The winners of the 2019 Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards have been revealed at a special ceremony celebrating their incredible courage, generosity and acts of kindness.
The star-studded event at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin was hosted by broadcaster Mary Kennedy (Monday, September 9). She commented: “It’s a privilege to be part of this wonderful tribute to human goodness.”
The Awards were launched in 2011 to honour ordinary people who do extraordinary things and they have grown in popularity year on year.
Managing Director Stephen Leddy noted that it was a “humbling” experience reading the hundreds of nominations from all across Ireland.
“The Hidden Hearing brand alone cannot create heroes — we rely on real life stories and once again, we were overwhelmed by the huge response from the public,” he declared.
Celebrities in attendance included broadcaster Marty Morrissey, Lottery presenter Nuala Carey, author Cathy Kelly, Morning Ireland’s Bryan Dobson, rugby legend Tony Ward and ex Fair City star Jenny Dixon.
The awards have ten different categories with an Overall Winner and Special Recognition winner in each one.
Overall Winners included:
YOUNG HERO: CHARLOTTE GALLAHER
Dubliner Charlotte (12) has been undergoing intensive cancer treatment for the past two years but still finds time to help others, raising over €1,000 through her fundraising efforts with the Sarah Jennifer Knott Foundation.
FAMILY HERO: HUGH’S HOUSE
A caring sanctuary offering free accommodation to parents with babies and children in Temple St, Holles and Rotunda hospitals, Hugh’s House in central Dublin was set up by Ade Stack in memory of her son Hugh, who died aged just eight months old.
SUPER VOLUNTEER HERO: MEN’S SUPPORT GROUP AT THE SOLAS CENTRE, WATERFORD
These men dug deep to create two beautiful gardens in the grounds of the centre, despite each of them battling cancer. Their green-fingered skills are appreciated by every visitor to Solas.
WONDER WOMAN HERO: NICOLE DUGGAN
Cork woman Nicole, whose son Riley is autistic, is one of Ireland’s leading advocates for the rights of autistic children, campaigning to raise awareness of the condition and the need for more social inclusion.
SUPER HERO: DERMOT COSGROVE
Clare man Dermot has completed some heroic feats to raise money for Dogs For The Disabled including a 200km hike in the Arctic Circle, raising almost €11,000 along the way.
HEALTHCARE HERO: JESS SEARS
Nurse Jess has worked with the DePaul charity for the past decade, caring for homeless people in Dublin with complex physical and mental health issues. She led an opiate overdose treatment programme that has helped saved over 100 lives.
OTHER OVERALL HEROES
Talented runner Kevin Donovan from Waterford picked up the Sporting Hero for his fundraising efforts on behalf of the Cork Deaf Association.
Dublin-based Michael Clasgby (80) was named Age No Barrier Hero for his “selfless” volunteer work with Alone.
Breast cancer survivor Pauline Conway from Limerick was honoured as an Inspirational Hero for helping women like herself feel better about themselves with her Bravelle lingerie business.
Joanne Chester received the Hearing Hero award for her work as a passionate advocate for deaf people in the workplace.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARDS
Winners included Mary Walsh a former carer for Ed Sheeran’s granny Anne Sheeran and devoted fundraiser for charity; Waterford schoolboy Scott Tobin (14) who sings for his school choir despite having double hearing aids; Tipperary woman MARGARET QUINN who set up a local Anam Cara support group for bereaved parents following the tragic death of her daughter Bernadette from cancer aged 16; Cork mum Mandy Gabriel who wrote her blog mywonkyboob.ie post-mastectomy to help other young women cope with breast cancer and Wexford’s Patrick Furlong, who has spent decades helping coach Irish para athletes through the Irish Wheelchair Association.
The Awards also saw Hidden Hearing donate €2,000 to charity Hugh’s House, a sanctuary in Dublin offering free accommodation to parents from outside the capital with ill babies in Temple St, Holles St and the Rotunda hospitals.
For more information on please visit https://www.hiddenhearing.ie/heroes