Specsavers and Third Age are delighted to announce that Dubliner Moya Connelly (94), who completed her Junior Certificate at the age of 92, has won the title of Grandparent of the Year 2016. The grandmother of five, who was nominated by her granddaughter Hannah Connelly (18), beat of stiff competition from hundreds of entries following a nationwide search to find Ireland’s most exceptional grandparent.

Mícheál O Muircheartaigh

Campaign ambassador and legendary broadcaster Mícheál O Muircheartaigh presented Moya Connelly with her prize which comprised a trophy, a Specsavers voucher and a weekend away in Ireland. Her granddaughter Hannah Connelly was presented with an iPad Air for her winning entry in which she described Moya as ‘inspirational’.

Lust for life

Four regional finalists from Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster competed to win Grandparent of the Year and a panel of judges from Specsavers and Third Age chose Moya Connelly as the national winner for demonstrating ambition and a lust for life.

Junior Certificate

Moya returned to adult education six years ago to learn IT skills so that she could email her brother in Brazil and Skype her grandchildren. She subsequently decided to sit the English and History Junior Certificate exams in Coláiste Éanna, Cabra to keep her mind active. Moya, who wears a hearing aid, believes that it is important for the older generation to remain involved and engaged so that they don’t feel isolated and made many new friends while studying, which she says gave her a new lease of life. The former nurse is a keen artist, who makes her own Christmas cards, and also enjoys travelling and baking.

Deserved acheivement

Chairperson of Specsavers Ireland Sinead Clohessy said, ‘Congratulations to Moya and Hannah on this much deserved achievement. We received heartwarming entries from all across the country and were truly inspired by Moya’s story. Despite her hearing loss she is still living life to the full and proof that it is never too late to learn and accomplish your goals. We hope the competition encourages grandchildren of all ages to recognise the many ways that grandparents, and older people in general, enrich our lives and show their appreciation by spending time together.’

Shines a warm spotlight

Aine Brady, CEO of Third Age added, ‘Grandparent of the Year shines a warm spotlight on the role of grandparents, their value and contribution in families and, in particular, the relationship between the generations. The Third Age mission is to value the contribution of older people to society, and Hannah Connelly’s description of her grandmother Moya, perfectly illustrates the potential of a life well lived.’

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