Rugby player Rory Best is an ambassador for Specsavers Audiologists’ Grandparent of the Year 2019 Award, celebrating the extraordinary contribution that grandparents make to the lives of grandchildren and the community. Rory together with his father John Best, is calling on the public and encouraging grandchildren in Ireland to recognise the incredible support and ever-changing role that grandparents play in their lives today. With the search now open for Ireland’s most exceptional grandparent, Rory and his father are urging grandchildren across the country to start nominating.


Grandparent’s Role

New research, commissioned by Specsavers, reveals that almost 40% of grandparents spend 6-20 hours a week supporting their grandchildren’s childcare, while just over 70% of grandparents feel greatly appreciated by their children for the supportive role they play in their grandchildren’s lives. In 2019, 25% of grandparents stated that the level of childcare they are providing has increased significantly, while 45% feel they should be rewarded for the working role they provide to their grandchildren. Due to the developing role of the Irish grandparent, Rory Best and Specsavers Audiologists are highlighting the importance of pro-active hearing health and encouraging those over the age of 55 to get tested and take control of hearing loss for the benefit of their role as a grandparent.


Rory Best

Rory Best comments: ‘I’m delighted to support this year’s Grandparent of the Year Award, one that recognises the incredible role that grandparents play in our lives today. As my dad has hearing loss, it’s extra special to work with him on this campaign and I truly can’t put into words the role he has played in my children’s lives. He really is an amazing dad and grandfather and this hearing campaign is a fantastic way to recognise and appreciate the special and evolving role that grandparents play in Irish families, whilst encouraging people to prioritise their hearing.’


John Best, Rory’s father adds: ‘It is a great privilege to be a grandparent. It’s a much more straightforward relationship than that of a parent. I really enjoy interacting with my 12 grandchildren without the pressure and responsibility of being the ultimate "enforcer" in their lives. Not only do they keep me young, but they keep me active and enrich my life every day. I’m delighted to work with a brand like Specsavers that is actively working towards removing any stigma associated with hearing loss. Hearing is a vital part of my everyday life, but especially for those special moments at home with family and friends.’


Comment from Director

Specsavers audiology director, Orla Walsh, continues: ‘This campaign recognises the many benefits of an ageing and progressive population and the special role that grandparents play in Irish families and communities. It’s an amazing opportunity for younger generations to recognise their changing role and show the appreciation that they deserve. Many grandparents have come through our doors with concerns about their hearing whilst minding their grandchildren and at family occasions. This can often leave them feeling anxious and concerned so we encourage anyone over the age of 55 should get tested every two years to ensure they feel confident in their everyday live’.



The winning grandparent will be crowned Specsavers Irish Grandparent of the Year 2019 and will receive a trophy, along with a €750 hearing voucher and a weekend away in Ireland. The lucky grandchild who nominated them will also receive their very own iPad. The winner will be picked from four regional finalists, from Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster and will each receive a €215 Specsavers eyecare voucher, a bottle of Champagne and an awards final certificate.


Grandchildren of all ages can nominate their grandparents by filling out an entry form in Specsavers’ stores nationwide or online at The closing date for entries is Friday, 3 January and the four regional finalists will be chosen by a judging panel before Ireland’s Grandparent of the Year is announced in mid-January.


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