The awards, run by Hidden Hearing and the Irish Deaf Society, were presented to:
– Orla O’Sullivan, workplace award winner, is a deafblind pianist who teaches music to deaf and hearing pupils.
– Dublin teenager Killian McDonnell, student award winner, recently made history as the first deaf student with Down Syndrome to pass his Leaving Cert. He also volunteers with several organisations.
– Freelance journalist John Cradden, Kildare, the media award winner, has forged a successful career despite serious hearing issues. He has written extensively on the subject of being deaf and is currently writing a book about his experiences of a cochlear implant.
– Gene Barry from Birr, grandparent award winner, recently lost his daughter to cancer. He and his wife are helping ro raise their young grandson, with their son-in-law, and have raised €17,000 in aid of cancer care.
– Social contribution award winner Dominic McGreal, from Dublin, has volunteered with numerous deaf organisations throughout the country over the last 20 years.
– Nine-year-old Marcus Conroy, from Roscommon, won the youth award. Marcus has been hard of hearing all his life yet it has not stopped him from getting involved in a range of activities, winning medals in judo, football and swimming.
– The sportsperson award went to Eoin Nolan. The Wexford man has represented his country at both junior and senior levels at water polo.
– The Irish Deaf Women’s Group celebrated its 20th anniversary by winning the organisation award for bettering the lives of Irish Deaf women.
– The Lifetime achievement award went to Des O’Callaghan from Dublin who has devoted his whole life to working for and helping the deaf community in Ireland. The former treasurer for the Deaf Club now spends his time in St Joseph’s House for Deaf Adults looking after others, helping them with their shopping and interpreting at Mass.