‘Pride’ award for Limerick man Brian Hogan

Limerickman Brian Hogan is presented with his award by BBC presenter Christine Bleakley, as Una Foden of the band The Saturdays looks on. Picture: Michael Chester

A LIMERICKMAN who was left blind and partially paralysed by an unprovoked attack has received a Pride of Ireland award.

Brian Hogan, 36, from Ballykeefe, has never given up hope that he can reclaim his life after the devastating attack, and now regularly speaks to secondary school students on the dangers a single punch can cause.

Sr Helen Culhane, 56, of the Children’s Grief project in the city which young people affected by death, divorce or separation, received the Lidl Local Hero award, while Brian received the special recognition award from BBC presenter Christine Bleakley.

In presenting the award to Sr Helen, Carol Vordermon said the story struck a chord with her as “people don’t realise how much children keep to themselves.

“I wish you were around when I was a child,” added the broadcaster, best known for presenting Countdown for 26 years.

The inaugural Pride of Ireland awards celebrate brave and courageous people and their heroic acts. Tipperary native Una Foden of the band, The Saturdays, hosted the ceremony in The Round Room, Mansion House on Dawson Street.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the 13 winners were the “very backbone of Ireland’s society, the people who quietly make a difference without call for thanks or congratulations.”

Shane Filan, Louis Walsh, Imelda May, Calum Best and Jedward were also in attendance.