061 334023 | info@downsyndromelimerick.ie
061 334023 | info@downsyndromelimerick.ie

11 year old wins leadership award

11-year-old Limerick native recognised at prestigious leadership awards

 11-year-old Padraig O’Callaghan was amongst those presented with a LIFT Ireland Leadership Award in recognition of their leadership skills at an online awards ceremony on Wednesday, 17th November.

Eleven winners, from bankers to nurses, were selected from hundreds of nominations, and include employees from the likes of Permanent TSB, LauraLynn Children’s Hospice and NUI Galway.

Padraig O’Callaghan, who started a weekly motivational podcast called ‘Paudcast’, won the ‘positive attitude’ award category.

LIFT Ireland is a social enterprise that works to build positive leadership skills in communities in Limerick and across Ireland. It created the awards initiative to recognise strong leadership at all levels of Irish society from grassroots organisations to corporate boardrooms.

The winners were selected from a shortlist of 40 nominees who have participated in LIFT Ireland’s process over the past 12 months, which were in turn selected from hundreds of nominations.


Award Winners

LIFT’s work focuses on developing 10 core leaderships skills, including resilience, respect, innovation and empathy.

There were 11 award categories: one for each of the 10 core leaderships skills included in the LIFT process, and one overall winner of the ‘Dominick Lewis Excellence in Leadership Award’.

Commenting today (24.11.2021), founder of LIFT Ireland Joanne Hession, said:

“As an organisation and movement, we have seen exponential growth in the number of people taking part in LIFT and developing the values we build, both in their organisation and their personal lives. This has made the task of selecting winners for the awards this year all the more difficult. Each of the hundreds of nominees are excellent examples of people demonstrating positive leadership at all levels of society.

I would like to congratulate each of the 11 winners on their achievement. They represent the best of leadership in our society across a variety of ages, occupations and walks of life.

The awards are a great reminder that we are all leaders – in our own families, in our workplaces and in our communities. We will continue to strive to develop great leaders by increasing awareness of what makes great leadership and facilitating the development of great leaders through the LIFT mission.”


Padraig O’Callaghan is a young man from Limerick and is a member of Down Syndrome Limerick.  Ellen Tuffy, Chairperson of Down Syndrome Limerick said:

“We are so proud of Pádraig.  He is a fabulous young man with a bright future ahead of him.  His weekly podcasts were not only inspirational and motivational but added lots of light and joy to our lives over the last number of months, which have been difficult for so many people.  Pádraig deserves this award.  We have known for quite some time that he is a leader and a positive role model for other children and indeed adults too! We are so grateful that he is a part of our community.”

The full list of nominees and winners are available here.

About LIFT

Joanne Hession, who is a successful entrepreneur and leadership expert with a background in entrepreneurship training, founded LIFT Ireland, along with her brother, David Hession, an education accreditation expert, and Sonya Lennon, broadcaster, designer and social entrepreneur. LIFT – which stands for ‘Leading Ireland’s Future Together’ – provides leadership and facilitation training to individuals and organisations across the country, ranging from multinational corporations to SMEs, NGOs, schools, sports organisations, and individuals from all walks of life.

Further information is available at www.liftireland.ie.

Down Syndrome Limerick is a local charity based in Castletroy which offers services and supports to people of all ages with Down syndrome.  Their services include peer-to-peer support, counselling, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, school supports and adult education programmes.  With no government funding they rely on the generosity of businesses, clubs and individuals to fundraise for them.

Further information is available at www.downsyndromelimerick.ie