A host of Cork people and businesses were recognised today for the work they have done for the community during the pandemic.
The MBC Financial Rebel Spirit Awards shone a light on those who showed great community spirit over the past two years.
journalist Eoin English was named the joint winner with the Central Statistics Office in the Communications category.
The award categories covered a wide range of sectors including arts, education, business, fundraising and content creation. There were over 50 organisations or individuals nominated.
The organisers said those nominated "made hearts burst with joy when we needed it most".
"We're delighted with the amount of nominations and the calibre of those nominated. Cork people would be very proud of all that we did to make Cork such a caring and community-minded place during the lockdowns," said Alan McCarthy from MBC Financial.
The awards were held today at the Cork International Hotel with actor and writer Tadhg Hickey taking on the role of MC.
Journalist Eoin English said he was delighted to win the award.
"I'd like to accept it on behalf of everyone on the team who continued to produce trusted and award-winning journalism from their own homes throughout the pandemic," he said.
"Never was it more important for people to be able to rely on trusted and reliable sources of news and information.
"I hope my colleagues and I helped keep people informed, held those in power to account, and shone a light on ordinary people who did extraordinary things that helped get us all through the various lockdowns."
Other winners included artist Will Sliney who helped to keep children's spirits up when he encouraged them to draw and gave them positive feedback on their work via his YouTube channel.
Bernie and Pat O'Connor were praised for their virtual fundraiser in memory of their son Rory. They raised an incredible €38,000 for the Irish Community Air Ambulance.
Denis O'Donovan's fundraising efforts were recognised as well after he raised money to buy tablets, laptops and desktop computers so students of the SUAS literacy and numeracy programme in Scoil Padre Pio could continue learning during lockdown.
Al Dalton won the Rebel Thinking category for his efforts to reach out to the community during lockdown.
Mr Dalton used some 200 billboard sites to help foster community and care. That morphed into handwritten positive notes for the public that were placed around the city and suburbs to be found by members of the public.
The Two Norries Podcast won an award for their work in sharing useful and important content that covered a wide range of important subject matter. The issues are handled with sensitivity as well as humour with the hope of reducing stigma and stereotypes.
A special award was also presented to Timmy Long, co-host of the podcast for his fundraising to provide educational psychology assessments to help identify and diagnose the needs of children who are struggling within the education system.
In the community and voluntary organisations category, the Shine Centre for Autism was recognised for its bespoke learning programmes and work to bring them to children online who needed them during a time when in-person learning was not possible.
Highlighting the work of groups outside the rebel county, Feed the Heroes were awarded the Nod Beyond Cork, having fed 200,000 meals to frontline workers across the country during the first lockdown.
Cian O'Flaherty, co-found of Feed the Heroes said the group could see the "daily sacrifice and toll" of workers in frontline jobs.
"They gave so much that it was the least we could do to keep them going while we sat at home."