Ray O’Callaghan – The Pride of Marks and Spencer and of Down Syndrome Cork

Ray O’Callaghan, esteemed chairperson of Down Syndrome Cork has had the great honour of being nominated and winning the prestigious employee award ‘The Pride of Marks and Spencer’.


Ray O’Callaghan (right) pictured with

Simon Lucas, Head of Region, Republic of Ireland business, Marks & Spencer.


The awards dinner was held last week in the head offices of Marks and Spencer, London and Ray, with Brenda (also an avid volunteer for DSCork), attended the ceremony.

Ray had received the nomination but was overwhelmed when he was announced winner!


Ray and Brenda O’Callaghan

Ray has given his time unstintingly to Down Syndrome Cork since he became chairperson in 2010.  DSCork has grown beyond recognition from its early days, and particularly since speech and language therapy was introduced 8 years ago.  Fundraising and awareness is always foremost in Ray’s mind – how can things improve for our children from birth up?

This line of thought from Ray extended into his dream which has now become known as the ‘Field of Dreams’ and Ray is actively pursuing funding and support along with a team of parents from DSCork.  The goal?  A unique opportunity for our adults to continue education and to learn the importance of growing, to cooking to selling the produce. From seeds grow great possibilities.

Ray has been with Marks and Spencer for 28 years and his enthusiasm and dedication to his voluntary role has not gone unnoticed by the management of Marks and Spencer.  Marks and Spencer have been a wonderful source of support over the last number of years to local events organised by Down Syndrome Cork.  However, they have really shown how high they regard Ray and how high they regard what Ray is achieving for Down Syndrome Cork in their latest vouch of support.

Marks and Spencer have vouched a substantial amount of money over the next three years in the Field of Dreams and extra marketing support in the project.  This very substantial donation to the Field of Dreams  will hopefully be the foundation in setting the trend for the many corporate donations that are required.  For more information on the Field of Dreams.  http://fieldofdreamscork.ie/  .   For recent press release on above announcement, see below.

Not only have Mark and Spencer vouched a three year investment, but they also gave a further STG£10,000 award incentive to the Field of Dreams at the Pride of Marks and Spencer award celebration.

DSCork Field of Dreams is supported by the Munster Agricultural Society without whom The Field of Dreams would not have such a splendid and accessible site.

Thank you Ray and congratulations on your award which is well deserved and thank you Marks and Spencer from all of the families in Down Syndrome Cork.


Ray with daughter Grace.

Grace is lucky to have two brilliant older brothers, David and Harry.

Further press release information:




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