Broadcasters and celebrities were out in force to crown Ireland’s Hidden Heroes at a national awards ceremony hosted by Hidden Hearing in Dublin in October.
Broadcaster Mary Kennedy joined Hidden Hearing’s Managing Director, Stephen Leddy to present 21 people with awards in recognition of their achievements and contributions to communities throughout the country. A ‘Charity Hero’, was also voted on by the public on the day and presented with a cheque for €2,000 from Hidden Hearing.
Commenting on this year’s ‘Hidden Heroes’, Mary Kennedy said, “This is my second year hosting the Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards. I was incredibly moved last year by the stories from ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things the length and breadth of the country and I was delighted to be invited to be a part of it again this year. These ordinary people from all walks of life are making our communities and our country a happier and healthier place through kindness and generosity of spirt. They are helping others without expecting anything in return. This is our opportunity to acknowledge them and say a huge thank you.”
The Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises the achievements of people, young and old, who have made a significant contribution to Irish society, in their community, workplace, family or through sporting excellence.
Opening the Awards, Stephen Leddy Managing Director of Hidden Hearing said: “This is our sixth year running these Awards and it is our biggest year to date with over 150 nominations received and approximately 200 people in attendance at our ceremony here in Dublin.”
“Our business at Hidden Hearing is about improving quality of life. Throughout our 75 branches nationwide, our team hears all sorts of stories every day from people who are caring for a friend, colleague or family member with hearing loss or are coping with hearing loss themselves. This was our motivation for establishing these Awards and we are truly honoured to be in a position to recognise people who are in similar situations throughout the country. These people are the backbone of our communities and Ireland’s real hidden heroes.”
21 people and organisations were recognised at the Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards ceremony, including 10 heroes across categories such as Age is no Barrier, Young Hero and Triumph Over Adversity. 10 people also received a ‘Special Recognition’ Award for their achievements caring for sick family members, looking after seriously ill children or overcoming a disadvantage to excel in sport.
A special ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ was presented this year to the family of Clare Clarke, the founder of Climb. During her lifetime, Clare, who was the mother of two young girls, found she struggled to explain her own cancer diagnosis to them so she sought help and was stunned to find that there were no services available for children until they were bereaved.
She decided that this was unacceptable so investigated and found the Climb programme, which was only available in Northern Ireland. Clare campaigned to bring the services nationwide and now thanks to her efforts the Climb service has 22 centres throughout the country.
Check out the Video here.
Ireland’s Hidden Hearing Heroes
|1. Age Is No Barrier Hero |
Special Recognition – Heather McGrath, Offaly, 85
Age is no Barrier Hero – Michael O’Neill, Ennis, Co Clare, 82
|2. Corporate Social Responsibility Hero|
Special Recognition Recipient – Mai Quaid, President of Active Retirement Ireland
Corporate Social Responsibility Hero – Karen O’Mahony
|3. Deaf/ Hard Of Hearing Hero|
Special Recognition – Shona Maguire, Borris, Co Kilkenny
Deaf / Hard of Hearing Hero – Tadhg Ó Mídheach, 13, Shankill, Dublin
|4. Family Hero|
Recognition Recipient – Damien Douglas, Lucan, Dublin
Family Hero – Margaret Reilly, Cabra West, Dublin
|5. Healthcare Hero |
Special Recognition Recipient – Donal Gill, Beaumont, Dublin
Healthcare Hero – Joyce O’Carroll, Waterford
|6. Sporting Hero |
Recognition Recipient – Shane Curran, Galway
Sporting Hero – Marcin Mizgajski, Wexford
|7. Unsung Hero |
Recognition Recipient – Fergus Lennon, Kildare
Unsung Hero – Derek Devoy, Kilkenny
|8. Unsung Heroine|
Recognition Recipient – Patricia Fogarty, Laois
Unsung Heroine – Jennifer Jones Hickey, Tipperary
|9. Young Hero |
Recognition Recipient – Conor Campbell Perrie, Glenageary, Dublin
Young Hero – Sean McCullagh, Blanchardstown, Dublin
|10. Triumph Over Adversity Hero |
Recognition Recipient – Linda Allen, Kildare
Triumph Over Adversity Hero – Emma Fogarty, Laois
|11. Lifetime Achievement Hero|
Clare Clarke, Artane, Dublin – Nominated by Lyn Savage
|12. Charity Hero |
DEBRA Ireland received a Charity Donation of €2,000 from Hidden Hearing.