Nominated by friends and family, Kate Durrant was initially presented with the Inspiration in the Community accolade by Roz Purcell, before going on to be named as the Overall Inspirational Person of the Year which was presented by former Ireland International, footballer Niall Quinn.
Described as a 'true community champion who works tirelessly to make a difference in her hometown', Kate has worked to support numerous charitable organisations including Pieta House, St. Vincent de Paul, Dogs for the Disabled, Blarney Community First Responders and her local Tidy Towns.
With the help of her friends, Kate organised the town’s Darkness into Light walk which raised over €100,000 for suicide bereavement charity, Pieta House. Kate is also a co-founder of the Blarney Community First Responders which she set up with her friend Deborah Lynch, following the sudden death of three local residents.
Blarney Community First Responders aid cardiac arrest patients until emergency services can arrive and Kate even finds the time to attend some of these callouts herself, on top of fundraising extensively to support the group’s life-saving work.
“Kate and the fellow winners are true examples of people who are making Ireland a better place for us all," Gary Desmond CEO of Gala Retail, who sponsor the awards, said. "My fellow judges and I were incredibly impressed by Kate’s continuous efforts in working to make her community a better and safer place."
Youghal woman, Dr Sinead Kane was named as Ireland’s Inspiration in Sports. Sinead was presented with the Inspiration in Sports accolade by Marty Morrissey, which was awarded to Sinead in recognition of her sporting achievements. She is a double Guinness World Record Holder, having completed the furthest distance for a female on a treadmill in 12 hours, covering the ground of approximately 3 marathons and is the first blind person to finish 7 marathons in 7 days in 7 continents.