Sunday Independent | Gala Retail Inspiration Awards 2019 Finalists

To All

We are delighted to announce Inspirational Finalists ahead of ‘Gala’ awards on November 20th

Following a nationwide search to uncover Ireland’s most inspirational people, Gala Retail and the Sunday Independent can reveal the 18 finalists of the inaugural Sunday Independent / Gala Retail Inspiration Awards.

With entries hailing from across Ireland, an expert judging panel had the challenging task of shortlisting the top three finalists in each of the six categories from the hundreds of entries received.

Judges included the Sunday Independent Life magazine wellness columnist, Alison Canavan; RTE’s Marty Morrissey; Special Olympics Ireland’s CEO, Matt English; Gala Retail’s CEO, Gary Desmond and Head of News at the Sunday Independent, Paul Sheridan sifted through the extraordinary and emotive stories to select the final 18 nominees.

With just three weeks to go until the awards evening,  the finalists’ stories will be front and centre at the first-ever Sunday Independent | Gala Retail Inspiration Awards event.

The Sunday Independent | Gala Retail Inspiration Awards are taking place at Dublin’s Marker Hotel on 20th November, with the winners revealed in the Sunday Independent on Sunday 24th November. With six categories covering young people, sports, caring, environmental change, charity, and community, and overall Inspirational Person of the Year will be crowned at the Gala awards evening.

For further information, see


Inspirational Charity Champion Finalists:


  • William O’Keefe from Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Suzanne McClean from Galway
  • Cliona O’Rourke from Mallow, Co.  Cork


Inspirational Young Person Finalists:

  • Molly Marshall from Passage West, Co. Cork
  • Katelynn Ferris Hamilton from Maynooth, Co. Kildare
  • Sophia Shally from Westport, Co. Mayo


Inspiration in the Community Finalists:

  • Nicola McDonnell from Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Kate Durrant from Blarney, Co. Cork
  • Helen Rochford Brennan from Sligo


Inspirational Carer Finalists:

  • Aundrey Reilly from Cootehill, Co. Cavan
  • Nicole Duggan from Glamire, Co. Cork
  • Angie Benhaffaf from Carrigtwohil, Co. Cork


Inspiration in Sports Finalists:

  • Dr. Sinead Kane from Youghal, Co. Cork
  • Caradh O’Donovan from Sligo
  • Martin Keane from Athenry, Co. Galway


Inspiration in Environmental Change Finalists

  • Laure Tymowski from Crumlin, Dublin
  • Flossie Donnelly from Sandycove, Dublin
  • Patricia Kane from Dublin