize giving on Saturday
As announced at IPDGA Alison and Christies Groom Pro Seminars we would like to introduce our new award for our members. You can now nominate someone to receive this award by visiting the page on our website under about tab or click on this picture.
Many thanks to Member Lorraine for a fabulous image and Mark for help with the graphic layout.
If you have not already heard about this award here is a lovely introduction from our Acting Chairperson Karina Kerrigan
Introducing our Spirit of Mary Toland Award
In June 1996 our one and only grooming supplies shop in Ireland – Allied Veterinary Products – decided that they would hold a grooming workshop. This was the first of its kind in Ireland outside of a breed club.
Pat Kavanagh at AVP saw the rise in demand for the few bits of equipment that they carried and decided to put together something to pull all these groomers to a seminar. Us oldies appreciate the suppliers we have now – you had a choice then of an oster a5 or aesculap (mad money) and blades were restricted to 10,7,5,4 skip for oster. Aescaulap had a wider range of blades but they were pricey. Basic 6” roseline and double sided thinners and the 160 all breed book – their catalogue fitted on a postcard!!
Diane North and Joanne Angus were invited over to run the workshop (click on green text below)
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