Ibrahim Halawa surprised the audience in the Burlington Hotel in Dublin by arriving unannounced at the Women of the Year Awards to pay tribute to his five sisters for helping to secure his freedom.
Introduced to the stage by Irish Tatler publisher and organiser of the event, Norah Casey, he said: "I would like to thank Norah and Irish Tatler for having me but really I wouldn't be here if it weren't for my beautiful five sisters."
The audience continued to give Ibrahim and his sisters a standing ovation thoughout his speech as he added: "Freedom still takes a lot of adaption after four years, especially going in as a kid, it effects you mentally but I'm not here to talk about myself.
"I'm here to talk about how the wonderful job they have done, how amazing and hardworking...
"They postponed their lives, they postponed everything, they postponed college, they didn't have a proper wedding, they weren't happy with their first born child or the kids that they had because I, their little brother, was still in prison.
"Of course they fought and they fought and they fought. I am here today and I really want to take this opportunity to say that I am very proud to have sisters like them.
"I am the luckiest man in the world."
Three of Ibrahim's sisters, Fatima, Omaima and Somaia Halawa were arrested along with their younger brother four years ago in August 2013 before being released.
The 17th annual Irish Tatler Women of the Year Awards took place on Saturday 28th of October, in the Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, and 500 people gathered to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of women.
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Speaking about the Women of the Year Awards, Norah added: "We have some amazing women award winners this year including the Halawa sisters who stood steadfast by their brother campaigning tirelessly for his release.
"When the judging panel choose these three women for a significant achievement award little did we know how momentous the week would be with Ibrahim’s release.
"I started these awards 17 years ago to recognize iconic Irish women in all walks of life but also to shine a spotlight on these amazing role models so young women could believe that they can achieve anything in modern Ireland."
A purple carpet was rolled out for guests to raise awareness for domestic violence, a cause that’s close to Norah’s heart and proceeds on the night will go to Women’s Aid.
Listen to Norah Casey's interview with Taragh Loughrey-Grant where she talks about the domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of her first husband for nine years and how she decided to fight back: -
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