Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards 2018 airs on UTV

Winners of the 2018 Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards. Credit: Presseye

The Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards, in partnership with Specsavers, which celebrate our unsung heroes, was broadcast on UTV on Tuesday night.

The star-studded evening, was held at the Crowne Plaza in Belfast on Friday and was attended by stars of stage, screen and sport.

Famous faces who attended and presented awards on the night included Derry Girls stars Jamie-Lee O'Donnell and Ian McElhinney, boxers Paddy Barnes and Ryan Burnett, Emmerdale actor Dominic Brunt and Corrie's Charlie Lawson, The Fall actresses Bronagh Waugh and Niamh McGrady, and X Factor judge Louis Walsh.

The event was hosted by UTV’s Pamela Ballantine and Marc Mallett.

Marc Mallett and Pamela Ballantine hosted the awards on Friday. Credit: Presseye

However it was the 10 winners who stole the limelight on the night.

Guests at the awards were moved to tears by our Spirit of Youth winner, Emily Magee from Co Fermanagh, who was recognised for fundraising £21,000 for the Make A Wish Foundation since losing her four-year-old brother in a farm accident.

Peter Dolan won the Overcoming Adversity award for his work with the Enda Dolan Foundation, which he and his wife Niamh set up in memory of his son who was killed by a drunk driver while he was at university in 2014. The foundation promotes running and music, which had been passions for 18-year-old.

Boxer Paddy Barnes and Dominic Burnt from Emmerdale present the Overcoming Adversity award. Credit: Presseye

Fiona Simpson, from Limavady is Childline Foyle’s longest serving volunteer and was rewarded for her incredible efforts with the Charity Champion award.

Firefighter Noel McKee, who has worked for the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) for 30 years, was honoured with the 999 Hero award, for not only tackling countless fires but also raising over £1m for local charities.

The new Special Recognition Award went to nine-year-old Newry schoolboy Alex McMahon who is a young carer who helps his mum Martina look after his twin sisters who have special needs.

This year’s Spirit of Sport award went to Paul Johnston of Monkstown boxing club who was nominated for the work he has done with hundreds of disadvantaged youngsters.

The Unsung Hero award went to the Community First group which is based in the Shankill area of Belfast who have raised thousands of pounds for great causes for the local community.

Spirit of Education went to The Buddy Up project from Holy Cross and Edenderry Nursery Schools in Belfast.

The Caring Spirit award to Pearl and Alistair Brown, who are parents to seven special needs adults, five of whom are adopted.

The Eating Disorder Team, from Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) at Antrim Area Hospital received the Spirit of Health award.