While shortlisted candidates across 23 categories must wait until the night of the Green Awards 2017 ceremony to be held at the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin on February 21st to find out if they are successful, one winner has already been named.
Grace O'Sullivan will receive the prestigious Green Leader 2017 award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the tackling of climate change and the environment in Ireland.
Grace O'Sullivan is a native of Tramore, part of a large family that is well known for their wholesale bottling operations in Waterford.
Joining Tramore RNLI alliance and Tramore sea and cliff rescue at a young age, Grace followed up as a lifeguard on Tramore beach for five years where she learned to surf. In 1981, she was the first female Irish surf champion.
Grace joined Greenpeace at the age of 20 and spent the next ten years campaigning on vessels, including the Rainbow Warrior when it was attacked and sunk in Auckland Harbour in 1985. Grace worked on issues such as atmosphere, biodiversity, climate and disarmament. She subsequently worked for Greenpeace International in Amsterdam in human resources management until 2000.
Grace studied Field Ecology at UCC and has a postgraduate diploma in business management from Waterford Institute of Technology. She ran for election for the first time for the Green Party in the South Constituency in the European Elections in 2014. She was the first ever Green Party senator elected to the Seanad, in April 2016.
She has also worked with the Heritage Council, T-Bay Surf School in Tramore, and remains actively involved in community in Tramore and Waterford.
She is a proud mother of three similarly independent young women!
To book a table at the Green Awards 2017 ceremony before February 21st, click here.