Junior Chamber Ireland announces Irelands Ten Outstanding Young Persons

15 May 2021 President Ireland By President Ireland

After the successful launch of JCI Ireland’s Flagship Project, Ten Outstanding Young Persons Awards (TOYP) on the evening of International Women’s Day on 8th March in the virtual presence of TD Roderic O’Gorman, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said that, ‘JCI Ireland is an organisation filled with young people who are absolutely committed to making a really positive impact in their own communities. The different programs and projects offered by JCI Ireland support young people to take action and make positive change in their society.’ The month-long nomination process culminated into the Final Awards ceremony held virtually on the 15th May, 2021 (Saturday)

During the nomination phase, communities across the island were called upon to nominate young people aged 18-40 who have been working for the betterment of the society in 10 different categories, whose story this world needs to hear so that it keeps on inspiring the future generations to come.

The award categories are: 

  • Academic leadership and/or accomplishment
  • Business, economic and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment
  • Contribution to children, world peace and/or human rights
  • Cultural achievement
  • Humanitarian and/or voluntary leadership
  • Medical innovation
  • Moral and/or environmental leadership
  • Personal improvement and/or accomplishment
  • Political, legal and/or governmental affairs
  • Scientific and/or technological development.

During the nomination phase the project team received over 100+ nominations, 80 of which were unique applications. The team was thrilled to get such an overwhelming response and the panel judges had the toughest time to sift through the applications. The 3 judges in the panel who are at the pinnacle of their career now included - 

  • Kevin Cullinane, 2005 JCI World President and the Chief Marketing Officer of Cork Airport. 
  • Clodagh Higgins, JCI Alumnus, Galway City Councillor
  • David Kenny, Vice-President, Huawei Ireland

The 10 chosen national honourees will then be nominated for the international JCI TOYP awards with the chance of becoming one of the most outstanding young people in the world during an international ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa in November 2021.

Speaking at the Award Ceremony, Guest of Honour Dr. Fergal Lynch, Secretary General of the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said that he was impressed by the organization of this award as it gave the opportunity to recognize the hard work and achievement from the young people in Ireland. 



National President of JCI Ireland, Carol Ho said that, ‘Immense support from the local communities in Ireland in promoting their local heroes who have been working for the betterment of the society is a sign of a strong sustainable community which is thriving. The generous support from the government Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and Huawei Ireland as the National Sponsor for the TOYP awards shows their commitment towards supporting young people and building sustainable communities in Ireland.'

This year Huawei Ireland was the National Sponsor for the Ten Outstanding Young Persons Awards and this partnership is expected to continue well into the future due to synergy between JCI and Huawei especially in the domain of technology and knowledge transfer apart from support for startups and entrepreneurs. 

Speaking at the ceremony, David Kenny, Vice President of Huawei Ireland congratulated all winners on the night, and commented that, “Huawei is very pleased to be associated with the TOYP project. I feel excited to see there are many of you who creatively developed smart tech solutions which not only lead to innovative and business opportunities but also meet sustainability goals which are now becoming so critical for the future of our planet. The creativity and resilience of all you is outstanding. Huawei has been devoted to innovation over the  past 30 years. We believe that technology will contribute more economic and social value to a post-pandemic world and we are collaborating with many talented young persons globally too. Congratulations again to all these outstanding winners!”

Concluding the award ceremony, National TOYP Project Lead, Anuj Agarwal took the opportunity to thank the project team both at the National and Local level without whose support the project could not have succeeded. Quoting him, ‘This year the project team worked with immense dedication because of which it was possible to create a new partnership with Huawei as well as several other departments of the government. The awareness about TOYP and JCI Ireland within the country has also reached new heights.’  

The National winners for Ireland Ten Outstanding Young Persons Awards 2021 are as follows:

Luke Gibbons - Academic Leadership or Accomplishment 

Luke is focusing on creating EnviEd Ireland's first environmental charity with the purpose of educating young people about environmental harm and climate change 

Seán William McLoughlin - Cultural achievement

Seán William McLoughlin better known as Jacksepticeye, is an Irish YouTuber, best known for his vlogs and comedic Let's Play series. As of May 2021, his channel has over 14.1 billion views and 27 million subscribers, and is the most-subscribed Irish channel. Since 2017, McLoughlin has raised more than $6 million in total in charity livestreams.

Dr. Sean Mulligan - Academic Leadership or Accomplishment 

Sean is the founder of VorTech Water Solutions. VorTech Water Solutions which also took the top prize in the sustainability category for its solution to energy wastage in the water treatment industry.

Patrick and John Collison - Business and/or Entrepreneurial Accomplishment

Patrick and John Collison, their company Stripe Inc, built software that businesses could link with websites and apps to instantly connect with credit card and banking systems and receive payments. The idea got the seal of approval from other Silicon Valley startups, with initial backing from Tesla founder Elon Musk and PayPal's Peter Thiel and in just over 10 years today it is valued at $95bn.

Barry McCann - Medical Innovation category

Under the Medical Innovation category, Barry McCann was adjudged as a National winner. CEO of NUA Surgical, this award winning startup company is breaking barriers every day in women’s health. The SteriCISION Retractor aims to make C-Sections a safer and more efficient surgery, providing better outcomes for mothers and their newborns all over the world. NUA Surgical is supported by Enterprise Ireland and accelerated by EIT Health.

Fionn Ferreira - Moral and/or Environmental Leadership

For the Moral and/or Environmental Leadership Fionn Ferreira was selected as the National Winner. Just 20 years old, student-scientist, he is an anti-plastic pollution innovator focusing on solving the plastic pollution crisis.

Dr. Sinead Kane - Personal Accomplishments

Dr. Sinead Kane was selected as a winner for the category of Personal Accomplishments, . She is a Double PhD doctorate, Double Guinness World Record holder, Freelance Researcher, Visually Impaired Athlete, & Qualified Lawyer. Within the space of three months Sinead Kane was awarded two PhD doctorates. In October 2017, she received an honorary PhD from the National University of Ireland. In December 2017, she was awarded her academic PhD from Dublin City University. In February 2018 she broke the Guinness World Record for furthest distance for a female on a treadmill in 12 hours. See these links Sinead is also the holder of a Guinness World Record for being the first blind person to complete a Marathon on each of the seven Continents, a feat which she completed in less than 7 days in January 2017.

Maria Walsh - Political, Legal and/or government Affairs 

Maria was elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the Midlands–North-West constituency at the 2019 European Parliament elections. In the European Parliament, Maria is a full member on the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs [EMPL] and the Committee on Culture and Education [CULT], and is a substitute member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs [LIBE]. Maria is also the Irish EPP representative on the Delegation for relations with the United States and for the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States.

Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy - Scientific and/or Technological Development

CEO and Co-Founder of ApisProtect is among the most widely published authors on Internet of Things and honey bees. It is uniquely placed to disrupt a global, well-established industry with robust technology developed by Dr Fiona Edwards Murphy, following her award-winning PhD research at University College Cork, Ireland.

Rachael Blackmore - Personal Accomplishment

Rachael Blackmore is an Irish jockey who competes in National Hunt racing. In 2021, she became the first female jockey to win the Grand National.

Ireland has been lucky enough to have had seven Outstanding Young People represent us on the World Stage in the last 10 years and the organizing team is confident that we will have a world winner this year as well.


Online Awards Ceremony 2021 Live Replay