Drogheda Independent

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Inspiration award for mighty Liam O'Keeffe

The man behind a host of charity events over the past four decades has been honoured with a national award for his efforts.

Liam 'William' O'Keeffe has been named as one of Ireland's most Inspirational people, announced at the inaugural Gala Retail / Sunday Independent Inspiration Awards, which took place in The Marker Hotel, Dublin last week.

Drogheda man Liam scooped one of the top awards and was named as Ireland's Inspirational Charity Champion.

Nominated by his daughter for the Inspiration Awards, he was presented with the Inspirational Charity Champion accolade by Brian Kennedy, which was awarded to William in recognition of his fundraising efforts for various charities.

Incredibly, William has raised almost €1 million for charities including the 5th floor in the Lourdes hospital, Boomerang Youth Club and suicide awareness charity SOSAD.

Inspirational people from all across Ireland were nominated for the first-ever Sunday Independent / Gala Retail Inspiration Awards, with the final winners being selected by a judging panel including Sunday Independent Life magazine wellness columnist, Alison Canavan; RTE's Marty Morrissey; Special Olympics Ireland's CEO, Matt English; Gala Retail's CEO, Gary Desmond and Head of News at the Sunday Independent, Paul Sheridan.

"Brave, courageous, selfless and inspirational are just some of the words that go some way to describing our finalists and winners at the Sunday Independent / Gala Retail Inspiration Awards.

"William and the fellow winners are true examples of people who are making Ireland a better place for us all. My fellow judges and I were incredibly impressed by William's continuous efforts in raising such an impressive sum of money for many charities; much needed funds that will be of huge benefit to others. William is a worthy winner and our Inspirational Charity Champion," commented Gary Desmond, CEO of Gala Retail.

Inspirational Person of the Year was presented to Kate Durrant from Blarney, County Cork by former Ireland International, Niall Quinn.

Organised by Gala Retail in conjunction with the Sunday Independent, Gala created the Inspiration Awards as a way of celebrating the selfless acts and inspirational deeds of people in Ireland who are making the country a better place.

Nicola was another to do the town so proud at awards

Award winner Liam O'Keeffe admitted he was humbled to be in the company of such wonderful people at the 2019 awards show. And pride of place for him was meeting Drogheda woman, Nicola McDonnell.

Nicola was shortlisted in the Inspiration in the Community section.

'Nicola is a beautiful girl full of light,' Liam stated. 'She is a real inspiration to so many people in the Drogheda area .

'In fact, we had a good chat and I hope to meet up with her in the Irish Wheelchair Association centre and help with a training programme,' he stated.

'The IWA do magnificent work for the community and I will help in any way I can after meeting Nicola.' Liam said the award he secured was for the people of the town.

'Without them, without their generosity,' I couldn't do this.'

Drogheda Independent