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In Pictures: Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards night

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Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Ramada Hotel, Belfastt : Tara O'Dornan, Merily McGivern and Kaz Lynas

Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Ramada Hotel, Belfastt : Tara O'Dornan, Merily McGivern and Kaz Lynas

Paul McGarrity with Janice and Richard Barr

Paul McGarrity with Janice and Richard Barr

Julian Simmons and Niamh Perry present Paul Russell Overall winner of UTV and 105 Young Persons Award

Julian Simmons and Niamh Perry present Paul Russell Overall winner of UTV and 105 Young Persons Award

Tony McGinn and the Three Priests present Philip McTaggart with the overall Overcoming Adversity award

Tony McGinn and the Three Priests present Philip McTaggart with the overall Overcoming Adversity award

Lembit Opik and Martin Breen present Charlene Barr's parents with the overall Unsung Hero

Lembit Opik and Martin Breen present Charlene Barr's parents with the overall Unsung Hero

The parents of Charlene Barr approach the stage after Charlene won the overall Spirit of Northern Ireland Award

The parents of Charlene Barr approach the stage after Charlene won the overall Spirit of Northern Ireland Award

X-Factor star Stacey Solomon performs at the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards

X-Factor star Stacey Solomon performs at the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards

Paul Russell who won the young peoles award at Spirit of NI is presented with free easyjet flights by Andrew McConnell

Paul Russell who won the young peoles award at Spirit of NI is presented with free easyjet flights by Andrew McConnell

Dempsey Andrews with Stacey Solomon

Dempsey Andrews with Stacey Solomon

Stacey Solomon at the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards

Stacey Solomon at the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards

Stacey Solomon at the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards

Stacey Solomon at the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards

Martin Breen and Lembit Opik

Martin Breen and Lembit Opik

The parents and family of Charlene Barr on stage

The parents and family of Charlene Barr on stage

L-R:  Lucy, Hazel, Robert and Shane Gibson

L-R: Lucy, Hazel, Robert and Shane Gibson

L-R: Christine Russell, Paul Russell and Suzanne Russell

L-R: Christine Russell, Paul Russell and Suzanne Russell

L-R:  Maureen Gouldie, Shona Cosgrove, Ann Murphy, Alice Murphy and Niamh Murphy

L-R: Maureen Gouldie, Shona Cosgrove, Ann Murphy, Alice Murphy and Niamh Murphy

L-R:  Tara O'Dornan, Damon Quinn, Sara Girvan

L-R: Tara O'Dornan, Damon Quinn, Sara Girvan

L-R: Des Keenan, Anne Keenan, Ann Walker and Mike Braithwaite

L-R: Des Keenan, Anne Keenan, Ann Walker and Mike Braithwaite

L-R: Gary McLaughlin with family and friends

L-R: Gary McLaughlin with family and friends

Gerard McCarthy and Seainin Brennan

Gerard McCarthy and Seainin Brennan

Three PriestsFr Eugene O'Hagan, Fr Martin O'Hagan and Fr David Delargy

Three PriestsFr Eugene O'Hagan, Fr Martin O'Hagan and Fr David Delargy

L-R: Peter Lavery, Tim McGarry, Michael McDowell and John Linehan

L-R: Peter Lavery, Tim McGarry, Michael McDowell and John Linehan

Jason and Brenda Shankey

Jason and Brenda Shankey

Friends and family of Charlene Barr

Friends and family of Charlene Barr

Andrew Cosgrove and Gemma Garrett

Andrew Cosgrove and Gemma Garrett

Julian Simmons  and Pamela Ballantine

Julian Simmons and Pamela Ballantine

Alison Fleming

Alison Fleming

Niamh Perry

Niamh Perry

Niamh Perry and Charlotte McCurry

Niamh Perry and Charlotte McCurry

Corrina Duke

Corrina Duke

Carol Douglas and Stuart Douglas

Carol Douglas and Stuart Douglas

Tina Campbell and Malachi Cush

Tina Campbell and Malachi Cush

Magdelena Conrad and Neil Lynas

Magdelena Conrad and Neil Lynas

Kaz Lynas

Kaz Lynas

Alan Simpson and Kim Kelly

Alan Simpson and Kim Kelly

Peter Corry

Peter Corry

Brian and Cristine O'Kane

Brian and Cristine O'Kane

Pete Snodden and Sarah Owens

Pete Snodden and Sarah Owens

Louise Rice, JP Rice, Michael Kennedy and Ann-Marie Kennedy

Louise Rice, JP Rice, Michael Kennedy and Ann-Marie Kennedy

Emma Louise Johnston and Mary Johnston

Emma Louise Johnston and Mary Johnston

Ralph McClean, Andrew McConnell and Pete Snodden

Ralph McClean, Andrew McConnell and Pete Snodden

Lembit Opik, Merily McGivern and Andrew McConnell

Lembit Opik, Merily McGivern and Andrew McConnell

Lori Moore and Raymoind Walsh

Lori Moore and Raymoind Walsh

Lori Moore

Lori Moore

Specsavers staff

Specsavers staff

Ivan Little

Ivan Little

Razzle Dazzle

Razzle Dazzle

Dempsey Andrews

Dempsey Andrews

Shona Cosgrove

Shona Cosgrove

Bronagh Mullan

Bronagh Mullan

Paul Russell

Paul Russell

Jason Black

Jason Black

Nocola Porter

Nocola Porter

Anne Walker

Anne Walker

Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Ramada Hotel

Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Ramada Hotel

John Cassidy

John Cassidy

Hazel Gibson

Hazel Gibson

Gillian McFadden

Gillian McFadden

Malachi Cush and Tina Campbell

Malachi Cush and Tina Campbell

Jason Black

Jason Black

sisters of Charlene Barr

sisters of Charlene Barr

Janice and Richard Barr

Janice and Richard Barr

Janice and Richard Barr

Janice and Richard Barr

Stacey Solomon and Paul Russell

Stacey Solomon and Paul Russell

Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Ramada Hotel

Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Ramada Hotel

Stacey Solomon and Specsaver staff

Stacey Solomon and Specsaver staff

Tara O'Dornan, Merily McGivern and Kaz Lynas

Tara O'Dornan, Merily McGivern and Kaz Lynas

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Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards at the Ramada Hotel, Belfastt : Tara O'Dornan, Merily McGivern and Kaz Lynas

Everyone's a winner in the eyes of the audience at the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards with Specsavers.

Our 15 fantastic finalists epitomise the true grit, courage and talent of the ordinary folk doing extraordinary things in communities across Northern Ireland.

Our celebrity guests and audience raised the roof with cheers and applause for all of the contestants in the three award categories.

Here are the stars in the UTV/U105.8FM Young Persons, Specsavers Overcoming Adversity and Sunday Life Unsung Hero categories who made our gala awards a special night to remember.

1. Dr Dickie and Janice Barr — parents of overall Spirit of Northern Ireland Award winner, Charlene Barr accept the top trophy and bouquet of flowers from Sunday Life editor Martin Breen and Specsavers NI chairman, Tony McGinn.

The loving legacy of Charlene’s fundraising work lives on with the opening of a £120,000 school and water well development in Uganda.

2. Nicknamed the ‘Sunshine Boy’ by his mum, Jane, 12-year-old Paul Russell is delighted to win the UTV/U105.8FM Young Persons Award.

Sports and music loving Paul, who plays piano, while living with the rare genetic condition, Apert Syndrome, is pictured with (L-R) mum Jane, singer-actress Niamh Perry and UTV presenter Julian Simmons.

3. Former soldier, turned globe-trotting basketball and tennis champ, Jason Black won the Specsavers Overcoming Adversity Award. He is pictured with singing trio, The Priests and Tony McGinn.

4. UTV Young Persons Award finalist, Dempsey Andrews who has won countless ice skating medals shares a smile with UTV’s Julian Simmons after receiving her finalist award.

5. North Belfast teenager Shona Cosgrove, who is a champion hip-hop dancer in spite of a hip bone operation and other health problems, receives her Young Persons finalist award from Julian Simmons.

6. Saintfield girl Bronagh Mullan who took care of her seriously-ill mum while still at school also received her Young Persons finalist award from UTV star Julian Simmons.

7. County Fermanagh breast and brain cancer-survivor Beulah Irvine — pictured with her Specsavers Overcoming Adversity finalist award.

8. North Belfast man and boss of suicide prevention training group, PIPS Programmes, Philip McTaggart is presented with his Specsavers Overcoming Adversity finalist award by UTV’s Pamela Ballantine and Tony McGinn.

9. Carrickfergus woman Nicola Porter who is actively involved in cancer support, youth and church groups after losing her right leg to a bone tumour is a worthy recipient of a Specsavers Overcoming Adversity finalist award which was presented by singing star Peter Corry.

10. The driving force behind Action MS, Ann Walker is recognised for her 36-year long devotion to others, with a Specsavers Overcoming Adversity finalist award.

11. John Cassidy’s lifelong dedication to youth soccer — co-founding the Milk Cup — is recognised with a Sunday Life Unsung Hero finalist award.

12. Specialist children’s renal nurse Hazel Gibson, manager of the Belfast kids’ team at this summer’s British Transplant Games, with her Sunday Life Unsung Hero finalist award.

13. Gillian McFadden who runs the Doghouse Sanctuary in Banbridge is honoured with a finalist award in the Unsung Hero category.

14. Gary McLaughlin who works as an outreach counsellor with the Zest organisation, is another Sunday Life Unsung Hero finalist award winner.

15. Unsung Hero finalist, artist Raymond Watson is honoured for his Belfast Flags Of Hope project.


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