Kildare's All Time Greats

REVEALED: The winner of Kildare's All Time Greats is...

Hotly-contested poll between CF campaigner Orla Tinsley and Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton

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REVEALED: The winner of Kildare's All Time Great is...

Kildare's All Time Great has been revealed

We have a winner in our Kildare's All Time Greats vote!

Leinster Leader readers have had their say and picked their choice for the person who they consider Kildare's All Time Greats.

Over the past month and a half, 16 of Kildare's most well-known and accomplished individuals were paired up in a series of votes - from St Brigid to Arthur Guinness; Johnny Doyle to Dermot Weld.

All were deserving of the title in their own right, but who would be our readers' pick.

For the past week, voting has been neck-and-neck between our final two - famed Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton and Cystic Fibrosis campaigner and writer Orla Tinsley. Voting was close... but one of our contenders pulled ahead in the poll over the final days, thanks to a well-supported campaign in her hometown of Newbridge.

We can reveal that the winner of our Kildare's All Time Greats poll, with 56% of the final vote, is... ORLA TINSLEY!

Newbridge-born Orla Tinsley is a writer, journalist and campaigner for the rights of those with Cystic Fibrosis.

Orla Tinsley from Newbridge, winner of our Kildare's All Time Greats poll

The now-31-year-old was born with CF, a genetic disorder which affects the lungs and other organs. She began writing for the Irish Times at the age of 18 about the dearth of healthcare services and supports for sufferers in Ireland. She was named the Rehab Young Person of the Year in 2008, and published a memoir, Salty Baby, three years later, which addressed growing up and living with the condition.

Orla moved to New York to study at Columbia University on a writing scholarship in 2014. In 2017 her health seriously deteriorated, and her writing about life on the transplant list galvanised people to carry organ donor cards. She received a double lung transplant shortly before Christmas 2017.

Well done to all our contenders, and thanks to our sponsors and all who voted in our All Time Greats polls.