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Nutritional therapist Olivia Beck, fitness expert Leanne Moore, style queen Celia Holman Lee, Dr Mary Ryan, Consultant Endocrinologist Bon Secours Hospital, Aoibhinn Garrihy, actress and founder of BEO, Mary Harney, Chancellor of the University of Limerick, hockey player Sinead Loughran, Richard Lynch, founder of ilovelimerick.com and Una Burns, Head of Policy and Communications Novas at the Midwest Empowerment and Equality Conference 2019 in University Concert Hall, Limerick on May 1st. Picture: Zoe Conway/ilovelimerick.
MEEC Conference 2019 stresses the importance of Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment
On Wednesday, May 1 at the University Concert Hall, The Midwest Empowerment and Equality Conference took place to empower, educate and encourage men and women both young and old to take better care of themselves. The conference was organised and presented by Dr Mary Ryan, Consultant Endocrinologist, Bon Secours at Barrington’s Limerick and Senior Lecturer at Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS), University of Limerick and sponsored by Cleanmarine.
Key speaker, Professor Desmond Fitzgerald, President of the University of Limerick spoke about the progress of female empowerment and gender equality in Limerick saying, “In the University here it is a very important part of our strategy to ensure that we achieve gender equality and we‘ve done a lot in those terms, we are third in Europe amongst Universities for gender equality but we have a long way to go.”
Mary Harney, Chancellor of UL officially opened the conference giving an inspirational speech about the improvement of equality and empowerment within parliament saying, “Women have come a long way in Ireland, in Leinster House in 1977 when I was nominated for the Senate, virtually all of the women there were there by virtue of their connection to a former male politician, they were either daughters, widows or in one case a granddaughter of male politicians and the wonderful change that has happened in the intermediate years are that the women that are there now are there in their own right, and I think that is fantastic, even if we are only 22% of the parliamentarians in Leinster House today.”
Dr Mary Ryan educated the audience on the importance of hormones and how it interacts with lifestyle and why empowerment is so important in both men and women. Mary spoke about many issues regarding empowerment. She gave the audience tips on how to empower themselves, quoting Warren Buffett, “surround yourself with positive people, find mentors you can emulate and reach out to those who know more in order to be successful.”
Vice-President of the European Parliament Mairead McGuinness MEP was one of the guest speakers of the day. Mairead spoke about where we are all going astray and losing the narrative regarding empowerment. She said, “Children are more open, more willing to challenge you, to ask you questions and give you advice. I often wonder, why is it we lose that connectivity and sense of the world when we are children as we grow into adulthood. It is because the sense of empowerment isn’t deep enough in us, I think doctors would be out of business and that we would have healthcare it would be about health and wellbeing, keeping people well not treating people who are sick.”
There were two discussion panels at the MEEC Conference 2019 featuring guests from the fields of business, sports, entertainment, health, and academia. The first panel included children’s author Fiona Dillon, Professor Linda Coates, Margaret O’Connor, MD Quigleys, actress and founder of BEO Aoibhin Garrihy, style queen Celia Holman Lee, Tony O’Riordan, CEO of Midlands Simon Community, hockey player Sinead Loughran, and nutritionist Olivia Beck. During this panel discussion, social issues affecting the empowerment of both women and men were raised such as male suicide and equality in sport and media coverage.
Today we are here at the @UCHLimerickfor The Midwest Empowerment and Equality Conference with guest speaker Anne Marie Gill #MEEC2019#ilovelimerick#lovelimerick#lovinlimerickpic.twitter.com/edn5X1v2Es
— #LimerickTilliDie (@ilovelimerick) 1 May 2019
Eight transition and fifth-year students from schools across the Midwest each gave five-minute presentations on the topics of empowerment and equality. Victoria Cottrell student from Ursuline Convent Thurles gave an amazing speech, touching on how she was affected by bullying. Victoria said “it was not until I decided that their horrific behaviour was their problem, not mine, that I could be free, I took back the power. Empowerment is feeling good about yourself, empowerment is taking control of your mental health, empowerment is not being afraid to stand out, empowerment is being able to say no in everything we do, empowerment is key!”
The second panel included, Minister Patrick O’Donovan, fitness expert Leanne Moore, Winifred Ryan, Head of Communications in the HSE, Ann Marie Gill, Chairperson of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, PhD student Eoin White, Motivational Speaker Sean Dwan, Sean Hoolan of the HSE Health Business Services, Fiona Brennan, transformation and mindset coach and Maryanne Lowney, post-primary teacher in Colaiste Geann Lí, Tralee. These panellists spoke about mindfulness, communication skills, mental health and sexual consent.
Each of the student’s presentations was judged by an esteemed panel of judges including Dr Ita Richardson, Head of Gender Equality UL, Prof Deirdre McGrath, Head of Gems Medical School and Dr Marie Connolly, Head of Quality and Diversity UL. Mary Harney presented the winners with their prizes. The 1stplace winner was Katelyn Diggins from Causeway Comprehensive School and Colaiste Na Sceilge Cahirciveen, 2nd place was awarded to John Moriarty, John the Baptist Hospital and last but not least, Anna Powell from St Mary’s Nenagh won 3rd place. All participants also received a plaque to commemorate their achievement.
All proceeds from the ticket and raffle sales at the MEEC conference 2019 will be going towards Novas and the Children’s Grief Centre. Novas is a voluntary organisation who work with vulnerable people and provide support for the homeless. The Children’s Grief Centre is a free and voluntary organisation that supports children between the ages of 4 and 18, where parents have separated, divorced or where there has been bereavement.
Mary Harney concluded her inspirational speech by thanking Dr Mary Ryan, saying, “She is an example of a woman that is certainly empowered that certainly strives for equality, that certainly knows how to deal with crises and adversity and I think she is a very efficient person to be organising this event today.”
For more information about Novas visit
For more information about the Children’s Grief Centre visit
For more stories about Empowerment and Equality go here
To find out more about Cleanmarine visit Cleanmarine.ie
Team Limerick Cleanup 5 – Richard Lynch, ilovelimerick (far right) pictured with the founders of Team Limerick Cleanup, JP Mc Manus, Paul O’Connell and Helen O’Donnell celebrating the 5th birthday of TLC5. Picture: Conor Owens/ilovelimerick.
Volunteers and sunshine out in force for Team Limerick Cleanup 5
The sun shone brightly on Team Limerick Cleanup 5, as a record-breaking near-21,000 volunteers took to the streets of Limerick city and county for Europe’s largest one-day tidy-up.
Celebrating what is a milestone year for the much-loved community event, sponsor JP McManus and ambassador Paul O’Connell led the army of volunteers, who came from every town in Limerick and this year featured members of the victorious 2019 All Ireland Limerick hurling team, Munster rugby legends, community/residential groups, businesses, charities and well-known faces locally.
Declan Hannon, Dan Morrissey and Aaron Gillane were among the All Ireland champion hurlers to help tidy their local communities, as well as rugby referee, Joy Neville; while ahead of Munster’s huge semi-final clash with Saracens tomorrow, Heineken Cup winners Jerry Flannery and David Wallace also participated in the clean-up, which is sponsored by JP McManus Benevolent Fund and managed by Limerick City and County Council.
Commenting on Team Limerick Cleanup 5, Paul O’Connell said; “It’s amazing to break the 20,000 volunteers’ number and I’d like to thank every person who gave up their time today to help make Limerick a cleaner place. It’s been quite a journey over the past five years and Team Limerick Clean-Up has so much potential beyond just a one-day tidy-up. I’m hugely excited to see what the next five years will bring.”
Sponsor JP McManus echoed O’Connell’s words and reflected on an amazing 12 months for Limerick city and county. “To think this time last year, we were out tidying, and Limerick hadn’t won an All-Ireland since 1973. You can really feel the extra energy and excitement about the place here today, particularly with the hurlers out in force, too. It’s been an amazing effort by all volunteers and I extend my thanks to everybody out here today.”
This year, Team Limerick Cleanup 5 stresses the sustainability message more than ever – prevention is the best cure when it comes to littering and looking after the community. In the lead up to today’s event, Team Limerick Clean-Up ran the ‘Design A TLC Bottle’ competition for primary schools across the county. All entries were on display at the Hunt Museum, Limerick city centre and Team Limerick Clean-Up will be pressing ahead with further sustainability initiatives in the months ahead.
JP McManus visited several areas in Limerick to see the tidying efforts first hand, including Tait House Community Enterprise, St Munchin’s and Moyross Community Centres, and Our Lady of Lourdes.
Team Limerick Clean-Up is an initiative sponsored by the JP McManus Benevolent Fund and supported by Limerick City and County Council. Endorsed by Paul O’Connell, the official partners include Mr Binman, the Limerick Leader, Limerick Post and Limerick Live 95.
For more information on Team Limerick Cleanup 5 click here
For more stories featuring Team Limerick Cleanup, click here
Pictured at the VTOS Limerick 2019 open day is style queen Celia Holman Lee along with artists from across Limerick. Picture: Conor Owens/ilovelimerick.
VTOS Open Day 2019 helps long-term unemployed return to full-time education
By ilovelimerick correspondent Chloe Reidy
The Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme Limerick Open Day 2019 was a great success for Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board at the Further Education and Training Centre, Kilmallock Road Campus. The open day took place on Thursday, April 11, from 11 am to 2.30 pm and was part of the Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival 2019.
The open day was a big success, with visitors and prospective learners having the opportunity to visit information stands and hear about the courses on offer at the centre.
Patricia Kennedy, the coordinator of VTOS tells me, “The day was such a great opportunity for the public to visit and see what courses that we have on offer. We have brilliant facilities and the staff are wonderful, and dedicated to supporting the students.”
Events that took place on the day included the Portrait Artist Festival, The Irish Revolution 1919-1922 and ‘What is Social Enterprise?’.
Jayne Foley who teaches the Art, Craft, Design class said, ‘The Portrait Artist Festival gave students of the Art, Craft, Design class and members of the public an opportunity to create a portrait of Irish model, fashion stylist and television presenter, Celia Holman Lee. Celia was so much fun and so enthusiastic and kind to the artists. What a lady!”
Jayne Foley, Art Craft and Design course leader at @LMKCityVTOS speaks about the different areas in which you study within the course, from painting to digital photography. Jayne also spoke about the different opportunities available to the graduates. @LimClareETB #ilovelimerick pic.twitter.com/sPgKHlBKug
— #LimerickTilliDie (@ilovelimerick) April 15, 2019
Celia said of the event, ‘I’m delighted to have the opportunity to take part in such a wonderful event that encourages lifelong learning. I believe we never stop learning and should always strive to learn and grow to the best of our abilities, so to be able to contribute in this small way is a great privilege’.
The Irish Revolution 1919 – 1922 lecture was a discussion about the Civil War, in honour of its 100th anniversary held by historian Frank Noonan.
The last event ‘What is Social Enterprise?’, gave local social entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet one another and speak about how to make a positive social impact on our society.
Earlier that week, on Tuesday, April 9, VTOS Limerick held an Intercultural Day for others to experience the great diversity of cultures at the Kilmallock Road Campus, with global food stands, tribal drumming and plenty of music on offer.
The VTOS Open Day 2019 was a chance for the Further Education and Training Centre to show to the public what courses they have on offer. The centre offers both the Junior and Leaving Certificates, with nine subjects to choose from for the Leaving Certificate, which is studied over the course of one year, instead of typically two. Other courses on offer, are Career Pathways, English for Work, Retail Sales, Healthcare Support, Office Administration, all ranging from QQI Major Award Levels 3-5.
We spoke to English for Work Teacher, Alison McNamara at @LMKCityVTOS on the Kilmallock Road for their open day as part of the Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival #lovelimerick #ilovelimerick pic.twitter.com/vxFf8n8B6R
— #LimerickTilliDie (@ilovelimerick) April 11, 2019
VTOS is designed to help long-term unemployed return to full-time education without losing their social welfare benefits. VTOS will help participants make the transition back into paid employment or back to further education and eventually leading to paid employment. Participants will make new friends; acquire valuable education qualifications in an adult friendly environment.
The centre also provides many other benefits, which include, books and equipment being supplied, assistance with the cost of childcare/creche, examination fees paid for, free parking on campus, state of the art facilities and meal and travel allowance, including a direct bus to the city centre.
The Lifelong Learning Festival ran from April 8 -14 and is the culmination of work by various partners in promoting learning for all ages throughout the Limerick region in what is promised to be a week of fun and engaging activities, which are free and open to everyone.
For more information on VTOS Limerick, go here.
For more stories on VTOS Limerick, go here.