Golfing hero Padraig Harrington was last night honoured at the 33rd annual People of the Year Awards.
Schoolboy Gerald Killen (10) from Kinnegad, Co Westmeath, was honoured as Young Irish Person of the Year Award for saving the life of his father, Denis, after a farmyard accident.
Politicians involved in the Northern Ireland peace process were also rewarded with gongs for their role in re-establishing the Stormont Assembly.
Folk musician Christy Moore was named Ireland's Greatest Living Musician in a public vote.
Tanaiste Brian Cowen was guest of honour at the gala event in Dublin's Citywest Hotel, which was hosted by Grainne Seoige.
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, First Minister Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness were all nominated for a joint People of the Year Award for their work in Northern Ireland.
In July, Dubliner Harrington became the first European winner of a golf major since 1999 and the first Irishman to win the Open for 60 years. The judges said he received the Irish Person of the Year Award for his "sheer will to win in an enthralling British Open Championship finale and for a career played in the spirit of the best sporting values."
The judges honoured Christy Moore for "decades of exceptional contribution to Irish music" following a public vote that attracted 20,000 nominations.
Cork mother Maureen Forrest became the International Person of the Year for her work among the people of Calcutta.
Jane McKenna was honoured for her work in founding the Laura Lynn Children's Hospice Foundation following the tragic deaths of her two daughters to illnesses.
The founder and former director of the National Children's Choir, Sean Creamer, received his award for fostering a love of music and choral singing among children through his work with the National Children's Choir.
Mary Nally accepted an award on behalf of the Failte Isteach project in Summerhill, Co Meath that involves older people in the community teaching English to foreign nationals.