Cookstown woman named ‘nurse of the year’ at glittering awards

Margaret Donnelly was delighted to receive her award from the BBC's Noel Thompson
Margaret Donnelly was delighted to receive her award from the BBC's Noel Thompson

A Cookstown woman who “put patients ahead of herself” for three decades has been named nurse of the 
year at a glittering awards ceremony.

Margaret Donnelly, who works as a learning disability nurse at Muckamore Abbey Hospital, told the Mail she was both shocked and grateful to have received the NI-wide award.

“A consultant nominated me for going above and beyond,” she said.

“I was shocked... whenever she told me that I was shortlisted I thought that’s fantastic.

Nearly ready to retire after over 30 years helping thousands of patients, Margaret said she started training as a nurse when she was just 17.

She was presented with her award, which was sponsored by Randox Health, by the BBC’s Noel Thompson at an awards ceremony in Dundonald on January 12.

“I have a fair idea I did do an awful lot above and beyond, but I didn’t want to be recognised... that’s just me,” she continued.

“But it’s nice to know at the end of the day that the consultant knows all this.”

Her nomination, which was submitted by consultant psychiatrist at the hospital - Dr Karen E Humphries - speaks of a woman who has “shown incredible dedication” to her role at Muckamore Abbey Hospital for over 20 years.

“She has continually put her patients ahead of her own interests and has shown incredible dedication,” she went on.

“This has included travelling with her patients as they leave the hospital, staying with them in their new home, coming in to work to care for her patients when she was on leave and even caring for their relatives.

“She has undoubtedly exhibited extreme professionalism and care on every occasion.”

Star of the show, Margaret Donnelly was just one of the delighted winners announced at the awards, which recognise those in the private sector and across the NHS.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to recognise the hard work of health professionals across all areas of healthcare – from Pharmacy to Optometry, Dentistry to Nursing, and everything in between,” said Jason Webster from Randox Health.