'PAUDCAST' STAR Padraig O’Callaghan has been named as Limerick Person of the Year for 2021.
The digital media star was announced as the winner at a ceremony in the Clayton Hotel Limerick, marking the first time in three years the event has been able to return to its usual format, where the monthly winners gathered to be formally honoured.
Pádraig O’Callaghan from Knockainey began working on weekly motivational videos called 'Paudcasts' with his father Brian.
Brian said it was a way to help his 11-year-old son Padraig, who has Down syndrome, with his communication skills and confidence.
In his videos, Pádraig covers everything from the difference between being a manager and a leader, to the importance of starting your day right by making your bed, as well as the importance of offering support to those who need it when times are tough.
"I’m very happy to get this award. It’s amazing news," beamed the student of Knockainey National School when he was presented with his award.
Addressing the event with a special recorded message Taoiseach Micheál Martin paid tribute to the monthly winners.
"It’s been another extraordinary year for Ireland, a year when the solidarity, generosity and resilience of our people have been shown time and time again," he said.
"Now again as we face another unprecedented humanitarian crisis caused by an abhorrent and immoral war on Ukraine, the people of Limerick and Ireland are responding magnificently.
"We’ve seen that spirit exemplified through the actions and achievements of many of the nominees honoured today. I want to pay tribute to each one of you for the work you do to make your community in Limerick and the entire country a better and brighter place," the Taoiseach said.
Celebrating its 21st year and sponsored by The Limerick Leader, Southern Marketing Design & Media and the Clayton Hotel, and supported by Limerick City and County Council, the Limerick Person of the Year Award was set up to honour the achievements and success of local people at home and abroad.
Other nominees include the family of the late John Fitzgerald who completed a virtual walk to Perth to raise funds for the ICU at University Hospital Limerick, and the four Limerick competitors who represented Ireland at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last summer: Sarah Levin, Greg O'Shea, Róisín Upton and Carolyn Hayes.
Róisín Ní Ríain from Drombanna, a Limerick teenager who reached five swimming finals at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo, was also nominated as the Limerick Person of the Month for September.