Sean receives Youth Hero Award from Gay Byrne

Seán O’Connor from Lisgriffin this week won the Youth Award at the first ‘Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards’, which highlight the achievements of those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Broadcaster Gay Byrne presented Seán with his award at a special ceremony in Dublin. Twelve-year-old Seán has been hard of hearing all of his life but was only diagnosed five years ago. A keen sports enthusiast, Seán plays soccer, football and hurling, despite having difficultly in what his coaches are saying and he recently took up horse-riding. Today, however, this is no longer a problem, as he wears hearing aids which have transformed his life. He is also inspirational to other children, talking to those who have hearing difficulties and showing them how hearing aids work. Seán was nominated for the Hidden Heroes Award by his mother, Diane.Speaking at the Awards, Gay Byrne said: “The award winners are an example of real heroes, those who don’t allow things to hold them back in life, who persevere and show great determination, who achieve great things. It’s a really positive step that the achievements of the deaf and hard of hearing across Ireland are being recognised through these awards, and I’d like to congratulate Hidden Hearing and the Irish Deaf Society on such a worthwhile  initiative.”