Host for the evening was Ms Doyle’s former colleague, RTÉ newscaster Eileen Dunne, with eight awards being presented to people who have made a significant contribution to local communities in Wexford across a range of fields, from humanitarian and charitable causes to entrepreneurial initiatives. The overall award was presented to the Bannow Rathangan Show Committee for their success in hosting their annual agricultural show for over 60 years. Anne Doyle received the Communications Award for her outstanding contribution to broadcasting.
On receiving her award, Ms Doyle said, “I am a proud Wexford woman and to me it will always be home. To be recognised by my own county is a real honour and I really am humbled by this award when I see the fantastic achievements by the other award winners. It is people like these, who have a ‘can-do’ attitude to better their communities all over the county, that make me so proud of being from Wexford.”
Anne Doyle is best known for her illustrious career as a newscaster with RTÉ. She read her first news bulletin on Christmas Day 1978 and, after 33 years, Anne, fittingly made her final broadcast for RTÉ news on Christmas Day 2011.
Anne grew up in Ferns with her parents John and Elizabeth Doyle, the youngest child in a family of five brothers and one sisters. After her education at the Loreto Convent, Gorey, Anne went on to third level education at University College Dublin, where she achieved a BA in English and History and a post-graduate diploma in education. Following her university education she pursued her interest in books and literature and became a librarian. Later she would join Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs as an Executive Officer in the consular service.
Throughout her career Anne has received numerous accolades including the TV Now News Presenter of the Year award, not just once, but for three consecutive years as well as multiple VIP style awards. Anne has made commendable use of her high media profile to lend her support to countless charities, including Rehab, Build for Bosnia and Down Syndrome Ireland. Anne is also known for her support of Wexford’s GAA teams and has been regularly spotted outside Croke Park on sporting occasions. Over the years, Anne has become something of a cultural icon, gracing our television screens on an almost daily basis for decades. Her iconic status was perhaps made most manifest when RTÉ, marking its 50th anniversary in 2011, made Anne Doyle the first Wexford person to appear on a postage stamp during her lifetime.
Speaking at the awards ceremony Hugh Maddock, Rehab fundraiser, said, “These awards recognise the endeavors of both individuals and groups who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to make a real difference in their local communities. Their tireless devotion to their chosen causes has not only changed lives but has enriched the areas where they live and work. The Wexford People of the Year Awards give us the opportunity to say a well deserved ‘thank you’ to these people.”
In Wexford, Rehab provides services for 94 people with disabilities throughout the county in its RehabCare facility in Whitemills Industrial Estate, Wexford Town and in the National Learning Network centre in Faythe.