Search is on for the nation's unsung heroes
A deafness expert has said the Government needs to break to make the issue of hearing loss a priority on the health agenda.
Stephen Leddy, of Hidden Hearing, described hearing loss as "an extremely isolating condition" that has a "huge psychological impact on individuals".
"Hearing loss is relatively low down on the Government's health agenda but this can be an extremely isolating condition," Leddy told the Irish Independent.
"Losing a form of communication can result in an individual becoming more withdrawn and lonely. It can have a huge psychological impact."
To help raise awareness of Ireland's deaf community and to highlight the issue of hearing loss, Hidden Hearing launched their fourth annual 'Heroes Awards' yesterday.
The awards ceremony honours those who have made a significant but unheralded contribution to society.
Members of the public can nominate a hero in one of seven categories including 'Age is No Barrier', 'Triumph Over Adversity' and 'Unsung Hero'.
RTE radio personality Brenda Donohue helped launch the search for heroes and praised the "people overcoming obstacles and inspiring others".