Johnny Giles launches Specsavers Grandparent of the Year Award

Johnny Giles with six-year-old Luke Freeman and four-year-old Sophie O’Toole. Photo: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Johnny Giles with six-year-old Luke Freeman and four-year-old Sophie O’Toole. Photo: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Legendary sports star, broadcaster and grandfather of eight, Johnny Giles, has launched this year’s Grandparent of the Year Award.

Specsavers Athlone, in association with Third Age, is calling for nominations in the search for Ireland’s most exceptional grandparent.

Specsavers Athlone audiologist, Lynn Morris said: “We are excited to celebrate our Grandparent of the Year Award, which recognises the many benefits of an ageing population and the special role that grandparents play in Irish families. It is a fantastic opportunity for younger generations to recognise the many ways that grandparents and older people enrich our lives, and I would encourage grandchildren throughout Athlone to nominate today to give their grandparent the recognition they deserve.

“Many people who come to us with concerns about their hearing have withdrawn from social situations leaving them feeling isolated and depressed. Many struggle to keep up with conversation and become tired or embarrassed of asking people to repeat themselves. The speed at which younger people speak can also be a strain for older generations, so at times relationships between grandparents and children can be a struggle. Specsavers Athlone is delighted to work with a charity like Third Age that, like us, works tirelessly to alleviate loneliness and combat social isolation.”

Johnny Giles commented: “As a proud grandfather, I am thrilled to have been asked to support this year’s campaign, one that recognises the value of older generations to society and families in Ireland. I am also delighted to work with a brand like Specsavers that is actively working towards removing any stigma associated with hearing loss. While I don’t suffer myself, I am very aware of the importance of being mindful of my hearing health.”

Grandchildren of all ages can nominate their grandparents by filling out an entry form in Specsavers Athlone or online at

Four regional finalists from Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster will receive a €215 Specsavers voucher, a bottle of champagne and a finalists’ certificate. The overall winner will receive a weekend away in Ireland, a Grandparent of the Year trophy, and a €750 voucher for Specsavers, while the grandchild who nominated them will win an iPad.

The closing date for entries is Sunday, October 29.

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