26 inspirational heroes named in the Gala Retail and Virgin Media Inspiration Awards

FOLLOWING a nationwide search to uncover Ireland’s most inspirational people, 26 county heroes are celebrating after being named ‘an Inspirational Hero’ in the Gala Retail and Virgin Media Inspiration Awards.

Inspirational people from across Ireland were nominated for the Inspiration Awards, with 26 county heroes being named from the hundreds of entries received. Each of the 26 award-winning heroes demonstrated how they have made Ireland a better place with their selfless acts and inspirational deeds during the Covid-19 crisis, and how they have gone above and beyond for others in their local community.

The 26 Inspirational Heroes are:

  1. Carlow: Aoife Moody
  2. Cavan: Catherine Farrell
  3. Clare: Brian Hogan
  4. Cork: Margaret O Callaghan
  5. Donegal: Fr Pat Ward
  6. Dublin: Denis O’Reilly
  7. Galway: Joseph Kelly
  8. Kerry: Caoilinn Harte
  9. Kildare: Shaun Duane
  10. Kilkenny: Stephen Murphy
  11. Laois: Aisling Donoher
  12. Leitrim: Debbie Walsh Murphy
  13. Limerick: Linda Ledger
  14. Longford: Robert Shaw
  15. Louth: Kathleen Lynch
  16. Mayo: Eloise McDonnell
  17. Meath: Stacey Looby
  18. Monaghan: Martina Beattie
  19. Offaly: Paula Nolan
  20. Roscommon: Peter Kirwan
  21. Sligo: Valentina Macesanu
  22. Tipperary: Darragh McKenna
  23. Waterford: Doireann Shanahan
  24. Westmeath: Sarah Nally
  25. Wexford: Imelda Gordon
  26. Wicklow: Mary O’Brien

Commenting on the quality of the entries, Gary Desmond, CEO of Gala Retail comments:

“This year Gala Retail teamed up with Virgin Media for the Inspiration Awards as we wanted to deliver a national platform to shine a light on and reward the amazing people who have become true heroes during life under lockdown and who are making a real difference to Irish society.

“2020 has been hugely difficult for everyone however, it has also demonstrated the immense community spirit that exists within Irish communities. Operating in communities throughout Ireland, Gala Retailers have seen first-hand some of the great work that people have been doing and we are proud to have been able to recognise some of these inspirational individuals. We were overwhelmed by the level of nominations we received from across Ireland and the chosen inspirational heroes are true examples of people who are making Ireland a better place for us all.”

2020 marks the second year of the Gala Retail Inspiration Awards created as a way of celebrating the selfless acts and inspirational deeds of people in Ireland who are making the country a better place.

As a community retailer with 175 convenience stores nationwide, Gala store owners often hear of inspirational stories in their local communities, and this year’s Gala Retail and Virgin Media Inspiration Awards have elevated Ireland’s unsung heroes onto a national stage, giving these inspirational people the recognition they deserve.

Gala Retail has gifted €20,000 of prizes to the winners, with 26 county winners being awarded with luxury stays in some of Ireland’s most beautiful Blue Book properties.