Dads recognised for inspiring difference on the lives of others

By Mary Dennehy

A MEMBER of the Dublin coast guard and a community-based soccer coach were two local dads hailed ‘heroes’ at a national awards ceremony last week, which acknowledged the inspiring difference both men have on the lives of others.

At the Hidden Hearing Hero awards on Monday, Tom Gannon from Knocklyon was named 2017’s Unsung Hero winner while Drimnagh’s Brian Dempsey won the Sporting Hero category.

Hidden Heroes

Tom Gannon was nominated by his daughter Sadhbh for the work he carries out with the Dublin-based coast guard helicopter, which recently saw him rescue two men in the Atlantic after their boat capsized.

Presenting the national award, Stephen Leddy, Hidden Hearing’s Managing Director, said that people like Tom Gannon are to be celebrated for their immense and selfless acts.

“Our Knocklyon winner is not just brave, but he and his colleagues also display real caring and compassion in going to the aid of others in difficulty.  


“People working in our emergency services risk their own lives on a daily basis, and we owe these real life heroes absolute respect and gratitude”, Mr Leddy said.

Drimnagh’s Brendan Dempsey was also nominated by his daughter in recognition of 40 years of coaching and soccer management in his community – despite suffering from severe osteoarthritis and undergoing four hip replacements.

Supporting hundreds of young soccer players in his time, Brendan was recognised for his “lifelong tradition of helping others” and for “giving to his community”.

Open to young and old from all walks of life, the Hidden Hearing Hero Awards has been running since 2011, and invites nominations from members of the public across a number of categories.

The awards scheme is supported by Hidden Hearing, but nominees are not necessarily deaf or hard of hearing.

According to Mr Leddy: “Hidden Hearing backs the Heroes awards programme because, like our hearing, special people are sometimes taken for granted, and are maybe not fully appreciated until they’re not around”,

Hidden Hearing also made a €2,000 donation on the day to Crumlin Children’s Hospital during the awards ceremony which, staged in the InterContinental Hotel in Dublin, was MC’d by broadcaster Mary Kennedy.

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