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People of the Year

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Inspirational People

Previous People of the Year

Over the past 39 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.

Donal  Walsh

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.

Fabian Lugandu

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.

Ciarán  Finn

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.

Tom Arnold

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.

Orla O'Sullivan

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.

Irish Women's Rugby Team

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.

Joe Prendergast

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.

Brendan O'Carroll

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.

Fiona  Doyle

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.

Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe

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.

Loretta  Brennan Glucksman

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.

Mark Pollock

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.

Colm  Murray

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.

Union  Hall

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.

Katie Taylor

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.

Joanne O'Riordan

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.

Gill Waters

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 Award.

Cork Penny Dinners

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.

Garda Ciaran Jones

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.

Dr Tony Scott

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 Irish Paralympic Team

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.

Maeve  Flaherty

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

AJ McCullough

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.

Ronan  Kerr

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).

Joan  Freeman

2011 Joan Freeman People of the Year

For her commitment and dedication to self-harm and suicide prevention through the work of Pieta House.

Rory McIlroy

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.

Jackie Kelly

2011 Jackie Kelly Young Person of the Year

For her maturity, strength and motivation in the face of adversity.

Skerries Community

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.

Edith  Wilkins

2011 Edith Wilkins International Person of the Year

For her compassion, selflessness and unfaltering commitment to improving the lives of the people of India.

Sharon Malloy

2011 Sharon Malloy Special Category, Best Friend of the Year

For going far beyond the call of duty to help and support a friend.

Tall Ships Festival  Waterford 2011

2011 Tall Ships Festival Waterford 2011 People of the Year

For the enormous voluntary and community effort that led to a hugely successful festival.

Irish Cricket Team

2011 Irish Cricket Team People of the Year Award

For being proud ambassadors for Ireland, showing courage and unfaltering determination under pressure.

Graeme McDowell

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.

Owen O'Keefe

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.

Limerick Community Policing Unit

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.

The Hon. Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness

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.

Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN)

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.

Rio Hogarty

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.

Dr Louise Ivers and Gena Heraty

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.

Families of the Victims of Bloody Sunday

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.

Emma Fogarty

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.

Gerry Ryan

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

Steve Collins

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.

David Kelly

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.

Irish Rugby Team

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.

Eleanor Thomson

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

Debbie Deegan

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

Ronnie    Drew

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.

Sarah  Kavanagh

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.

Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF)

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.

Bernadette Lanigan

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.

Christine Buckley

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.

Sylvia Meehan

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

Michael O'Brien

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.