2006 Winners




Results were announced today for the 2006 Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Awards, a national award programme which invited pet owners and members of the public to write nominations and stories about the work of their veterinary services.   This is the 7th consecutive year of the national competition, organised by Pfizer Animal Health in association with Hill’s Pet Nutrition and the Irish Veterinary Journal.  The top national award winners for 2006 are:


  • The Overall winners of the 2006 Stronghold Veterinary Pet Care Awards are:

Southview Veterinary Clinic, Irishtown, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary


  • Hill’s Pet Nutrition National Stronghold Award for Top Veterinary Nurse is awarded to:

Lisa O’Donovan, Abbeville Veterinary Hospital, Togher, Cork


  • The Stronghold National Category Award for Top Individual Vet is awarded to:

Eamonn Moore, Blackrock Veterinary Surgery, Proby Square, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin


  • This year a Special Stronghold Judge’s Award for Contribution to Animal Welfare was also presented to vet P.J. O’Driscoll from Summerhill Veterinary Centre, Market Street, Ennis, Co Clare



Alan Ahearne and Sarah Mitchell, veterinary partners at Southview Veterinary Clinic, received the Stronghold Perpetual Trophy and a prize valued at €2,000 at an awards ceremony in Castleknock in Dublin today (Sunday 26th November 2006).    The award was received on behalf of the Southview team, including colleagues James Gibbons, Jane English, Brenda Kelly, Kevin Meaney, Teresa O’Brien, Marie O’Connor and

Sarah Weissenbach.


The Clonmel based winners received a number of nominations from members of the public for the awards.  One described how a team member became a surrogate mother to four abandoned puppies.   She bottle feed the puppies every two hours, suffering many sleepness nights, but was still her usual pleasant self by day.  As the puppies got older, she began the tedious task of finding good, loving homes for the puppies.


In another nomination, “Chevy’s” owner brought him to the vet thinking he had an upset tummy.  However the vet at Southview felt it was more serious and did some tests, which unfortunately showed a tumour. Chevy had surgery next day, but the cancer was rampant and Chevy had to be put to sleep.  Both the pet owner and her husband were devastated, but were reassured and compassionately supported by the Southview team.


There is the story of Garbo – whose owner assumes must have been hit by a car – who walked into the kitchen on a badly broken leg.  Of course it was after surgery hours.  The leg had to be amputated but Garbo has made a full recovery and is getting about very well – and catching plenty of mice – on three legs.


One different nomination for Southview was selected by the judge’s as representative and was from the owner of pets Blackie and Zakariah.      In April Blackie got really sick and her owner wrote:  …I thought that this would be the last time I would see my Blackie and was worried sick.  I went to work as normal but couldn’t get much work done that day….    We were informed and involved in every step of the way with Blackie’s illness and recovery.  Alan and his team really care about animals…We were allowed access to Blackie while recovering from her operation.  This was very important to us and Blackie.  For Blackie it meant that she was not going to be abandoned again….”


Blackie had bladder stones and the operation was a complete success.  Her owners describe the veterinary team in question as “amazing” saying that they have “great empathy with animals and their owners”.   The team are commended for spending quality time with both and for taking time to explain treatment every step of the way.  The vets were available 24/ 7.   The vets did not give up on this pet – and the owner believed in the vets.


Blackie’s owner,Ellen Campbell from Sheehy Terrace, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary was awarded a prize of a weekend away, as the winning nominator.



The Stronghold National Category Award for a Top Individual Vet was awarded to Eamonn Moore, from Blacrock Veterinary Clinic, Co. Dublin.


One pet owner nominated Mr. Moore because of the way he looked after her dying pet cat Snowie, saying “she was my first pet as a child and was a very special friend to me always.”   The lady in question is now engaged to be married and she and her future husband bring their new dog to Eamonn Moore, saying that “if every person had the kindness and compassion for animals as him, this place would be a much nicer place to live.”

Nominated by others for continued professionalism, compassion and availability, another client says that “Nothing is too much to ask, everything is explained in plain English, they are never too busy to answer any concerns you may have and never rush you because there is a full waiting room.  The love and kindness shown to all of the 4 dogs is second to none.”    Eamonn Moore is commended by pet owners for his patience, for not rushing his clients, for his advice when a pet was lost, for his compassion at difficult times and for consistently high standards of veterinary care.



The 2006 winner of the Hill’s Pet Nutrition National Stronghold Award for Top Veterinary Nurse is Lisa O’Donovan, from Abbeyville Vetrinary Hospital, Togher Road, Cork

Lisa’s nominations included the story of Sheba the cat who became sick for the first time at 12 years of age and who went downhill very quickly   Sheba’s owner said that “even though Sheba is a very much loved and spoilt cat, it was not until she got sick that I realised how much she meant to me and my family as I had always taken her for granted.”  The nomination commended Lisa for always helpful and understanding and always making time for you, for being good to the animals and treating them as if they are humans.


Another long time customer of the practice described Lisa as the “consistent feature,” saying that she is always kind, patient and helpful, beyond the call of duty by today’s standards.  One pet owner wrote:  “Whilst waiting to see the vet I have observed her dealing with people and what a wonderful person, with such a bright, sunny and positive attitude.  No question is ever left unanswered and no person I would imagine would ever leave unhappy. Another story concluded:   “Upon leaving my dog with her (many years ago now) prior to his being put to sleep, in my sadness I knew Rosie was in good hands and that Lisa would nurse her as if she was her own.”




A Judge’s Award for Contribution to Animal Welfare was presented to vet PJ O’Driscoll, from Summerhill Veterinary Centre, Ennis, Co. Clare.


Mr. O’Driscoll has been nominated regularly within the past 7 years of the Stronghold Awards.  However the judges were extremely impressed to see how frequently these nominations related to, or came directly from, organisations involved in animal welfare.    PJ O’Driscoll’s nominations from regular clients also acknowledge the “unsung work” he does for the local animal shelter, for the pets of the elderly and pets belonging to homeless people.


The local dog warden put pen to paper describing how Mr O’Driscoll had never let him down and went on to say that: “Being a vet isn’t a job to him, it’s a passion……..   A vet who can make an animal’s life either coming in to the world or ending their life, such a healing at tender moment, has already won awards many times over in my heart.”


Separately, the local Society for the Prevention to Cruelty to Animals nominated this vet for providing support to them for some 27 years.  And, they say, they just can not thank him enough.  He is involved in neutering programmes.  He has often dealt with very bad cruelty cases where the animals are in a lot of pain;  and he goes out of his way to minimise the trauma and to restore the animal to full health, where he can.  We are told that he always seems to be in the process of treating and re-homing a wide variety of animals that pass through his hands.



At the 2006 Stronghold Awards Ceremony, a number of veterinary professionals were Highly Commended at a national level by the judging panel.

Highly Commended veterinary practices were:

  • Treacy & Sheehan Veterinary, Listowel, Co Kerry
  • Treanor & Glynn Veterinary, Dun Laoghaire, Stillorgan and Foxrock, Dublin

Highly Commended vets were:

  • Susan Barry, Anicare Veterinary/Blanchardstown Veterinary Hospital
  • Richard Bramley, Gubbins & O’Shea Veterinary, Distillery Road, Wexford
  • Anita Connolly, Ark Veterinary Hospital, Tralee Rd., Killarney, Co Kerry
  • Liam Walsh, Liam Walsh Veterinary, Bree, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford

Highly Commended veterinary nursing/ support staff were:

  • Rosemary Elliott, Ashtown Animal Clinic, Castleknock, Dublin
  • Elisha Fahy, Hanaghan Veterinary Hospital, Ballyvary, Co Mayo




The Stronghold Awards provides a platform for emphasising that all- important message that pets are for life and that managing a pet’s health is not just about visiting a vet when there is an emergency – it is a long term responsibility, since pets are members of the family.


Speaking at the awards ceremony, Brian More O’Ferrall from Pfizer Animal Health said he was delighted with the response from members of the public to the Awards, having received quite literally hundreds of stories and nominations from Irish pet owners, with many strong nominations for vets or practices who were never previously nominated.


“When we see, through so many of our nominations, just how cherished and rewarding pets are to so many people across so many walks of life  – it emphasises the very important role pets play in people’s lives and that having access, and confidence in, high standards of veterinary care is very reassuring to many people, often at sensitive or vulnerable times in their lives,” said Brian.


“The hundreds of Stronghold nominations and stories reflect the hugely varied environment that Irish veterinarians and vet teams work in today. And they also reflect tremendous appreciation to a profession which is skilled and professional, kind and caring.  We in Pfizer Animal Health are delighted to be part of that process of helping to identify and reward high standards in the veterinary profession.”


Stronghold™ Veterinary Pet Care Awards 2006

Organised by Pfizer Animal Health

in association with Hill’s Pet Nutrition Ltd & the Irish Veterinary Journal


Extracts of nominations can be found at: http://www.progresspr.ie/petcare.htm

Date:                       Sunday 26th November 2006

Issued by:             Antonina Ni Dhuinn, Progress Communications  01-2766117 info@progresspr.ie