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New heroes: Workers on the frontline fighting Covid-19 inspire us with courage and dedication

 

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Passion for healthcare: Aimee O’Grady, a nursing student in St Angela’s College, often works more than four night shifts a week in Sligo University Hospital

Passion for healthcare: Aimee O’Grady, a nursing student in St Angela’s College, often works more than four night shifts a week in Sligo University Hospital

Passion for healthcare: Aimee O’Grady, a nursing student in St Angela’s College, often works more than four night shifts a week in Sligo University Hospital

For more than 60 years, the Irish Independent has honoured our inspiring sporting heroes with the Sportstar of the Week awards.

This year, our nation has faced a challenge that transcends sport.

New heroes have inspired us with their courage, dedication and commitment in the fight against Covid-19.

We want to honour the heroism of our frontline workers, with our Frontline Star of the Week award in association with our partner, The Croke Park Hotel.

The Irish Independent welcomed nominations two weeks ago and was inundated with stories from readers about the valour of their loved ones.

Here are four nominees:

Jamie O'Sullivan (29), Co Dublin

Jamie has worked as a healthcare assistant for the past four years. He returned to work recently after recovering from Covid-19.

Before the outbreak, Jamie was due to marry his partner of 10 years in August. The pair have been planning their big day for more than two years.

The wedding, and Jamie's stag, had to be cancelled.

"I'm turning 30 in two weeks, I had to cancel my 30th too. Everything is cancelled," he said.

"I'm really disappointed, it's a bit of a nightmare, but it had to be done."

Instead of preparing for his wedding day, Jamie plans to continue working.

He works 12-hour shifts four days a week and said the hardest part is losing patients to the virus, and having to see families saying goodbye to a loved one.

"It's hard with the deaths and seeing families saying goodbye and others not being able to see their family."

Jamie's mother, Caroline, nominated him.

Aimee O'Grady (21), Co Leitrim

Aimee is a student nurse working in Sligo University Hospital. She is about to go into her final year of nursing in St Angela's College.

Aimee often works night shifts, usually for more than four days a week.

"It's a daunting experience, you don't know what's going to come in, but the hospital that I'm in is very well equipped to deal with this and we've been lucky in the north-west really, the numbers are quite low so we kept it out as well as we could."

Aimee was nominated by her mother, Annette, who is also a nurse on the frontline.

Ciarán Duffy (28), Co Mayo

Ciarán has been working in a delivery team with SuperValu Westport for the past six years.

He has been helping his co-workers deliver food and crucial supplies to those cocooning in the area.

Ciarán said his team takes extra precautions when delivering items, and even empty out the shopping for their customers.

"If it's an elderly person, we call them when we're outside and then they open the door, and we bring it inside when they're in another room and we empty it out for them," he said.

"I'm looking forward to getting back to normality. There's a good lot of people when we go to deliver that are very specific, and they like to go out and meet people when they're shopping, it's more of a social aspect."

Ciarán was nominated by Nicola O'Rourke, his colleague in the SuperValu bakery.

Tim O'Halloran (56), Co Tipperary

After starting a full-time job with the Irish Defence Forces in October, Tim continued to volunteer with the Civil Defence Branch, which now sees him transfer people with Covid-19 to hospital when their symptoms worsen.

Having first volunteered in 1991 to learn first aid for GAA, he has been helping the public and his club since.

"Some of the people we transfer would be very sick," he said.

"I get a great feeling from helping people and people are very appreciative.

"People get a surprise when they find out we don't get paid. Sometimes you'd be doing it very late and they'd ask if you're getting overtime - we can only laugh."

Tim was nominated by his good friend Brian Ely.

To nominate someone, email your submission (100 words max) along with a photo, telling us about your nominee to frontlinestar@independent.ie

Frontline Star of the Week

We want to honour the heroism of our frontline workers, with our Frontline Star of the Week award in association with our partner, The Croke Park Hotel. Help us by nominating your frontline star. Do you know a doctor, or nurse, or someone else excelling in our health service? A caring neighbour, shop worker or someone in a community project going above and beyond? Each weekly Frontline Star will receive a complimentary dinner, bed & breakfast stay at The Croke Park Hotel. To nominate someone, email your submission (100 words max) telling us about them, along with a photo, to frontlinestar@independent.ie

 

Irish Independent