Previous People of the Year
Over the past 41 years, the People of the Year Awards have recognised those who have shown tremendous courage, dedication and dynamism. Through their bravery, their perserverence, their talent, generosity and commitment, they have enriched the lives of others. Their stories are inspiring and reflect all that is best in the human spirit.
2014 Shane Kennedy Young Person of the Year
For showing outstanding commitment and sacrifice in caring for his seriously ill brother, Shane Kennedy is awarded the Young Person of the Year award.
2014 Rory O'Neill People of the Year Award
Panti Bliss’s Twitter description is: pub landlady, performer, writer, speechifier, gender discombobulist, national treasure. ‘Pantigate’ made modern Ireland stop and ask what equality really means. With Panti Bliss as a poster-girl for the campaign, she has indeed become a natural treasure that we as a nation are proud of.
2014 Paul Kelly People of the Year Award
For challenging the perceptions of suicide and having the resolve to create the first dedicated suicide prevention and support services in Ireland, Paul Kelly is awarded a People of the Year award.
2014 Owen Condon Everyday Hero of the Year
Everyone likes to think that if they found themselves in a situation where they could save someone’s life with CPR, they would. But until you are in the situation, you have no idea whether it will be fear or adrenalin that kicks in. Taking the responsibility to try to save someone’s life takes courage. Such acts make people heroes. Seventeen-year-old Owen Condon had the courage to do this twice, cementing his status as an extraordinary hero
2014 Louise O'Keeffe People of the Year Award
Tenacious, resilient and brave are just some of the words that have been used to describe Louise O’Keeffe. For decades, Louise battled for justice against the State for the abuse she had suffered in primary school. Her courage and determination finally led to a victory for all Irish children and their families.
2014 Maurice McCabe & John Wilson People of the Year Award
Maurice McCabe and John Wilson’s desire to tell the truth came at significant personal and professional cost. Their actions have brought to light activities the public were not prepared to accept, and have also highlighted the need to ensure that whistleblowers are protected.
2014 Tony & Mary Heffernan People of the Year Award
For their selfless dedication and commitment to helping the families of children, especially those with rare and complex conditions, Tony and Mary Heffernan are awarded a 2014 People of the Year award.
2014 Adam Horgan Young Person of the Year
Everyone has huge respect for lifeguards: those men and women who are dedicated to protecting and saving the lives of complete strangers. Adam Horgan is not a lifeguard. He has not had the countless hours of training, he has not had years of experience, but when he was just fifteen years old, Adam put his own life on the line when he ran into the sea to save the lives of Vicky Morey and her five-year-old son, Evan.
2014 Tomi Reichental People of the Year Award
Tomi Reichental was born in Slovakia in 1935. In 1944, aged just nine, he and five members of his family – his mother, Judith, his brother, Miki, his grandmother, Rosalia, his aunt, Margo, and cousin, Chava – were deported to Bergen Belsen concentration camp.
2014 The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Community Group of the Year
The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) is the largest voluntary charitable organisation in Ireland. This year marks its 170th year in operation. The organisation focuses on the most effective ways to deal with poverty and alleviate its effects on individuals and families.
2013 Donal Walsh Joint Young Person of the Year (posthumous)
For his courage, strength, determination and desire to show young people the true value and meaning of life, and for being an inspiration to so many people, Donal Walsh was posthumously awarded a Young Person of the Year Award.
2013 Fabian Lugandu People of the Year Award
For his bravery and fearlessness when he came to the rescue of Liz O’Brien and her son Derek, and for his quick thinking and courage, which ensured that Liz and her son returned home safely that day, Fabian Lugandu was awarded a People of the Year Award.
2013 Ciarán Finn Dad of the Year (in association with 2fm's Breakfast with Hector)
For being a dedicated dad who goes above and beyond for his children, for teaching skills in a novel and fun way and for being an inspiration to those around him, Ciarán Finn received the Dad of the Year Award in association with 2fm's Breakfast with Hector.
2013 Tom Arnold People of the Year Award
For his commitment and energy as a leading and tireless advocate in the fight against hunger and malnutrition across the world Tom Arnold was presented with a Peopl eof the Year Award.
2013 Orla O'Sullivan People of the Year Award
For her determination, her incredible talent and for acting as an inspiration for others with a disability to follow their dreams, Orla O’Sullivan was awarded a People of the Year Award.
2013 Irish Women's Rugby Team Sports Person of the Year
For their skill, passion and dedication in achieving their success, for capturing the hearts of the nation and breaking down barriers for women’s sport in Ireland, the Ireland women’s rugby team received a People of the Year Award.
2013 Joe Prendergast Joint Young Person of the Year
For his motivation, determination and successful achievements, Joe Prendergast was awarded the Young Person of the Year Award.
2013 Brendan O'Carroll People of the Year Award
For his services to the Irish entertainment industry and his ability to bring a smile to the faces of so many people, Brendan O’Carroll was awarded a People of the Year Award.
2013 Fiona Doyle People of the Year Award
For her courage, determination and bravery in fighting for her own rights and the rights of survivors of abuse, Fiona Doyle was awarded a People of the Year Award.
2013 Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe Person of the Year Award
For his dedication in protecting the ordinary citizens of Ireland, and for his bravery and courage in the line of duty, Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was posthumously awarded a People of the Year Award.
2013 Loretta Brennan Glucksman International Person of the Year
In recognition of her tireless work, dedication and commitment, her extraordinary philanthropic efforts and her generosity of spirit, Loretta Brennan Glucksman was awarded the 2013 International Person of the Year Award.
2012 Mark Pollock People of the Year Award Winner
For his strength and determination in overcoming significant physical adversity, his continued inspiration of others in sharing his story and in constantly pushing out new boundaries, in his personal life and as an explorer and adventure racer, Mark Pollock was awarded a People of the Year Award.
2012 Colm Murray People of the Year Award
For his courageous, inspiring and moving response to a devastating diagnosis of motor neurone disease and for his inspirational efforts in speaking out about the condition, the difficulties faced by those affected by it and the need for a cure, Colm Murray was awarded a People of the Year Award.
2012 Union Hall Community Group of the Year
For the community spirit shown in times of tragedy and pain, Union Hall was awarded the Community Group of the Year Award.
2012 Katie Taylor Sports Person of the Year
For her inspiring determination and hard work leading to outstanding sporting achievements and for being a proud ambassador for Ireland, Katie Taylor receives the Sportsperson of the Year Award.
2012 Joanne O'Riordan Young Person of the Year
For her determination in highlighting the challenges faced by people with disabilities in Ireland today, Joanne O’Riordan was awarded the Young Person of the Year Award.
2012 Gill Waters People of the Year Award
For her tireless innovation, drive and dynamism in pioneering the Shave or Dye campaign, which has
raised millions of euro for the Irish Cancer Society and, in the process, created vital public dialogue around cancer and the people affected by it, Gill Waters was presented with a People of the Year
2012 Cork Penny Dinners People of the Year Award
For providing food and warmth to those in need in Cork over the last 100 years, Cork Penny Dinners was awarded a People of the Year Award.
2012 Garda Ciaran Jones People of the Year Award
For his enormous bravery, heroism and selflessness, Garda Ciarán Jones was posthumously awarded a
People of the Year Award.
2012 Dr Tony Scott People of the Year Award
For his immense contribution to the field of science in Ireland, through co-founding and being involved for over 49 years with the Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, Dr Tony Scott received a People of the Year Award.
2012 2012 Irish Paralympic Team People of the Year Award
For inspiring sporting achievements at the 2012 Paralympic Games, the Irish Paralympic Team was awarded a People of the Year Award.
2012 Maeve Flaherty Neighbour of the Year - Special Category
For her fantastic neighbourly spirit, willingness to turn her home into a place of refuge for people in difficulty, and unwavering support as a friend and neighbour, Maeve was named Neighbour of the Year
2011 AJ McCullough People of the Year
For his quick thinking under pressure and his bravery in coming to the rescue of the Attah family.
2011 Ronan Kerr People of the Year Award winner (Posthumous)
For the enormous bravery and commitment he showed in both his community and in his service to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
2011 Joan Freeman People of the Year
For her commitment and dedication to self-harm and suicide prevention through the work of Pieta House.
2011 Rory McIlroy Sports Person of the Year
For his inspiring determination, his talent and hard work leading to outstanding achievements on a world stage at a young age.
2011 Jackie Kelly Young Person of the Year
For her maturity, strength and motivation in the face of adversity.
2011 Skerries Community Community Group of the Year
For showing the power of community spirit during immense tragedy and difficulty and for helping two families to properly begin grieving for their loved ones.
2011 Edith Wilkins International Person of the Year
For her compassion, selflessness and unfaltering commitment to improving the lives of the people of India.
2011 Sharon Malloy Special Category, Best Friend of the Year
For going far beyond the call of duty to help and support a friend.
2011 Tall Ships Festival Waterford 2011 People of the Year
For the enormous voluntary and community effort that led to a hugely successful festival.
2011 Irish Cricket Team People of the Year Award
For being proud ambassadors for Ireland, showing courage and unfaltering determination under pressure.
2010 Graeme McDowell People of the Year Award
For inspiring and delighting us with his flair, focus and sheer determination to realise a magnificent dream, Graeme McDowell receives a People of the Year Award.
2010 Owen O'Keefe Young Person of the Year
For his ground-breaking achievement in becoming the youngest Irish person ever to complete the gruelling swim across the English Channel, a feat completed with a quiet determination that belied his years, Owen O’Keefe is named Young Person of the Year.
2010 Limerick Community Policing Unit Special Award - Garda of the Year
For their courage, ingenuity and outstanding dedication to the citizens of Limerick in working to make the community safer, the Garda Síochána Limerick Community Policing Unit is the winner of this year’s special award of Garda of the Year.
2010 The Hon. Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness People of the Year Award
For her pioneering, courageous and long-standing service to Irish society, the Honourable Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness receives a People of the Year Award.
2010 Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) People of the Year
For its persuasiveness and ability to hold its nerve in the pursuit of its goals and for its relentless work in enabling Irish people to move closer to a society that respects all of its citizens equally, GLEN receives a People of the Year Award.
2010 Rio Hogarty Special Award - Inspiring Mum of the Year
For her generosity, incredible energy, kindness and amazing capacity to love and support children in need of her care, Rio Hogarty is awarded the Inspiring Mum of the Year Award.
2010 Dr Louise Ivers and Gena Heraty Joint Recipients of International Person of the Year
For their selflessness, generosity of spirit and tireless work for the Haitian people whose lives and country have been shattered, Gena Heraty and Dr Louise Ivers are joint recipients of the International Person of the Year Award.
2010 Families of the Victims of Bloody Sunday People of the Year Award
For their fortitude and dignity, and in recognition of their 38-year struggle which has resulted in the total exoneration of their loved ones, the families of the victims of Bloody Sunday are awarded a People of the Year Award.
2010 Emma Fogarty People of the Year Award
For her extraordinary campaigning work and determination to raise awareness of Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) in the face of huge personal struggle, Emma Fogarty is awarded a People of the Year Award.
2010 Gerry Ryan People of theYear Award
For the fun, the stories, the light that he brought into our homes and into our lives
for over 30 years, Gerry Ryan is posthumously awarded a People of the Year Award
2009 Steve Collins People of the Year Award
For his extraordinary bravery in the face of unimaginable loss and the continued threat to his life and the lives of his loved ones, Steve Collins receives a People of the Year Award.
2009 David Kelly People of the Year
For his immense contribution to stage and screen in Ireland and abroad, David Kelly receives a People of the Year Award.
2009 Irish Rugby Team People of the Year Award
For their skill, dedication and their sporting success and for lifting the entire nation during otherwise difficult days, the Irish rugby team receives a People of the Year Award.
2009 Eleanor Thomson People of the Year Award
For her kindness, her extraordinary compassion and her selfless devotion to a dying man, Eleanor Thomson receives a People of the Year Award
2009 Debbie Deegan International Person of the Year
For bringing love and hope to children who needed it most and for making a life-changing contribution to thousands of abondoned children, Debbie Deegan is honoured with the International Person of the Year Award
2009 Ronnie Drew People of the Year Award
For his crucial role in re-energising Ireland’s unique musical heritage and for his inspirational talent as a musician and vocalist that brought so much pleasure to so many people, Ronnie Drew is posthumously awarded a People of the Year Award.
2009 Sarah Kavanagh Young Person of the Year
For her immense courage in saving her sister from grave danger, Sarah Kavanagh receives the Young Person of the Year Award.
2009 Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) People of the Year Award
For its support and commitment to the development of a world-class hospice/palliative care service in Ireland, and for its vision for the future for all people facing the end of life, the Irish Hospice Foundation is awarded a People of the Year Award.
2009 Bernadette Lanigan Special Award to Nurse of the Year
For her unparalleled dedication, care and love for the children who attend the eye clinic in Temple Street Children's Hospital, Sister Bernadette Lanigan is the Nurse of the Year.
2009 Christine Buckley People of the Year Award
For her courage and tenacity in exposing one of the darkest chapters in the history of modern Ireland, Christine Buckley receives a People of the Year Award.
2009 Sylvia Meehan People of the Year Award
For giving a voice to those who might otherwise be forgotten and for her skill and tenacity in asserting the rights of older people, Sylvia Meehan is presented with a People of the Year Award
2009 Michael O'Brien People of the Year Award
For his dignity and raw honesty in recounting traumatic childhood experiences and for continuing to throw a spotlight on the abuse suffered by the most vulnerable in our society, Michael O’Brien receives a People of the Year Award.