Tony and Mary Heffernan receive People of the Year award

Miriam and Tony   Mary and Tony Heffernan have received a People of the Year Award. While, a teenager Owen Condon, received an Everyday Hero Award after saving the life of a Valentia man. The awards were presented last night at a ceremony in Dublin, Mary and Tony Heffernan from Keel in Castlemaine were awarded the accolade for their selfless dedication and commitment to helping the families of sick children. Mary and Tony dedicated their lives to caring for their children Saoirse and Liam, both of whom have died from Batten’s Disease. The disease is a rare, life-limiting, neuro-degenerative condition and very little information or support was available to the Heffernan family when Saoirse was diagnosed in 2009. Currently the Saoirse Foundation supports Bee for Batten’s, Liam’s Lodge and the BUMBLEance which provides stress-reduced journeys for sick children and their families to and from their care centres. While Liam’s Lodge, named after Liam Heffernan, will be Ireland’s first respite centre for families of children with rare diseases and is planned for completion towards the end of 2018. Meanwhile, 17 year old Owen Condon received an Everyday Hero Award, after saving the life of Valentia man Gerry O’Connell by performing CPR on the latter after he suffered a massive heart attack at a petrol station. The People of the Year Awards honour people who have contributed to society and to local communities. Winners are all nominated by members of the public and finalised by a panel of adjudicators.