Congratulations to one of the very worthy winners of the 2011 “People of the Year,” awards, 18-year-old Jackie Kelly, from the village of Templetuohy, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, who was presented with her award at a star-studded ceremony yesterday, September 10th.
The Awards, now in their 37th year, were presented by RTE One’s Gráinne Seoige with An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, the special Guest of Honour, at the event.
These annual Awards provide a unique opportunity for the Irish public to honour outstanding achievements made by individuals and organisations, to daily life in the Ireland of our time. The winners are chosen by members of the public through a nominations process and finalised by a panel of peers, comprised of leading members of the media, the voluntary sector and the Irish business community.
This years event was sponsored by Quinn Healthcare and organised by Rehab.
Jackie’s citation reads:
For her caring spirit and quiet determination, making her a positive role model for everyone in the community, this year’s recipient of the Young Person of the Year is 18-year-old Jackie Kelly, from the village of Templetuohy in Co. Tipperary. Jackie’s mother Mary was diagnosed with cancer in June 2009. Just 16 years old, Jackie was determined to continue supporting her mum, and dad, at home during this very difficult time, while also doing what she could to pursue her schooling. Indeed, on one morning in December 2009, Jackie was on hand to perform vital CPR on her mother after she had collapsed in the house and a pulse couldn’t be found. In total Jackie missed around 50 per cent of the school year, but through sheer drive and determination, collecting notes from her teachers, asking for extra homework, and communicating with the school by post, email and text message, she passed her Leaving Certificate with flying colours. Mary is now doing well and Jackie has just completed her first year in Business Studies and French at Limerick Institute of Technology in Thurles.
X Factor winner, Mary Byrne presented Jackie with her Award.
Photo: M Stedman / Photocall Ireland.