A dentist who helped a victim of domestic abuse after treating her in his practice has told Sean Moncrieff that women need to be able to speak out.
Tipperary man Padraig O'Reachtagáin was named the Caring Dentist of the Year.
He opened his practice on a Saturday morning to treat the woman with a broken tooth, which he realised was a result of trauma.
The woman told him the real story behind the damaged tooth, and he helped identify ways she could get help.
Mr O'Reachtagáin told Sean Moncrieff the woman did not have anyone to confide in up to that point.
"The sad thing about it was that she carried this dreadful, dreadful burden alone for so many years.
"She had no confidant - she had nobody to help her [or] to talk to about it".
He says women need to be able to speak out on the problem.
"There's a sense of embarrassment and shame, a feeling that in some way they are responsible - which of course is total nonsense.
"But we have to get past that to protect these families".
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said Dr O'Reachtagáin not only repaired her broken tooth - but showed her a way out of a violent situation.
She travelled a considerable distance to Roscrea to receive treatment.
She said: "Padraig opened up his practice on a Saturday morning just to treat me at much expense to himself I am sure.
"He was caring, compassionate and also advised me on the avenues I could go down to get myself and my children into a much safer environment.
"I can't express how thankful I am: he not only repaired my tooth but showed me a way to get out of a violent situation - myself and my children are now safe due to his care and understanding.
"He truly deserves this award".
Nominators receive a prize if the dentist they nominate wins.
In this case, the woman asked that the €1,500 prize money should go to Women's Aid.
The president of the Irish Dental Association (IDA), Professor Leo Stassen, also praised Dr O'Reachtagáin.
"Padraig displayed tremendous sensitivity and understanding of the physical and emotional needs of a patient in distress.
"After ensuring the patient had a secure and caring environment, he went on to provide her with excellent treatment and wise counsel.
"This enabled the mum and her children to escape from a dangerous situation.
"Her story - and indeed her own generosity in donating her prize to Women's Aid - will undoubtedly inspire others who find themselves in similar situations."
Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can contact Women's Aid 24 hours on 1800-341-900