Woman of Year: Cystic fibrosis campaigner honoured

 

ORLA TINSLEY and Sharon Commins were among this year’s winners at the Irish Tatler Women of the Year awards.

The judging panel chose Ms Tinsley as the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year due to her “unwavering commitment to bettering the situation of cystic fibrosis patients in Ireland, bringing their plight to the public eye with admirable elegance and passion”.

Ms Tinsley, a 22-year-old journalist and healthcare activist who has cystic fibrosis, began campaigning in 2005 to bring about better services for people with the disease.

The citation for her award said: “Her passionate rhetoric and writing skill led the Government to rebuild the unit which is set to be completed in early 2010.”

In total 12 awards were handed out to business, media and entertainment figures along with special recognition and achievement awards.

Goal worker Sharon Commins, who along with fellow aid worker Hilda Kawuki was kidnapped and held hostage for more than 100 days in Darfur, received a Special Achievement Award at the ceremony at the Mansion House in Dublin city centre last night.

The Irish Tatler Woman of the Year Northern Ireland Award went to Anna Lo, while the secretary general of the European Commission Catherine Day won the Public Life Award.

Terry Prone picked up a media award; chef Rachel Allen received an entertainment award.

Boxer Katie Taylor won the sport award, while novelist Cecelia Ahern won the literary award.

Harmonia chief executive Norah Casey said one aim of the awards was to “ensure that young women have great female role models to learn from”.

PAMELA DUNCAN