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Dedication and bravery of winners honoured at People of the Year Awards

Dedication and bravery of winners honoured at People of the Year Awards

Vera Twomey, who led the medical cannabis campaign. Photo: Robbie Reynolds
Vera Twomey, who led the medical cannabis campaign. Photo: Robbie Reynolds

Ryan Nugent

Historian Catherine Corless and campaigner Vera Twomey were among the big winners at last night's Rehab People of the Year Awards.

Also among those honoured at Dublin's Mansion House were the Galway hurlers, Irish Coast Guard and crew of Rescue 116 who tragically died last year.

Tao iseach Leo Varadkar presented the Young Person of the Year Award to Harry (13) and Molly Flynn (10) for saving their six-year-old sister Isabelle's life on many occasions.

She has apnoea and can suddenly stop breathing at any time. Her older siblings have performed CPR on her while playing on a bouncy castle and in a supermarket trolley while out shopping.

Ms Corless, who was praised for her research on the Tuam Mother and Baby Home which uncovered the remains of hundreds of babies, said a full exhumation of the site was now needed.

"We need to remove the remains of these innocent children - it is no place for them - and give them a respectful burial," Ms Corless said.

Tuam campaigner Catherine Corless with her People of the Year award. Photo: Frank McGrath
Tuam campaigner Catherine Corless with her People of the Year award. Photo: Frank McGrath

Ms Twomey was honoured for her national campaign to legalise medicinal cannabis. Her daughter Ava (8) suffers from Dravet Syndrome, which causes severe and dangerous seizures.

"It is very hard to watch other parents and families suffering in similar circumstances to ours. I know there are hundreds of people suffering in Ireland who could potentially benefit from medicinal cannabis," said Ms Twomey.

10-year-old Molly Flynn from Kilkenny and her brother Harry (13) share their Young Person of the Year trophy. Photo: Frank McGrath
10-year-old Molly Flynn from Kilkenny and her brother Harry (13) share their Young Person of the Year trophy. Photo: Frank McGrath

Irish Independent

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