List of People of the Year Award winners

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The Rehab People of the Year Awards is an annual awards ceremony in Ireland organised by the Rehab Group, televised by RTÉ television.

The Awards are given to people who bring joy and light to the lives of others or have supported others in their darkest hours. These are individuals who have demonstrated their courage and energy in Ireland and throughout the world.[1] The nominees are chosen by members of the public. The winners are then chosen by a panel of adjudicators, composed of leading members of the media, voluntary sector and business community.

The 2014 Awards were held on December 6.[2] The event marked the 40th anniversary of People of the Year Awards ceremony, which started in 1975.[3]

Award Categories[edit]

  • The International Person of the Year - awarded to an Irish person who has made an outstanding contribution on an international level, or to a person from outside Ireland who has made a positive impact to life on the island.
  • The Young Person of the Year - for exceptional achievements by a young person (aged 25 or under).
  • Sports Person of the Year
  • Community Group of the Year
  • People of the Year Awards


Complete List of Winners[edit]



  • Rory O'Neill/Panti, , People of the Year Award winner. For his public contributions in fighting for equality and freedom of expression.
  • Paul Kelly, People of the Year Award winner. For his work with Console - a Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention Service.
  • Maurice McCabe and John Wilson, , People of the Year Award winners. For exposing irregularities in the work of the justice system.
  • The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Community Group of the Year. For it's work as a leader in the homeless and hunger charity sector.
  • Owen Condon, Every Day Hero Award, in association with the Nicky Byrne Show with Jenny Greene, RTÉ 2FM. For saving the life of a friend.
  • Adam Horgan, Joint Young Person of the Year Award. For rescuing two people from drowning near Youghal, Co. Cork.
  • Shane Kennedy, Joint Young Person of the Year Award. For the care he gives to his younger brother who has Cri du chat syndrome.
  • Mary and Tony Heffernan, , People of the Year Award winners. For their work with the Saoirse Foundation which helps children affected by Batten disease, and the BUMBLEance, children's ambulance service.
  • Tomi Reichental, International Person of the Year award 2014. For raising awareness of the Holocaust survivor since his family moved to Ireland in the 1950's.
  • Louise O’Keeffe, People of the Year Award winner. For her struggle to expose the abuse she and others suffered during her school days in 1973.



  • Fiona Doyle, People of the Year Award winner. For her courage, determination and bravery in fighting for her own rights and the rights of survivors of abuse.
  • Loretta Brennan Glucksman, International Person of the Year winner. In recognition of her tireless work, dedication and commitment, her extraordinary philanthropic efforts with the American Ireland Fund and her generosity of spirit.
  • Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, Person of the Year Award winner. For his dedication in protecting the ordinary citizens of Ireland, and for his bravery and courage in the line of duty, Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was posthumously awarded a People of the Year Award..
  • Donal Walsh, Joint Young Person of the Year (posthumous). For his courage, strength, determination and desire to show young people the true value and meaning of life, and for being an inspiration to so many people, Donal Walsh was posthumously awarded a Young Person of the Year Award.
  • Fabian Lugandu, People of the Year Award. For his bravery and fearlessness when he came to the rescue of Liz O’Brien and her son Derek, and for his quick thinking and courage, which ensured that Liz and her son returned home safely that day, Fabian Lugandu was awarded a People of the Year Award.
  • Joe Prendergast, Joint Young Person of the Year. For his motivation, determination and successful achievements, Joe Prendergast was awarded the Young Person of the Year Award.
  • Irish Women's Rugby Team, Sports Person of the Year. For their skill, passion and dedication in achieving their success, for capturing the hearts of the nation and breaking down barriers for women’s sport in Ireland, the Ireland women’s rugby team received a People of the Year Award.
  • Orla O'Sullivan, People of the Year Award. For her determination, her incredible talent and for acting as an inspiration for others with a disability to follow their dreams, Orla O’Sullivan was awarded a People of the Year Award.
  • Tom Arnold. People of the Year Award. For his commitment and energy as a leading and tireless advocate in the fight against hunger and malnutrition across the world Tom Arnold was presented with a People of the Year Award.
  • Ciarán Finn, Dad of the Year (in association with 2fm's Breakfast with Hector). For being a dedicated dad who goes above and beyond for his children, for teaching skills in a novel and fun way and for being an inspiration to those around him, Ciarán Finn received the Dad of the Year Award in association with 2fm's Breakfast with Hector.
  • Brendan O'Carroll, People of the Year Award. For his services to the Irish entertainment industry and his ability to bring a smile to the faces of so many people, Brendan O’Carroll was awarded a People of the Year Award.



  • Gill Waters, People of the Year Award winner, for her innovation in pioneering Today FM's Shave or Dye Campaign for the Irish Cancer Society and for creating vital public dialogue around cancer.
  • Adventurer Mark Pollock, People of the Year Award winner, for his determination in overcoming significant physical adversity and constantly pushing out new boundaries as an explorer and adventure racer.
  • Maeve Flaherty, from Ballinteer in Dublin, winner of the 2012 special award category Neighbour of the Year, for her fantastic neighbourly spirit and selflessness in supporting people in difficulty. The award was presented in association with RTÉ 2fm’s Tubridy.
  • Katie Taylor, Sports Person of the Year, for her outstanding sporting achievements, most recently as an Olympic Gold medallist, and for being a proud ambassador for Ireland Boxer.
  • Dr. Tony Scott, of University College Dublin, People of the Year Award winner, for his immense contribution to the field of science in Ireland and co-founding of what is today known as the Young Scientist Exhibition.
  • The people of Union Hall, County Cork, winner of Community Group of the Year, for its outstanding community spirit and unshakeable resolve in efforts to find five fishermen lost at sea on the Tit Bonhomme near Glandore Harbour.
  • Joanne O'Riordan, Young Person of the Year, for her determination in highlighting the challenges faced by people with disabilities today.
  • The late Garda Ciarán Jones, posthumous winner of a People of the Year Award, for the enormous bravery, heroism and selflessness shown by him in losing his life in trying to protect others in the floods of winter 2011 in Manor Kilbride County Wicklow.
  • Cork Penny Dinners, People of the Year Award winner, for providing food and warmth to those in need in Cork for over 100 years.
  • Broadcaster Colm Murray People of the Year Award winner, for his courageous response to a diagnosis of Motor Neuron Disease, and his inspirational efforts in speaking out about the condition and the need for a cure.
  • The 2012 Irish Paralympic Team People of the Year Award winner, for its inspiring sporting achievements at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and a record haul of 16 medals.


  • Rory McIlroy, named Sports Person of the Year, following his record-breaking victory at the US Open Golf Championship in June 2011 in which he became its youngest winner since 1923, tying or breaking 12 Open records
  • The Ireland cricket team for bringing cricketing success to these shores never previously enjoyed with a phenomenal victory against England at the Cricket World Cup and the quickest century ever achieved at the tournament
  • Police Constable Ronan Kerr (age 25), recognised posthumously for his enormous bravery and commitment to both community and the PSNI. Ronan tragically lost his life when a car bomb went off outside his Omagh home in April 2011
  • Sharon Malloy, from Co. Laois, named Best Friend of the Year in a special award for 2011, for her support to a friend battling drug addiction
  • The community of Skerries in North Co. Dublin, named Community of the Year for its extraordinary solidarity in the search for two men who went missing at sea in April 2011
  • Edith Wilkins, named International Person of the Year for her compassion and unfaltering commitment to improving the lives of the people of India, and for providing a safe haven to the most vulnerable in society
  • Joan Freeman for her work in establishing Pieta House, the only service of its kind in Ireland to provide counselling and support for those who are actively suicidal, are contemplating suicide, or who self-harm
  • Jackie Kelly (18 years), from Co. Tipperary, named Young Person of the Year for being a positive role model in supporting her mum who had been diagnosed with cancer and for her determination to pass her Leaving Cert
  • AJ McCullough (21 years) for his heroic efforts in his brave and courageous rescue of the Attah family when their car plunged into the Boyne Canal in Drogheda in December 2010
  • The Tall Ships Festival Waterford 2011 for the enormous voluntary and community effort which led to a hugely successful festival, with more than 500 volunteers providing support




  • Bernadette Lanigan
  • Sarah Kavanagh
  • Debbie Deegan
  • The Irish Rugby Team[5]
  • Brian O’Driscoll[5]
  • Steve Collins, father of gang-victim Roy Collins, for working to end gang violence in Limerick[5]
  • Christine Buckley
  • Michael O’Brien
  • David Kelly[5]
  • Eleanor Thomson
  • Sylvia Meehan
  • Irish Hospice Foundation






  • Sonia O'Sullivan
  • Emma Synnott
  • Fr Kieran Creagh
  • Patrick McAweeney
  • Johnathan Irwin & Jack & Jill Foundation
  • Iseult O’Malley, Siobhan Phelan & Peter Ward
  • Rev. Roy Magee




  • Niall Quinn
  • Rosemary Daly
  • Caroline Casey
  • Joe Kernan
  • T.K. Whitaker
  • Colm O’Gorman
  • Martin Gildea
  • Francis Fitzsimons


  • Fr J Linus Ryan
  • Kathryn Sinnott
  • Aidan O’Brien
  • Daráine Ni Mhaolmhichil
  • Tony Paget
  • Sorcha McKenna
  • Fr Mychal Judge & New York City Rescue Services








  • Ger Loughnane
  • Martin Naughton
  • Derek Nally
  • Dr. D. Colbert
  • Maureen Potter
  • Gerardo V. Garcia (PDI)
  • Sonya Doyle
  • R. McDermott
  • Noel McDonagh


  • Jim Callery & Luc Dodd
  • Moya Doherty & Bill Whelan
  • Jane Feehan
  • Sr. Jennifer McAleer
  • Dr. Patrick McKeon
  • Ellen Mongan
  • Norma Smurfit
  • Martina Daly & Jean Withers


  • Paddy Doyle
  • Noel C. Duggan
  • Sonia O'Sullivan
  • Garda Agnes Reddy
  • Dr. Joseph Robins
  • Adi Roche
  • Sr. Carmel Walsh
  • J. Dawson Stelfox


  • Sgt. Michael Carruth & Mr Wayne McCullough
  • Brian McEniff
  • Sr. Eileen Fahey
  • Prof. Fred Given
  • Kilkee Marine Rescue Recovery Service
  • Seamus Kinsella
  • Martin Naughton
  • John O’Shea


  • Tarlach De Blacam
  • Kenneth Branagh
  • Jim Connolly
  • The Cooley S.T.O.P. Committee
  • Dr. Edward Culleton
  • Brian Friel
  • Catherine Joyce
  • Dr. Thomas McGinley




  • Peter Sutherland
  • Shauna McWilliams
  • Brian Banks
  • Gary O'Toole
  • Mary Moriarty
  • Denis Mulcahy
  • Patrick Mulcahy
  • Joan McGinley
  • Liam Skelly
  • Seamus Heaney




  • Denis Brosnan
  • Cathal McDonagh
  • Gary Hynes
  • Neil Jordan
  • William A. Houlihan
  • Rev. Cecil Kerr
  • Dr. Susan McKenna Lawlor
  • Jonjo O'Neill


PC John Myhill



  • Sheila Goldberg
  • Coilin O h'larnain
  • Carol Moffett
  • Joan Denise Moriarty
  • Mary O'Donoghue
  • Canon Billy Wynne
  • Ireland Special Olympics Team
  • Detective Inspector Denis Mullins


  • Fr. Harry Bohan
  • Irene Daly
  • James Doogan
  • Garda Eamon Doyle
  • Sr. Colette Dwyer
  • Pól Ó Foighil
  • Joseph Hughes
  • Dr. Michael J. Kileen
  • Thomas McGarry
  • Seamus McGuire
  • Prof. Tom Raftery
  • Dr. T. K. Whitaker
  • Monica Wilson


  • Rick Bourke
  • Frank Cahill
  • Br. Kevin Crowley OFM, CAP
  • Mary Dunlop
  • James Hughes
  • Freda Lyness
  • Kevin O’Doherty
  • Tony McNamara
  • Christopher Nolan
  • Bridgid O'Lynn
  • Thomas Stephens
  • Jerry Tyrrell


  • Sr. Anna
  • Tony Barry
  • Cecelia Carroll
  • Iris Doreen Charles
  • Lorna Daly
  • Mildred Dugan
  • Lady Valerie Goulding
  • Katherine Lyons
  • Very Rev. James Canon McDyer P.P.
  • Philip A. Mullally
  • Rev. Fr. Eoin Murphy
  • Donal O'Connor N.T.
  • Major General James J. Quinn



  • William Bermingham
  • Dr J.E.De Courcy Ireland
  • Rev. Dean Griffin
  • Rev. Monsignor Horan
  • Sr. Marian
  • Dr. Charles Mollan
  • Ms G. Morris
  • Denis O’Brien
  • Eric Peard
  • Dr. Patricia Sheehan
  • Eva Wall
  • Gisela Whyte


  • Ivy Bourke
  • Sr. Joan Bowles
  • Tony Byrne P.C.
  • Joan Carr
  • Rev. Ray Davey M.B.E.
  • Dr. Muriel Gahan
  • Matthew Kirwan
  • Vera Montgomery
  • Dr. Marie Mulcahy
  • Christine E. O’Rourke
  • Marie Roycroft
  • Bro. Aloysius Shannon O.H.


  • Criostoir De Baroid
  • Sr. M. Consillio Fitzgerald
  • H.J. Egar
  • Mary Hanley
  • T.J. Hargadon
  • Sr. Kevin Kerin
  • Dr. Brendan Menton & Don Seery
  • Senator Joe & Tom McCartin
  • Mary F. O’Brien
  • Arthur O’Flaithearta
  • Eileen Proctor
  • Dr. Barbara Stokes


  • Betty Williams
  • Mairead Corrigan
  • Joseph O’Brien
  • Bro. Vivian Cassells
  • T. Pearce Leahy
  • S.H.A.R.E.
  • Megan Maguire
  • Dr. Jopphn F. Fleetwood
  • Sean Cooney
  • Bridie Maguire
  • Rev. W. Sydney Callaghan
  • Michael O’Regan
  • Most Rev. Dr. Birch


  • Col Joseph Adams
  • James Anderson
  • Dr. Joseph Barnes
  • Maureen Black
  • Joseph Connolly
  • Thomas C. Fallon
  • Patricia Keeley
  • Dr. Patrick J. Leahy
  • Sr. M. Nicholas O.P.
  • Patrick J. O’Brien
  • Maura O’Dea
  • Stephen Whittle



  1. ^ a b "Award Categories". [1]. June 2013. Retrieved 2014-09-14. 
  2. ^ a b "Winners of the 2014 People of the Year Awards Announced". [2]. December 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "People of the Year Awards Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Honouring Ireland’s Heroes". [3]. 2014-06-23. Retrieved 2014-09-14. 
  4. ^ "2013 People of the Year". [4]. September 2013. Retrieved 2014-09-14. 
  5. ^ a b c d "We Have Campaigned Enough, We Can Take a Step Back and Get Back to Normal; PEOPLE OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR GANG VICTIM'S DAD". Irish Daily Mirror. 14 September 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2014.   – via Questia (subscription required)
  6. ^ a b c d e Morris, Jake (19 September 2005). "McCARTNEY SISTERS ARE PEOPLE OF YEAR; Women's Battle for Justice Is Praised". Irish Daily Mirror. Retrieved 26 October 2014.   – via Questia (subscription required)
  7. ^ Flanagan, Pat (24 November 2003). "IRELAND HONOURS ITS KIDS: Joy of Brave Ciara; AWARD FOR SAVING HER BROTHERS WITH 3 OPS". Irish Daily Mirror. Retrieved 27 October 2014.   – via Questia (subscription required)
  8. ^ Full list of winners

External links[edit]