Sporting legends and stars of stage and screen paid tribute to the ten inspirational heroes who were honoured at this year’s Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards in partnership with Specsavers. The 400 guests who attended the glittering ceremony held in Titanic Belfast included a host of celebrities from sport and television who helped present awards on stage.

Snow Patrol

Britain’s Got Talent finalist Mark McMullan, who originally performed at the 2015 awards event, returned to wow the crowd and rock superstars Snow Patrol, huge supporters of the awards played a set of their greatest hits at the end of the evening.

Dame Mary Perkins

Specsavers has partnered with the Spirit of NI Awards for the past nine years and co-founder Dame Mary Perkins, who attended this year’s gala awards event, said: ‘Our Spirit winners do extraordinary things and it’s so important that they are rewarded and that we hear their stories. We have 22 stores in Northern Ireland with another one opening soon and it’s something I like to see - people being involved in their communities as it’s so much part of our Specsavers DNA. We look after people’s eyes and hearing and as it’s a caring profession the Spirit Awards fit very well with our values as a company.’

Tenth anniversary

Ballymena Specsavers store director, Jacqui Douglas, said: ‘Specsavers is thrilled to partner the fabulous Spirit of Northern Ireland awards programme which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary. Year on year the awards throw a spotlight on so many brilliant people and how they individually have made such a huge difference to their local community, town or village and the people who live there. This year’s award evening was no exception and everyone honoured was a very worthy winner.’

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