Olympian accepts award on behalf of ill Oscar (5)

Suzanne McGonagle

OLYMPIC boxer Paddy Barnes yesterday accepted a 'special inspiration' award on behalf of brave Oscar Knox who was too ill to attend the ceremony.

The five-year-old remains in hospital as he battles cancer and his family said he had been suffering "lots of sickness" this week.

In his absence close friend Barnes attended the Inspiration Awards at Belfast City Hall to pick up the prize.

He described the youngster from Mallusk, Co Antrim, as "my hero and always will be".

Snow Patrol's Jonny Quinn was also among those who received a prize at the awards, organised by Springboard Opportunities Limited.

The awards recognise those in the community who have come through life-changing journeys and who have made positive, inspirational impacts on the lives of those

around them.

This year's theme was 'Inspirational Youth'.

The Snow Patrol drummer participated in a Springboard programme in 1996 which included a four-week work placement in London.

He spoke yesterday of how the award "means a lot to me" and said he would not have been in the band without the charity's help.

Other winners included Stefan Sloan, who took the Community Inspiration Award and Michael Blayney, who took the Youth Inspiration Award.

Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir, who presented the awards, said the four winners "continue to be an inspiration to so many others today".

The prize-giving was organised to raise awareness of the UN International Day of Peace, which takes place today.

Springboard also held a Peace Walk yesterday and a minute's silence for peace.

n FIGHTING SPIRIT: Two-time Olympic medallist Paddy Barnes and Snow Patrol's Jonny Quinn, far left, at Belfast City Hall yesterday where Barnes picked up a award for Oscar Knox and Quinn picked up the Celebrity Inspiration award. Right, a picture posted on Oscar's family's Twitter feed yesterday shows him receiving treatment


Hugh Russell


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