Our 'Hidden Heroes' are given special recognition
She may be small, but six-year-old Ella Murphy O'Connor is a big hero.
The Kerry girl was among those recognised yesterday afternoon at the Hidden Heroes awards in the DoubleTree Hotel in Dublin.
Hosted by Hidden Hearing, the awards were attended by over 200 people as 11 categories of unsung heroes were recognised.
Ella, who has dwarfism, was nominated by her carer Jackie Linnane for the 'Young Hero' award.
"She might be small in her height but she is a big hero," said nurse Jackie.
Other nominees included 93-year-old Ann Ennis, from Wexford town, who has volunteered in her local Oxfam shop for 25 years. She was awarded the 'Age is No Barrier' award.
Pharmacist Val Keane from Cork saved the life of a customer suffering a severe allergic reaction. She received special recognition as a 'Healthcare Hero'.
Neala Clohessy from Federmore, Co Limerick, had originally nominated her mother Michelle Dempsey for the 'Family Hero' award after her mum helped her deal with her husband's terminal illness.
However, Neala's sister, Ciara Dempsey, decided to surprise her with her very own nomination - and both mother and daughter were jointly awarded the 'Triumph over Adversity' award.
Mary Kennedy, who presented the awards, said: "The achievement of the recipients is enormous.
"Sometimes it's about helping other people, sometimes it's about overcoming obstacles for themselves, but it's all intertwined."