Showcasing and celebrating the evolving role of Irish mothers and highlighting their contribution across all facets of society, the recent Woman’s Way & Beko Mum of the Year Awards saw a Glanmire mother named the Social Media Champion.
30-year-old Nicole Duggan from Glanmire was crowned category winner at a special lunch hosted at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Dublin.
Nicole set up a Facebook page as a way of charting son Riley’s journey after he was diagnosed with autism aged three.
It was a success, leading Nicole to develop #Rileyschallenge as a way to raise awareness about Irish sign language (Lámb) which Riley uses to communicate.
The challenge exploded online and hosts of influencers got on board and participated.
“I didn’t think it would go as crazy as it did but it was actually so lovely to see so many people to get involved in it,” she says.
Strength of character
As well as the Glanmire lady taking the Social Media Champion title at the 16th Mum of the Year Awards which reflect the changing nature of family life in Ireland, award winners included Martina Cox, whose husband Sean was attacked outside Anfield before the 2018 Champions League semi-final and who suffered life-changing head injuries.
Martina accepted the Courage 2019 Award on behalf of her family. She was credited with her strength of character throughout her husband’s intensive medical treatment and continuing rehabilitation.
Overall Mum of the Year went to Caitríona Nic Mhuiris from Newcastle, Co Galway. Caitríona’s family of four went to eight overnight when she and husband Séamus became guardians to their four nieces. Caitríona’s sister Una died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome and her daughters, ranging in ages eight to 14, moved in with their aunt, uncle and cousins.
Caitríona completed a diploma in Child Bereavement through the Irish Hospice Foundation to better understand the impact of grief in children and as a result, her development of knowledge has led to the establishment of Kinship Care Ireland. Kinship Care is an international term, used by the United Nations, to recognise these children who are in this form of care.
Other winners included Inspirational Mum of the Year – Rhona Cullinan, Co Carlow; New Mum – Nicola McNally, Co Monaghan; Transformational Mum – Bríd Ryan O’Gorman, Cloughmartin, Thurles, Co Tipperary; Mumpreneur – Jean Barrett, Co Dublin; Local Hero – Josie Ahern, Killea, Croagh, Co Limerick.