Sunday 17 November 2019

Gala Awards for inspiring heroes

Alison Canavan. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Alison Canavan. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Some of the country's most inspirational people have been recognised for their efforts in the inaugural Sunday Independent/Gala Retail Inspiration Awards.

Judges including RTE's Marty Morrissey, Special Olympics Ireland chief executive Matt English, Gala Retail chief executive Gary Desmond and Sunday Independent LIFE magazine wellness columnist Alison Canavan have whittled hundreds of entries from across the country down to a shortlist of three finalists in each of the six categories.

The awards were established to promote selfless acts and inspirational deeds. Their stories will be told at a special awards evening hosted by broadcaster Miriam O'Callaghan at the Marker Hotel in Dublin on November 20.

Mr Desmond said: "My fellow judges and I were astounded by the remarkable acts of kindness, commitment and amazing feats which many of the entries featured."

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Paul Sheridan, Sunday Independent head of news, said "bold, brave and selfless" people were nominated for the awards.

"We've uncovered exceptional acts of kindness and our shortlisted nominees whole-heartedly deserve to be recognised on a national stage."

An overall Inspirational Person of the Year will be crowned at the Gala awards evening.

Inspirational Charity Champion Finalists: William O'Keefe, Drogheda, Co Louth; Suzanne McClean, Galway; Cliona O'Rourke, Mallow, Co Cork.

Inspirational Young Person Finalists: Molly Marshall, Passage West, Co Cork; Katelynn Ferris Hamilton, Maynooth, Co Kildare; Sophia Shally, Westport, Co Mayo.

Inspiration in the Community Finalists: Nicola McDonnell, Drogheda, Co Louth; Kate Durrant, Blarney, Co Cork; Helen Rochford Brennan, Sligo.

Inspirational Carer Finalists: Aundrey Reilly, Cootehill, Co Cavan, Nicole Duggan, Glamire, Co Cork; Angie Benhaffaf, Carrigtwohill, Co Cork.

Inspiration in Sports Finalists: Dr Sinead Kane, Youghal, Co Cork; Caradh O'Donovan, Sligo; Martin Keane, Athenry, Co Galway.

Inspiration in Environmental Change Finalists: Laure Tymowski, Crumlin, Dublin; Flossie Donnelly, Sandycove, Dublin; Patricia Kane, Dublin.

Sunday Independent

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