Golfing hero among People of Year winners
IRISH sporting hero, golfer Graeme McDowell, was honoured last night for his stunning win at the 110th US Open, one of the world's four major golf championships, when he was presented with a People of the Year award.
The Portrush player was the first Irishman and the first European since 1970 to lift the trophy and he was given his award at a star-studded ceremony broadcast live on RTE from Citywest hotel.
The late Gerry Ryan was posthumously awarded for his unique contribution to Irish radio on RTE over 30 years, and unrivalled broadcasting skills that "ranged effortlessly from the utterly sensitive and intimate to the fantastically flamboyant and theatrical."
The award was presented by friend and 2fm colleague, Dave Fanning to Gerry's children Lottie and Rex.
Other awards at the event were given to Judge Catherine McGuinness for her pioneering contribution to Irish life; and the families of victims of Bloody Sunday for their 38-year struggle to establish their loved ones' innocence.
Angela Kerins, chief executive of Rehab, and chairperson of the adjudication committee said the awards acknowledged the extraordinary achievements of not only well-known personalities but of ordinary people from all walks of life.
"They demonstrate what is best in Irish spirit -- courage and determination. And they remind us that, even in uncertain times, we can still achieve the impossible and make our country even greater."
The 36th annual awards were presented by Grainne Seoige with Tourism, Culture and Sport Minister Mary Hanafin as guest of honour.
Others awarded included the the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network; Owen O'Keefe, 17, of Fermoy, Co Cork, who became the youngest Irish person to swim the English Channel; Dr Louise Ivers and Gena Heraty for their work on behalf of the Haitian people; and Emma Fogarty, 26, of Ballyroan, Co Laois, for raising awareness of EB or "butterfly children".
Limerick's garda community policing unit were honoured for their efforts to make the city safer, and Rio Hogarty was honoured for caring for her two children, and 140 foster children over 40 years.