Donegal priest named as Ireland’s Inspirational Hero

Fr Pat Ward nominated for his quick thinking, determination and positive attitude

Donegal priest named as Ireland’s Inspirational Hero

Fr Pat Ward PP Burtonport-Kincasslagh

Following a nationwide search to uncover Ireland’s most inspirational people, Fr Pat Ward from Burtonport, is celebrating after being named an Inspirational Hero in the Gala Retail and Virgin Media Inspiration Awards.

Nominated by friends and members of his congregation for the Inspiration Award, Kincasslagh/Burtonport parish priest, Fr Ward stood out for this quick thinking, determination and positive attitude.

When lockdown hit, he quickly adapted to moving his service online, with a live stream inside the chapel bringing the daily Mass directly into people’s homes. The virtual Mass attracted people from all across the world, including Norway, Sweden, Spain, Australia and America.

Inspirational people from across Ireland were nominated for the Gala Retail and Virgin Media Inspiration Awards, with 26 inspirational county heroes being named from the hundreds of entries received.

Each of the 26 award-winning heroes demonstrated how they have made Ireland a better place with their selfless acts and inspirational deeds during the Covid-19 crisis, and how they have gone above and beyond for others in their local community.

Commenting on the quality of the entries, Gary Desmond, chief executive of Gala Retail they wanted to deliver a national platform to shine a light on and reward the amazing people who have become true heroes during life under lockdown and who are making a real difference to Irish society.

“2020 has been hugely difficult for everyone however, it has also demonstrated the immense community spirit that exists within Irish communities.

"Operating in communities throughout Ireland, Gala Retailers have seen first-hand some of the great work that people have been doing and we are proud to have been able to recognise some of these inspirational individuals.

"We were overwhelmed by the level of nominations we received and Fr Ward along with the fellow inspirational heroes are true examples of people who are making Ireland a better place for us all.”

2020 marks the second year of the Gala Retail Inspiration Awards created as a way of celebrating the selfless acts and inspirational deeds of people in Ireland who are making the country a better place.

Gala Retail has gifted €20,000 of prizes to the winners, with 26 county winners being awarded with luxury stays in some of Ireland’s most beautiful Blue Book properties.

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