The All-Ireland Limerick Senior Hurling Champions were the winners of Limerick Person of the Year 2018. John Kiely, Limerick hurling manager, Richard Lynch, founder and editor of and Paul Browne, Senior Hurler, pictured at the award ceremony for Limerick Person of the Year 2018.

PHOTOS – Limerick’s All-Ireland Hurling Champions named Limerick Person of the Year 2018

The All-Ireland Limerick Senior Hurling champions have been named Limerick Person of the Year 2018.

The team which brought the Liam MacCarthy Cup back to the Treaty City and County for the first time in 45 years last year have been honoured at this year’s awards.

Limerick was brought to a standstill last August when the hurlers competed in the All-Ireland Final in Croke Park.  The city and county erupted in joy and celebration when the final whistle blew after an agonising final few minutes in the match against Galway.

Nearly 100,000 greeted the victorious team at their homecoming, while thousands of people continue to celebrate as the players accompany the Liam MacCarthy Cup as it travels to all corners of the county.

Accepting the award on behalf of the hurling panel, manager John Kiely paid tribute to all the monthly winners: “Having listened to the stories of all the other award recipients, we’re humbled to even considered on the same page as these people.  Their stories are just incredible, they’re powerful, they are inspiring, they are just ladened with courage and determination and they epitomise the people of Limerick in a very very unique way.”

“At the same time, I hope that our journey made their road and other people’s road a little bit easier this last year.  To have been where we were last August and ended that phase of our history, I think, it’s a wonderful thing for us all and it opens up the door to an even brighter future.”

“On behalf of the team and the management I would like to thank you all for your support over the last number of years, it’s been incredible and inspiring for lots of young kids running around with hurleys in their hands.”

At the gala event in the Clayton Hotel in Limerick today (Thursday 21 February 2019) Cervical Cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan was also honoured with a Special Achievement Award.

Vicky, who unfortunately wasn’t able to make the Limerick Person of the Year 2018 ceremony was honoured for her work in uncovering the Cervical Check scandal and her tireless support of other women who have been affected and are fighting for justice.

Details of a new Limerick Hall of Fame were announced at the gala ceremony, with the late Cranberries lead singer Dolores O’Riordan being the first inductee.

Dolores’s mother Eileen was presented with a special framed front page of the Limerick Leader to mark the announcement.

Limerick Person of the Year 2018

Richard Lynch, founder and editor of, and Eileen O’Riordan pictured at the award ceremony for Limerick Person of the Year 2018.

PJ O’Riordan, Dolores’s brother said this award was something very special.  “It’s a huge honour to be here for her induction into the Limerick Hall of Fame.  Dolores was a very proud Limerick woman right to the end.  Anyone who might have doubted that at any time need only to listen to any of her songs, you’ll hear that fine County Limerick accent, something her fans and music critics remarked upon.”

“It’s a pity she wasn’t here last year to witness the Limerick Hurlers All-Ireland win.  She was a huge hurling fan all her life, not many people realise that.  She is with us in spirit and I’m sure she would be delighted with this induction and she’d be very proud with this.

Now in its 18th year and sponsored by The Limerick Leader, Southern Marketing Design & Media and the Clayton Hotel and supported by Limerick City and County Council, the Limerick Person of the Year Award was set up to honour the achievements and success of local people.

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr James Collins said “Congratulations to the Limerick Senior Hurlers and Vicky Phelan on receiving their awards today.  In their own way, they have helped to make Limerick a better place.  The hurlers contributed to a summer to remember for all Limerick people.  The way they conducted themselves on and off the pitch is a credit to all and the confidence they have shown mirrors the new-found confidence and renaissance of Limerick hurling.

Vicky Phelan’s bravery has been incredible.  From the first moment she spoke out about the Cervical Check issues to her support of other women, she has been an inspiration to all.”

“I would also like to congratulate all the other monthly recipients for their hard work and dedication in promoting Limerick.  You are doing extraordinary things and are making Limerick a much better place for everyone.”

Eugene Phelan, Editor of the Limerick Leader said “The 12 nominees have, in various different ways, made a vast contribution to Limerick and its people in the past year, from the joy of the Limerick hurlers and Ladies Football team to the bravery of women like Vicky Phelan and Leona O’Callaghan.

Pat Reddan, General Manager, Clayton Limerick Hotel said “Clayton Hotel Limerick is honoured to be a sponsor of The Limerick Person of the Year Awards. It gives us the occasion to recognise extraordinary achievements by amazing, selfless individuals, living in the Limerick area, that seize the opportunity to make our county and country a better place.”

Congratulating all nominees, Dave O’Hora, Managing Director of Creative and Media Agency Southern said “As a company, we work with branding and creativity every day and these individuals and groups do incredibly creative things to add to the depth and meaning of brand Limerick, and we salute them for that.”

Past winners of the title include philanthropist JP McManus, world champion boxer Andy Lee, rugby stars Paul O’Connell and Tony Ward, and anti-bullying campaigner Luke Culhane.

The judging panel for Limerick Person of the Year 2018 consisted of Cllr. James Collins, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Eugene Phelan, Editor of the Limerick Leader and Conn Murray, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council.

For more information on the Limerick Senior Hurling team, click here

For more stories about Limerick person of the year award, click here


Gold Medal for Adare in this year’s Limerick Going for Gold 2017 – Adare was awarded the top prize of €10,000, with €7,000 and €5,000 being presented to Abbeyfeale (2nd) and South Limerick City (3rd) respectively.

Gold Medal for Adare in this year’s Adare Limerick Going for Gold 2017

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Jordan Mac Cormaic

There were jubilant celebrations in The Strand Hotel, Limerick last night as Adare claimed the top prize in Limerick Going for Gold 2017.

Limerick Going for Gold 2017, which is sponsored by the JP McManus Charitable Foundation, has a total prize pool of over €75,000.

It is organised by Limerick City and County Council and supported by Limerick’s Live 95FM, The Limerick Leader and The Limerick Chronicle, The Limerick Post, Parkway Shopping Centre, I Love Limerick and Southern Marketing Media & Design.

A total of twelve communities made the final of the Limerick Going for Gold Challenge Category before the winners were announced at the grand finale, attended by hundreds of people from communities across Limerick city and county.

Prizes were also awarded in six other Going for Gold categories.

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Stephen Keary congratulated the participating communities for helping to ensure that Limerick Going for Gold 2017 continued to be a tremendous success.

“Limerick Going for Gold’s mission is to make Limerick a brighter, better, cleaner place to live, work and visit and every community who participated in this year’s event must be congratulated on the amazing job you have done once again.”

“It never ceases to amaze me how a shared sense of community spirit among people can help to transform an area.  It is clear that Going for Gold has also helped to complement, consolidate and add value to the council’s involvement and engagement with the broader community sector in Limerick.”

The Challenge Category final was made up of 12 groups from across Limerick.

Finalists were chosen by popular vote on Limerick’s Live 95FM over a five-week period.

The popular vote finalists were Athea, Castleconnell, Galbally, Hospital and Oola.  They were joined by wildcard finalists Abbeyfeale, Adare, Croom, Foynes, Kilfinane, Moyross, South Limerick City who were selected by the Limerick Going for Gold Judges Richard Barry (Tidy Towns Chair Tallanstown Co Louth) and Jimmy Feane (retired Director of Service, Limerick City and County Council).

Adare was awarded the top prize of €10,000, with €7,000 and €5,000 being presented to Abbeyfeale (2nd) and South Limerick City (3rd) respectively.

The other placed finalists were Oola and Croom (4th – €3,000/ 5th – €2,000).

The remaining groups were commended and received €1,000 each.

Head of the Adare Limerick Going for Gold 2017 team George Stack said of the win: “This means everything to everyone in Adare, it’s something that everyone in the community has helped with in various ways.”

He continued: “I’m so pleased for all of the marvellous people that have given their time and effort to keep Adare in tip-top shape.”

Limerick Gong for Gold 2017

Head of the Adare Limerick Going for Gold 2017 team George Stack said of the win: “This means everything to everyone in Adare, it’s something that everyone in the community has helped with in various ways.”

Going for Gold 2017 Limerick in Bloom was won by Kilteely (€5,000) with runners-up Patrickswell getting €3,000.  In third place was Croagh (€2,000).

The following groups were highly commended and each received an award of €1000 – Ardpatrick, Athea, Broadford, Bruff, Caherconlish, Galbally, Kilmallock, and Newcastle West.

Prizes were also awarded to Tidy Towns groups based on their Tidy Towns score.

The Overall most improved across Limerick was Kilcornan (€2,000).

The Overall most improved in each Municipal District will be awarded €1,000 each and they were Abbeyfeale, Glenroe, Gouldavoher and Rathkeale.

The overall winner of the Residential Area Category (€2,000) was presented to Caherdavin with Monaleeen Park in 2nd place (€1,500) and Cappamore Estates in 3rd place (€1,000).

The following areas received highly commended (€500) – Mill Road, Croom Estates, Grange, Glenbrook, Glendale & Glendale Lawn, Castletroy View, Gouldavoher, Carraballawn, Carriglea, Drominbeg, Slugaire, Woodlawn, Verdant, Carriglea.

The Grange in Raheen received the award for Best Newcomer (€500).

Endeavour Awards of between €500 and €1,000 were presented Limerick Fairtrade Committee, Limerick Youth Service Centre, Southill Tidy Towns Group and Westfields Wetlands to encourage and/ or support ongoing work on the environment.

In recognition of National Reuse Month the Limerick Going for Gold Reuse Award went to the UL Environmental Committee for their repair and repurpose initiative of on-campus laptops, macs and smartphones, and to Our Lady of Lourdes for their Food Waste Prevention Project.

The Garden Competition Category was sponsored by the Parkway Shopping Centre and featured a prize fund of €1,000 in shopping vouchers.

Roger Beck from the Parkway Shopping Centre presented prizes to John and Ita Carroll, Castlemahon (1st), Frank Costelloe, Askeaton (2nd) and Robert O’Byrne, Kennedy Park (3rd).

In a new departure for 2017, the Limerick Going for Gold judges awarded a Judges’ Award trophy to The Bake House, Bruff, Tait House, Southill, Leen’s Hotel, Abbeyfeale, The Bridges in Croom and the Stryker Roundabout, Raheen.

The #Loveyourlimerick Photographic Competition was won by John McCarthy, for his depiction of a day in the life of Kilteely and Fiona Quinn for capturing a moment many of us will have seen along the quays in Limerick city.

Speaking at the event Noel Earlie from the JP McManus Charitable Foundation said: “It was considered important that recognition be given to community groups, in whatever form they take, for their contribution to the environment.  They’re role models for all of us, leading by example.  Congratulations to all the communities involved.  Your efforts are paying off.”

To visit the official website for Limerick Going for Gold click here

To read more Going for Gold stories on I Love Limerick click here


Limerick 2020 bid

Announcing details of the event at upper O’Connell Street, Limerick were, Catherine Ryan and Laura Malone of Fidget Feet with Limerick localTom Muldowney, Henry Street. Picture: Alan Place/ilovelimerick.

The excitement is building up as the countdown for the ECOC jury panel’s review of Limerick on Tuesday, July 12 starts coming closer. Limerick has got one last chance to push the city’s European Capital of Culture Limerick 2020 bid with a spectacular street party to celebrate the magical journey of the campaign.

While the ECOC jury panel reviews the city and the cultural institutions, thousands of the city’s citizens will get to indulge themselves in culinary delicacies, art and musical culture. The event will start up around midday and finish in the evening.

The public will be treated to various events including the Culture and Chips food carnival on O Connell Ave from noon onwards, a taste of international cuisine with the World Recipe Exchange, and lots of gatherings at venues such as the Hunt Museum, Howley’s Quay and O’Connell Street’s urban garden.

Daniel O’Connell’s whole block on upper O’Connell Street between Hartstonge Street and Barrington Street (the area known as The Crescent in the Georgian Quarter) will become party central as Culture & Chips Takes To The Streets from noon until evening.

If Limerick succeeds, it will indeed be historic. It’ll also be – according to estimates – worth around €170m to the city. Limerick won’t get to enter the European Capital of Culture again for another 15 years so that’s also why there is such a huge push to try and succeed.

The Limerick 2020 bid team makes its final presentation to the panel at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on July 14 and the winner being announced the following day. It’s a tough competition as Limerick competes against Galway, Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny for the title.

Bid director Mike Fitzpatrick said that now is “the right time” for Limerick to earn the prestigious title. “Limerick is aware that the jury is in town, but it’s not about the jury; it is about having a moment to say, ‘Look how far we have come’ in terms of how culture has formed part of everyday life in Limerick. Whatever happens on July 15, whatever the decision is, culture will remain at the centre of what we do. It has given us so much confidence and belief in ourselves.”

Bid deputy director, Sheila Deegan, said the festive day “may go down as one of the most important days for the city.”

“Win or lose with the Limerick 2020 bid, we have achieved an awful lot and it is time to celebrate so we are asking that as many people as possible to turn out and enjoy this party with us. The journey has awakened a real sense of cultural identity in Limerick and a wider awareness of just how rich, diverse and talented our cultural heritage is. We were Ireland’s first City of Culture and we certainly showed over the course of that magical year just how much Limerick has found its cultural voice and it is now singing from the rooftops.”


  • Limerick Street Food, run with Limerick Council: this weekly pretty market of tents will deck out on Harvey’s Quay on Tuesday 12, 11am to 4pm.
  • For a serving of culture with a side of chips, Culture & Chips Takes To The Streets in conjunction with Limerick 2020 are throwing a street party of food, culture, performance on Tuesday 12, 12.30pm-7pm at The Crescent, O Connell Ave.
  • The new Urban Garden on O’Connell Street will host the Gig in the Garden from 2.30pm: “an eclectic mix of home-grown talent” led by The Harmony in Hands Deaf Community Choir.
  • Hunt Museum Garden Party begins at 2.30pm with face painting and artists creating new works, all to a jazz accompaniment.
  • Children head to Ormston House for the Science Magic Show, 3pm, which promises “an explosive time with chemistry and magic to enthrall”.
  • International class pipe organist David Casson plays in concert free at Sacred Heart Church, The Crescent at 8pm. Part of Limerick Pipe Organ Festival.

Read more about Limerick 2020 here

Follow Limerick 2020 on Twitter  here

Rugby legend Paul O Connell awarded UL doctorate honour

Dr Paul O Connell with Richard Lynch from I Love Limerick. Photo by Jonathan Baynes for

Limerick rugby legend Paul O Connell was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science at a ceremony in front of 1,000 invited guests on Thursday November 5, 2015.

The former Ireland captain, who bowed out of international rugby after picking up a hamstring injury at the World Cup last month, is the 100th person to receive an honorary doctorate at the University of Limerick.

Irish head coach Joe Schmidt, Munster players past and present, his family and friends, including wife Emily, son Paddy and daughter Lola were at this special event celebrating.

“I am delighted, I am a bit overwhelmed by it. I had a look through the list of previous conferees – it is great company that I will be keeping. I had a lovely phone call from Declan Kidney this morning – I was at his conferring previously,” said Paul.

O’Connell, who won 108 Irish caps over a glorious Irish career, said that the University, where he completed three of four years of a computer engineering degree before professional rugby came calling in 2001, had played a “big part” in his life.

“When you grow up in Limerick, the University ends up being a big part of your life, even if you don’t go here as a student,” he said.

“To get appreciated by your home university is something that is very special. I have played in teams all my life, great Munster and Irish teams and to be getting individual honours sometimes when you play a team sport is a bit strange and it can be a bit embarrassing because you are never in that situation, it is never about the individual when you are part of a team.

For 15 years the Munster icon has trained almost daily on campus in UL, and has a long association with the campus that dates back his days as a swimmer in the original PESS swimming pool as a four or five year old, he explained.

Asked about a break with that routine now with his move to Toulon in the offing – albeit with months of rehab for his injury ahead of him – he said simply: “It is part of life, part of the circle of life.

“I think the Toulon move is something I gave a lot of thought to and I swayed back and forth as to whether it was the right thing or the wrong thing to do. But I think for whatever I want to do for the rest of my life, I think I will be all the better for having this experience and it is something I am really looking forward to,” he said.

“Limerick will always be my home and it will always be somewhere I would like to come back to.”

O’Connell explained why he wouldn’t rule out a return to education in the future: “I have had good excuses with having two kids and having a senior role in the Irish team and Munster team as well. I have toyed with it, I have come in and spoken to the University plenty of times about the possibility of coming back and doing various things and I cooled on the idea as well. But I probably have 18 months left playing rugby and I will be taking a little bit of time out after that and who knows, I could end up back here as a student as well,” he admitted.

UL President Professor Don Barry paid tribute to the rugby legend, who has been a director of the UL Foundation since 2011, saying that the occasion was an “opportunity to honour those who have inspired, who have led with courage and passion and who have made great contributions in their fields of endeavour.

“Much thought, consideration and deliberation goes into deciding who is worthy – except when it is a real-life super hero, and particularly when his name is Paul O’Connell.

“Today I am very proud that UL bestowed upon Paul our highest honour. He was already an important member of the UL family, but today he accepted a place in the history of this institution,” he added.

Read Richard’s tribute to Paul O Connell here.

Read more about Paul O Connell here.

Read more about UL here.

Watch our exclusive interview with rugby legend Paul O Connell 

Castleconnell winner of the Limerick Going for Gold competition 2015

Limerick Going for Gold 2015, which for the first time included the communities across Limerick City and County, featured a prize pool of over €76,000, courtesy of the JP McManus Charitable Foundation.
the JP McManus Charitable Foundation.

Castleconnell were named as the overall winner in the Challenge category at Limerick Going for Gold Competition 2015, receiving a €10,000 prize.

I had the honour of taking on the role of Master of Ceremonies for the event, which raised awareness of environmental issues, got people involved in their own areas and made a physical difference in communities.

JP McManus presented Castleconnell at the Limerick Going for Gold Competition 2015 with their cheque and trophy, thanking them for their role in their community.“There’s a great passion here, of people and a love for the county. Everybody embraces everybody.“I feel very privileged and honoured to be here and everybody’s a winner here. I can see Limerick getting cleaner and brighter, I am very happy to be from here,” McManus said.

Over €76,000 was awarded to Limerick communities who raised awareness of environmental issues, got people involved in their own areas and made a physical difference in communities. Through four categories – Challenge, Limerick in Bloom, Best Front Garden and Tidy Towns Incentive categories – Limerick communities were awarded with monetary prizes and were commended on their “fantastic” work.

Awards were also presented on the night in Endeavour and Residential Areas categories. Limerick Mayor Liam Galvin was in attendance on the night, acknowledging the role of communities and sponsors in the Going for Gold initiative.

The Challenge Category winners at the Limerick Going for Gold Competition 2015, whose finalists were chosen by public vote following radio and newspaper coverage, included Kilteely, Broadford, Anglesboro, Rathkeale, Hospital and O’Malley Keyes, each receiving an award of €1,000. Croom and Caherdavin came in joint fifth place in the Challenge category, each receiving an award of €2,000.Kilfinane, reaching fourth place, were presented with a cheque for €3,000 by Gerry Boland. South Limerick City received an award of €5,000, coming in third place in the Challenge category.

Check out the Limerick Going for Gold Facebook page here

Read more about the Going for Gold competition here