Mum's the word: 13 wonderful women honoured at awards night
It was the mother of all celebrations as 100 invited guests gathered for an annual tribute to our finest mums.
Hosted by 'Woman's Way' publisher Norah Casey, the Mum of the Year Awards saw 13 women formally recognised for their outstanding achievements.
Among them was Martina Cox, who was there with her daughter Emma (18), fresh from finishing her Leaving Cert. The family from Dunboyne, Co Meath, have slowly been adjusting to their new life after husband and dad Seán sustained a serious brain injury after being attacked by Roma fans before a Liverpool game at Anfield in April 2018.
Martina picked up the Courage 2019 Award.
"It's a little bit surreal for me. I don't really want this award at all. I just wish my life was normal. But unfortunately it's not so it's a nice thing to be associated with. It's been a long 14 months," she said.
She said that Seán is "doing OK" as he battles to get his life back on track. "His progress is slow but he's finished in the National Rehab Hospital this week and he's going to have a little bit of respite for the summer and then we're heading off to the UK for some more intensive rehab."
She added that they have now hit the €2m mark in their fundraising campaign.
"People have just been amazing. There's so much good will out there. For every bad person, there's so many really amazing, good people."
Picking up the Overall Mum of the Year Award at the event, sponsored by Beko and 'Woman's Way', was Caitríona Nic Mhuiris (52), from Newcastle, Co Galway. Her family of four became eight after her sister Una died suddenly and Caitríona took over the care of her young nieces. Nominated by her husband Seamus, an emotional Caitríona said it showed that families come in all shapes and sizes.
"When you step in to care for your relatives, it's one of the most important jobs you can do. It's really your gift to a loved one," she said.
Health campaigner Vicky Phelan was on the judging panel and she said there were many amazing nominees at the event in the Radisson Blu hotel, Dublin 8. "All women struggle as mothers so it's really hard to pick a winner but some stories stood out...I was delighted to be asked and it's nice to see normal mammies treated to a nice dinner and glass of Champagne," she said.