TWO Laois ladies picked up prestigious honours at the Irish Tatler Women of the Year Awards.
Louise Phelan wass honoured with the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year – Business awards while designer Heidi Higgins takes home the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year – Fashion award
The Irish Tatler Women of the Year Awards took place on Saturday November 10at a glittering awards ceremony in the Four Seasons Hotel.
In total, fourteen awards were handed out to some of Ireland’s leading women from the worlds of business, media and entertainment, fashion and music. Special recognition and achievement awards for some of the country’s most extraordinary heroines were also awarded.
All proceeds from the night were donated to the Turn off the Red Light campaign with the Immigrant Council of Ireland.
The Irish Tatler Women of the Year Awards are designed to recognise and reward Ireland’s most influential and successful women. While Ireland boasts many impressive award ceremonies, the Irish Tatler Women of the Year Awards allow readers of Irish Tatler to nominate their favourite female icons before a judging panel deliberates over all of the nominations.
Boxing supremo and Olympic gold medallist Katie Taylor was named the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year at this year’s awards. Not only was she recognised for her sporting achievements, but also the role she played in raising the profile of women’s boxing. In addition to taking home Ireland’s only gold medal from London 2012, she is four time World Champion and five time European Champion. Taylor was previously honoured with the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year – Sport award in 2010.
Paralympian Bethany Firth was honoured with the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year – Sport award. At just 16 years old Bethany took home Ireland’s first gold Paralympic medal at the London 2012 Paralympics. She was the youngest member of the Irish Paralympic squad and her gold medal is even more impressive considering she only took up swimming three years ago.
Taking home the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year – Media award was Morning Ireland presenter Aine Lawlor. Described as one Ireland’s ‘sharpest and most experienced broadcasters’ she famously presented Morning Ireland’s first and only Sunday morning broadcast when breaking the news of the Irish pork crisis.
Fashion designer Heidi Higgins took home the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year – Fashion award. A graduate from NCAD, she introduced her own label to the Irish market in May 2009. As well as being stocked in Brown Thomas, Dublin and her flagship boutique in Portlaois, the designer’s collection can be found at a range of exclusive boutiques nationwide.
Vice President of Global Customer Services for Europe, Middle East and Africa at PayPal, Louise Phelan was honoured with the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year – Business Award. Based in Blanchardstown Dublin, PayPal is the European Centre of Excellence and employs almost 1,450 people.
A Special Recognition award was presented to Denise Charlton for her tireless work in the fields of equality, human rights and anti-discrimination. Chief Executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland since 2003 she has worked on various governmental and NGO committees tackling violence against women, trafficking of human beings and women’s health issues.
Speaking at the awards Harmonia CEO Norah Casey said “I love these awards because they are so inspiriting – what could be better in the current climate than celebrating the best women in Ireland. I have been doing these awards for 12 years now and the calibre of winners just gets better and better. Of course this year we had an embarrassment of riches with Katie Taylor’s incredible success in the Olympics and Bethany Firth – Ireland’s first Paralympic gold winner and all the wonderful women who were part of the Paralympic team that did Ireland so proud.
“We started over a decade ago with a handful of nominations in the women in business category – it’s now our largest and we have added in the women entrepreneur awards for the first time. We have brilliant women in music, media and entertainment and what stands out for me is the sheer tenacity and courage of Irish women who have overcome incredible challenges.
“As always we will be mixing glamour and grey matter at the Irish Tatler Women of the Year Awards. I love the fact that clever, successful women come out in force to celebrate the great heroines of Ireland on this one night.”
Irish songstress Maria Doyle Kennedy was presented with the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year – Music award for her contribution to the music industry. She has spent the best part of 20 years performing live all over the world to audiences ranging from the many thousand at Glastonbury and Oxygen to more intimate theatre concerts.
Faced with hundreds of nominations across all of the categories the judges had the daunting task of choosing the winners and the coveted overall 2012 Irish Tatler Woman of the Year award. The impressive list of judges included Norah Casey, Jessie Collins, Mary Harney, Adi Roche and Ros Hubbard.
The awards were hosted by Irish Tatler publisher and Harmonia CEO Norah Casey and Newstalk presenter Chris Donoghue.