Belfast Telegraph

The other Belfast Telegraph Woman of the Year winners

Top prize: Belfast Telegraph Woman of the Year Maud Kells with Siobhan McKeown (left), marketing manager of sponsors The OUTLET, and Gail Walker, Belfast Telegraph Editor
Top prize: Belfast Telegraph Woman of the Year Maud Kells with Siobhan McKeown (left), marketing manager of sponsors The OUTLET, and Gail Walker, Belfast Telegraph Editor
Leesa Harker and Helen Hutchinson
Pamela Smyth with Taylor Kirk and Rachel Crawford

By Staff Reporter

Overall Woman of the Year, in association with The OUTLET/Inspirational Woman of the Year, sponsored by the Grand Opera House.

WINNER: Maud Kells

Presented by Mary-Clare Dean, chief executive of Grand Opera House

The Cookstown woman hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons earlier this year after she was shot and almost killed during a botched robbery in the Congo, where she has been a missionary for over 40 years. Despite suffering horrific injuries during her ordeal, the 75-year-old - who trained as a nurse at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital - said that she hoped to return to Africa to complete some of the many worthy projects she had begun before the incident.

Woman of the Year in Education, sponsored by Belleek Living

WINNER: Charleen Gordon

Presented by John Maguire, managing director, Belleek Living

As acting principal at Knockbreda High School, the 54-year-old mum-of-two from Groomsport helped transform the school from being threatened with closure to a successful amalgamation with neighbouring Newtownbreda High School. The new Breda Academy will open for business this September. She was nominated by her children Ali (22) and Michael (16).

Woman of the Year in Hair, Beauty and Fashion, sponsored by Hastings Hotels

WINNER: Pamela Smyth

Presented by Taylor Kirk and Rachel Crawford, Hastings Hotels

The highly-respected TV and film make-up artist, from Crawfordsburn, has been applying her magic touch to shows such as hit locally-shot epic Game of Thrones and BBC crime series The Fall, starring Jamie Dornan and Gillian Anderson. She is married with two children, Lex (11) and Myles (10).

Sportswoman of the Year, sponsored by

WINNER: Kelly Gallagher

Presented by Emma McNally, commercial manager,

The visually-impaired Bangor athlete became one of the most recognisable faces at last year's Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia, when she defied the odds to win Great Britain's first ever Winter Paralympic gold. The 29-year-old was also awarded an MBE for services to sport for people with visual impairment. Kelly's mum Margaret and sister Petrenna were at last week's ceremony to collect her award on her behalf.

Woman of the Year in the Voluntary Sector, sponsored by Lidl Northern Ireland

WINNER: Sister Olive Cooney

Presented by Rachel Kearney, Lidl Northern Ireland

Described as "Northern Ireland's answer to Mother Teresa", Sister Olive Cooney was nominated for her work with Belfast homeless charity, The Welcome Organisation. The 83-year-old former teacher, who is originally from Co Westmeath, runs the laundry in the centre, washing all the clothes for the homeless.

Woman of the Year in the Health Sector

WINNER: Roisin Dorrian

Presented by Joanne Hayden, marketing manager, Linwoods

The hero nurse made the headlines last year after saving the life of amateur boxer Sean McLaughlin, who had collapsed in the boxing ring with a heart attack during a charity match. The 46-year-old's knowledge of CPR kept the boxer alive and he later described her as his guardian angel. The modest mother-of-two said of her actions: "I am very proud that I was able to help. I just did what I am trained to do."

Woman of the Year in the Arts, sponsored by Allianz Insurance

WINNER: Leesa Harker

Presented by Helen Hutchinson, business executive, Allianz

The 37-year-old mum-of-two became a talent to watch with the publication of her hit debut book Fifty Shades of Red White and Blue, which spoofed the EL James hit novel Fifty Shades of Grey. She then adapted it into a stage version, as well as penning follow-up books, and has recently recovered from cancer.

Businesswoman of the Year, sponsored by ALMAC

WINNER: Janet McCollum

Presented by Laura Montgomery, ALMAC

As chief executive officer of Northern Ireland's largest company, Moy Park, Janet has brought her knowledge and experience of working in the food industry to bear in helping the poultry firm to increase sales and profitability. Moy Park is now one of the UK's leading food companies, with mum-of-three and former Victoria College pupil Janet playing a key role in the firm's ongoing success. Her award was collected by her colleague, Joanne Wilton.

Belfast Telegraph


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