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Celebrating the unstoppable Belfast

For 27 years, the Aisling Awards have epitomised the very best of Belfast – that generous, gritty and unbeatable spirit which characterises a city on the rise. 

In the Europa Hotel on Friday 24 November 2023, we will have an opportunity to salute the courage and resilience of civic leaders across multiple fields of endeavour and from every corner of the city.


These are the people who are constantly focused on the future; leaders who look out for inspiration; beacons of Belfast who understand that more unites us than divides us. 

Over two decades and more, honorary guests have ranged from our Special Olympians to the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the family of little Oscar Knox to the courageous family of Harry Holland.

COMMUNITY TITANS: Padraic White (left) and John Simpson (right) were joint chairs of the West Belfast & Shankill Task Force when they were awarded with the Aisling Person of the Year Award - which was presented by Laurence McKenzie of sponsor NIE

Too often the heroes of Belfast are unsung so the Aisling Awards nominations process — now open — gives us all a chance to shine a spotlight on a community champion whose efforts deserve recognition and celebration. So, get nominating and on 24 November we will invite you to raise a glass at the 27th annual Aisling Awards to the next exciting chapter in the Belfast story. 

Photos (From Top): Rev Jesse Jackson addressing the Aisling Awards in 2004; President Mary McAleese presents the Person of the Year Award to  deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (R.I.P) in 2007. The prize was awarded jointly to Martin McGuinness and Dr Ian Paisley (R.I.P.); Pádraic White (left) and John Simpson (right) were joint chairs of the West Belfast-Shankill  Economic Task Force in 2003 when they were honoured with the Aisling Person of the Year accolade; President Michael D.Higgins addressing the awards gala in the Europa  Hotel in 2013. 

President Michael D. Higgins addressing the Aisling Awards in 2013