There were both tears and laughter at the Pride of Ireland awards in last night, where courageous children, selfless community leaders, amazing teachers and incredible charity workers were honoured at a glitzy bash in Dublin’s Mansion House.
The night was very much about the winners, described as “Ireland’s unsung heroes”, and some of the country’s biggest stars – including host Amanda Byram, Louis Walsh, Daniel O’Donnell and much more – were there to congratulate and pay tribute to their incredible achievements.
VIP went backstage to chat to the stars, and find out what it is that inspires them, in a room full of inspiring people.
Music is my drug – it’s my life. It’s what inspires me. My favourite artists right now have to be Ed Sheeran or George Ezra, absolutely. I also am inspired by living in Dublin – it lost it for a while, but it’s got it back again.
I think real people inspire me- life isn’t easy for anybody, it goes through twists and turns and everybody goes through their own hearbreak, so it’s about learning from them and how they deal with that. it’s all about being open with what you’re going through, whether it’s cancer in the family, or, y’know, I just lost a friend of mine to suicide three days ago. Life is too short, and it can be crazy, so we should all be helping each other out because it’s hard enough as it is.
We like to write inspiring songs – like Ferocious, which is about getting over bullying, or Make Your Own Luck, which is about putting yourself out there and going for your dreams, or Free Spirit, which encourages young people to live life and not worry about the pressures out there.
Everyday people inspire me, the people that have acheived lots – living everyday lives and achieving extraordinary things. Things that you can stand back and say that is absolutely incredible.
People like those who won these awards tonight – Mrs Brown’s Boys has won every award going and we’ve been to every awards show going, but when you come to something like this and you see people doing things just out of the goodness of their hearts, to make other people’s lives better, it puts all the other shows in the shade. As well, Brendan O’Carroll inspires me. He gives so much back – he’s not just the face of something, he actually gives away his own money to charities. He’s amazing.
This is going to sound really cheesy, but it’s my other half, Aidan. He’s probably the most selfless person that I know and it’s completely authentic and completely genuine. It makes me think about my actions sometimes and it inspires me.
My mum inspires me because she has been an amazing mother and I always think if I’m half the mum she is I know I’ll be a good mum. My husband, because his work ethic is so brilliant – he has dreams and he makes them happen, and I stand by him with pride. And our children – they’re healthy, happy and brilliant, and that’s all you need.
My greatest inspiration comes from the people I’m around the most, for example, Bressie – he’s so productive in everything he does so that inspires me to make the most of my day. Even my sister Rebecca, she does so much, and she never uses the excuse ‘there’s not enough time’, she’ll always find the time. Even tonight, you have people like Amanda Byram, who comes from Ireland and has done so well abroad.
The people I meet every day – for example, this morning I had two carers on the show, two women who look after older people as well as younger people, children who are handicapped, and those kinds of people inspire me every single day.