Roscommon woman named as Ireland’s Inspirational Hero in Gala Retail Awards

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

Established to shine a light on those individuals who make Ireland a better place with their selfless acts and inspirational deeds.

Katie was diagnosed with a very rare condition and had to travel to Germany for life-saving surgery. Despite her ill health, she was determined to live a normal life. She won Scór na nÓg All-Ireland titles for storytelling and an All-Ireland U-16 Camogie title with Roscommon. She also wrote an award winning booklet for siblings of special needs, completed the Dermot Early Leadership Award and has continued with school work despite being very ill.

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.

Commenting on the quality of the entries, Gary Desmond, CEO of Gala Retail comments: “Now in their third year, the Inspiration Awards pay homage to people from all across Ireland who play their part creating a better country for us all. 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 Katie along with the fellow inspirational heroes are true examples of people who are making Ireland a better place for us all”.

2021 marks the third 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.

Marian Mattimoe from Mayo was named as Overall Inspirational Person at the Gala Retail and Virgin Media Inspiration Awards.

Gala Retail has gifted €26,000 of prizes to the winners with the 26 county winners being awarded with €1,000 hotel getaways across Ireland. For further information, see