THE SHOW DETAILS The deserving winners

Equality activist and entertainer Rory O’Neill was among those honoured at this year’s People of the Year Awards. Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the annual ceremony was presented by Gráinne Seoige and broadcast live on RTÉ One television from Dublin’s Citywest Hotel. Garda Whistleblowers Maurice McCabe and John Wilson, the St. Vincent De Paul Charity, Mary and Tony Heffernan, Louise O’Keeffe, Adam Horgan, Shane Kennedy and Tomi Reichental were also celebrated at the awards. Owen Condon was announced as the winner of this year’s special category, the Everyday Hero Award in association with the Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene on RTÉ’s 2fm.

Well-known faces from across the Irish entertainment industry, including actress Aoibhin Garrihy, adventurer and former winner Mark Pollock, musician Sharon Corr and a writer and actor Stephen Fry, who flew in especially to present Rory O’Neill’s award. The prestigious Awards provide a unique and special opportunity for the Irish public to honour and celebrate those extraordinary people among us who do extraordinary things. This year’s winners have contributed to our society and to their local communities, making a difference to the lives of people around them and revealing themselves as our everyday heroes.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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