A wonderful celebration of some of Northern Ireland’s most outstanding women was enjoyed last night at the gala final of the 2008 Belfast Telegraph Woman of the Year Awards in association with Spar.
In what was an evening of high emotion, the remarkable winners and runners-up in all nine categories were honoured along with our overall Woman of the Year 2008, fashion designer Una Rodden.
A thrilled Una said: “I am overwhelmed to win this award, especially as there are so many fantastic women here who have achieved so much.
“It is amazing and I am thrilled to accept it.”
Una was presented with a Belleek Living trophy and an exclusive one-off piece of jewellery from the Pandora range at Argento Jewellers.
Her award presentation crowned a fantastic night at Belfast’s Ramanda Hotel which was hosted by the BBC’s Wendy Austin.
Belfast Telegraph Group Features Editor Gail Walker said: “Last night was a tremendous showcase of women in Northern Ireland with some extraordinary acts of heroism in terms of caring for families, charity work, business and sporting achievements which nobody would normally get to hear about.
“It is great to see these ladies recognised in what was a truly glittering occasion.”
The audience was also treated to a fashion show by Belfast’s top boutique Carter.
Guest speaker for the evening was last year’s Woman of the Year in Sport Hannah Shields, the first Northern Ireland woman to climb Mount Everest.
Winners and guests were welcomed by Paddy Doody, Sales and Marketing Director of Henderson Group, owners of the Spar franchise here.
He said: “Spar is proud to be title sponsor of the Belfast Telegraph Woman of the Year awards for the second year running.”
OUR BT WOMEN OF THE YEAR
Woman of the Year in Business sponsored by Ulster Bank
Doreen McKenzie of Knock Travel.
Mum of the Year sponsored by Irwin’s Bakery
Lorna Nelson, who is battling cancer for a second time and who has devoted her life to caring for people with severe learning difficulties.
Woman of the Year in Fashion sponsored by Carter
Fashion designer Una Rodden, also overall Woman of the Year.
Woman of the Year in the Voluntary sector sponsored by Firmus Energy
Dr Marion Gibson who has worked with victims of some of the world’s biggest disasters.
Inspirational Woman |of the Year sponsored by Stafford Hairdressing, Belfast
Anne McLarnon, who has helped raise an incredible £250,000 for charity.
Sportswoman of |the Year sponsored by Junction One Shopping Centre
Olympic silver medallist, cyclist Wendy Houvenaghel.
Woman of the Year in Education sponsored by Sodexo
Betty Orr, principal of Edenbrooke School in Belfast.