Mayoral Reception for Cliona’s Foundation – Pictured are Alan McGrath, Terry Ring, co-founder Clionas Foundation, Daniel Butler, Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Limerick, Fionn O’Hehir, Jimmy Crowe and Brendan Ring, co-founder Clionas Foundation. Picture: Conor Owens/ilovelimerick.

 

Clionas Foundation receives Mayoral Reception for helping Irish families

By I Love Limerick correspondent Conor Owens

Limerick City Hall hosted a Mayoral Reception on Tuesday for the Cliona’s Foundation in order to acknowledge their incredible work in supporting families of children with life-limiting illness, as well as present awards to Fionn O’Hehir, Alan McGrath and Jimmy Crowe for their amazing courage while caring for a very sick brother or sister.  

Speaking at the reception was Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Limerick, Daniel Butler, who presented the awards to each of the three youngsters, as a way of recognizing their incredible selflessness in caring for their siblings. Also speaking at the event were the founders of Cliona’s Foundation, Brendan and Terry Ring, who thanked the Limerick County Council for the reception and their support to the charity.  

Family and friends of Adam McGrath, Jimmy Crowe and Fionn O’Hehir attended the event to show their support to the three brave young boys who showed tremendous love to their sick family members and went above and beyond in supporting them despite their young age. The boys were each awarded certificates by the Mayor as a way of congratulating them on behalf of the County Council.

The reception aimed to raise awareness of the incredible work being done by the Limerick charity, Cliona’s Foundation. The Foundation is the only charity in Ireland providing financial support to the families of children with a life-limiting condition all over the country from birth up to the age of 16 years of age to help with the nonmedical costs of caring for their child. These costs can include accommodation, car parking, travel, child-care, and specialist equipment.  They have supported over 530 families over the past 11 years. The incredible growth of the charity over the years has surprised even its founders. “It just goes to show the real need for this Foundation,” says Terry Ring. 

Mayoral Reception for Cliona's Foundation

Terry Ring, co-founder, Mayor Daniel Butler and Brendan Ring, co-founder at the Mayoral Reception for the Cliona’s Foundation. Picture: Conor Owens/ilovelimerick.

The Foundation was set up by Brendan and Terry Ring, following the death of their daughter Cliona, from an inoperable brain tumour in 2006. Brendan and Terry were shocked by the expenses needed to care for a seriously ill child and were struck by the number of families that were also facing this enormous financial hardship as they were blindsided by non-medical expenses. They set up the charity to help relieve these families of the stress of these costs. These costs can include accommodation, food, petrol and other miscellaneous expenses incurred by families who must take sick children to hospitals or other medical facilities for frequent treatments. “The financial strain to the families in these situations is what people often overlook,” says Brendan, “so it’s great for Limerick city to know the work that we do.” 

Since its inception, Cliona’s Foundation has raised over €1 million and helped more than 550 families across 29 counties. It is Brendan and Terry’s intimate understanding of the stress brought upon these families that explains the diversity of expenses covered by Cliona’s Foundation – from rent, food, utility bills to transportation for chemotherapy or alternative therapies, to a treat for a sibling and even covering the cost of a child’s funeral.  

For more stories featuring the Cliona’s Foundation, click here  

For more information on the Cliona’s Foundation, click here

Patrick McLoughney, Meghann Scully, Triona O’Connor, Focus Ireland Limerick Services Project Leader, Mayor James Collins, Celia Holman Lee, Sinead O’Brien, and Richard Lynch, ilovelimerick. Pic: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick

Focus Ireland Thanksgiving Choral Concert celebrates 20 years of fighting homelessness in Limerick 

Focus Ireland has been challenging homelessness and changing lives in Limerick since 1998. To mark the Focus Ireland 20th anniversary in Limerick City and County, the charity held a Focus Ireland Thanksgiving Choral Concert at St. Marys Cathedral and the event was a rousing success! The evening raised 3,000 euros.


Focus Ireland Ambassador Celia Holman Lee hosted the event. Cllr James Collins, Mayor of Limerick City and County was the guest of honour joined by Meghann Scully of SPIN South West who presented the musical acts.

Well-known and much loved local performers gathered at the cathedral to sing their hearts out in aid of Focus Ireland and all the support that has been provided to the community in Limerick over the last 20 years.

Focus Ireland Thanksgiving

Rebecca Reynolds, Patrice Kelleher and Máiréad Cummane, Focus Ireland. Pic: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick

Performing on the night was the hugely popular soprano Sinead O’Brien accompanied by Tenor Derek Moloney, Unity Gospel Choir Limerick, Mary Immaculate College Community Choir, Cantette Children’s Choir, Parteen NS Choir, and St. Marys NS Choir.

The acts literally sang the roof off of the course culminating in a free for all with audience members including Celia Holman Lee, Richard Lynch and Mayor Collins joining the gospel choir and other acts on stage for a rendition of ‘Oh Happy Day’ from the movie ‘Sister Act’.

There was something for everyone’s musical tastes on the night and complimentary refreshments were provided by Mr Taits Café. A prize draw with some seriously superb spot prizes donated from local businesses closed the evening.

By taking part in the concert, performers and supporters helped Focus Ireland to provide continued support to Limerick families at risk of homelessness, and help those already directly impacted.

Focus Ireland Ambassador Celia Holman Lee said, “It breaks my heart to see the number of homeless children continue to rise. To be given an opportunity to raise awareness and much-needed funds so we can challenge this crisis is something that I feel very passionate about. As I am both a mother and a grandmother, my family means more to me than anything else in the world. We have to protect all families and ensure that all children in this country feel safe and secure.”


Rebecca Reynolds, Focus Ireland National Fundraising Initiatives Manager added: “Thanks so much to all who took part in making the anniversary event such a resounding success! We are so grateful to the musical acts, for Tait House for providing refreshments, to our ambassador Celia, to Meghann our superb MC for the night, to Mayor James Collins, to Richard Lynch and his ilovelimerick team for covering our event and to St Mary’s Cathedral for their amazing venue. The spirit of the Limerick community is second to none and we applaud the people of Limerick for coming out to support our anniversary.”

For more information on Focus Ireland, go here

For more stories on Focus Ireland, go here

Good Food Outlet and Leanne Moore of Go Gym Limerick have put together a healthy and delicious ready-made meal. From now until the end of September the Good Food Outlet will be donating one euro to the charity Cliona’s Foundation for every one of the meals sold. Pictured are Pat and Mary Power, Good Food Outlet, Leanne Moore, Go Gym Limerick, Brendan and Terry Ring, cofounders Cliona’s Foundation (back) with fitness model Eamonn Baggott, Richard Lynch, ilovelimerick, rugby star Joy Neville and fitness trainer Colm Moran. Picture: Zoe Conway/ilovelimerick

Good Food Outlet & Leanne Moore give Cliona’s Foundation food for soul

Fitness guru Leanne Moore is teaming up with the Good Food Outlet to raise vital funds for Limerick-based charity Cliona’s Foundation.

The Good Food Outlet and Leanne Moore have put together a healthy and delicious ready-made Go Gym Fitness meal that will be available to buy exclusively at the Good Food Outlet from now until the end of September. For every one of the Leanne Moore meals sold, the Good Food Outlet will be donating one euro to Cliona’s Foundation. Leanne is an official ambassador for the charity and was recently joined by fellow Cliona’s Foundation ambassador and World Rugby Referee of the Year Joy Neville to launch the meal.

Cliona’s Foundation is a Limerick-based charity that provides financial assistance directly to parents of children with life-limiting or chronic complex care needs across Ireland to help with the non-medical expenses related to caring for their child over a long period of time. The Foundation was set up by Brendan and Terry Ring, following the death of their daughter Cliona, from an inoperable brain tumour in 2006 aged 16.

Leanne Moore is one of Limerick’s brightest stars. After rising to fame on RTÉ’s You’re A Star in 2008, Moore has since cultivated a career in TV, music, and fitness. Along with her popular blog and social media following, Leanne made her business debut with Go Gym Limerick, a one of a kind gym experience located in Coonagh Cross which she launched with her business partners in 2017.

A family-owned business, the Good Food Outlet is a Limerick based food production company employing nine people and founded by Pat and Mary Power. After five years of food production, the Good Food Outlet opened its first retail outlet on the Ballysimon Road one year ago. The Good Food outlet makes healthy food accessible to the people of Limerick and provides food for a number of healthy-living goals. They also have the best selection of healthy fresh meals, high-protein foods, supplements and protein products in Limerick.

Leanne said, “We at Go Gym Limerick are delighted to team up with The Good Food Outlet on this project. Two local businesses coming together to help a local charity. I chose salmon for my meal because I adore fish but it will also be available with chicken so hopefully, it will appeal to everyone. I went for salmon or chicken in a pesto crust with baked sliced baby potatoes and mixed veg. Tasty and super healthy. It’ll be available from The Good Food Outlet and we will hopefully stock some in Go Gym too. People will pay the regular price for the meal and €1 of their money will go straight to Clionas Foundation. It’s amazing.”

Good Food Outlet

Good Food Outlet and Leanne Moore of Go Gym Limerick have put together a healthy and delicious ready-made meal. From now until the end of September the Good Food Outlet will be donating one euro to the charity Cliona’s Foundation for every one of the meals sold. Pictured are Brendan Ring, cofounder Cliona’s Foundation, rugby star Joy Neville, Leanne Moore, Go Gym Limerick and Mary Power, Good Food Outlet. Picture: Zoe Conway/ilovelimerick.

Mary and Pat Power, owners of the Good Food Outlet commented, “What I love about Cliona’s Foundation, is that any money raised through fundraising has an impact straight away for a family who are under stress due to the cost of medical expenses. These donations provide immediate relief for these families, and the expenses Cliona’s Foundation provide money for are the things people don’t think of when a child is ill.”

Joy Neville adds,” Cliona’s Foundation receives no state funding. Since its launch, Cliona’s Foundation has raised in excess of €1.4 million and has helped more than 500 families across 29 counties. It is Brendan and Terry’s intimate understanding of the stress brought upon these families that explains the diversity of expenses covered by Cliona’s Foundation – from accommodation, rent, food, car parking, utility bills to transportation for hospital treatment or alternative therapies, to a treat for a sibling and even covering the cost of a child’s funeral.”

“Leanne has been a wonderful supporter for a number of years”, said Brendan Ring, co-founder of Cliona’s Foundation. “We are absolutely delighted and honoured that she, along with the Good Food Outlet have selected Cliona’s Foundation to benefit from this new healthy Go Gym Fitness meal. Funds generated will help us support some of the 18 families we currently have on our waiting list along with increasing our profile to the Good Food Outlet customer base and Leanne’s many followers. It’s Good Food that will be good for everyone involved.”

For further info contact Mary Power, Good Food Outlet at [email protected] or Phil Deegan, Cliona’s Foundation at [email protected].

For more information about Cliona’s Foundation, click here

For more stories on Cliona’s Foundation, click here

Celia Holman Lee and Focus Ireland have recruited Limerick’s top digital influencers in support of Irelands Great Get Together. Pictured at the Shannon Rowing Club in Limerick, from left to right – Lousie Cooney, Patrick McLoughney, Shauna Lindsay, Celia Holman Lee, Sinead O’Brien, Leanne Moore and Richard Lynch (front centre). Picture: Dermot Culhane. 

Irelands Great Get Together – Celia Holman Lee and Limerick Digital Influencers support Focus Ireland

Nearly 9000 people in Ireland are now homeless and over 3000 of these are children. Focus Ireland with support from Bord Gais Energy, is calling on people all over Ireland to take part in ‘Ireland’s Great Get Together’ this April 20 – 22nd, to raise vital funds to help prevent family homelessness.

Celia Holman Lee responded to the call and with the help of her friend Richard Lynch of I Love Limerick got Limerick’s top digital influencers together for a photo shoot with award-winning photographer Dermot Culhane in Limerick’s Shannon Rowing Club in support of the campaign. The group also shot a Public Service Announcement asking the public to get involved in the campaign. The digital influencers involved in the campaign with Celia were Leanne Moore, Louise Cooney, Shauna Lindsay, Patrick McLoughney, Richard Lynch and Sinead O’Brien of Sinead’s Curvy Style.

Irelands Great Get Together

Celia Holman Lee and Focus Ireland have recruited Limerick’s top digital influencers in support of Irelands Great Get Together. Pictured at the Shannon Rowing Club in Limerick, from left to right – Lousie Cooney, Patrick McLoughney, Shauna Lindsay, Celia Holman Lee, Sinead O’Brien, Leanne Moore and Richard Lynch (front centre). Picture: Dermot Culhane.

Speaking at her Get Together Celia said, “I’m delighted to support Irelands Great Get Together for Focus Ireland. I sadly see the heartbreaking impact of homelessness all around me in Limerick every day and it’s a cause that is very close to my heart. I come from a large family and I would hate to think of any of them feeling alone or worried about losing their home. Irelands Great Get Together is all about Home, Family, Friends and Community all of which I strongly believe in and which are key to us all. It’s about bringing people together to help prevent families in your neighbourhood from becoming homeless. It’s a great cause and I urge everyone to get involved”.

Speaking about Celia’s involvement in the campaign Rebecca Reynolds, National Fundraising Initiatives Manager said “Celia is an ambassador of Focus Ireland and we are thrilled to have her support and the support of six of Limericks top Fashion and Digital Influencers whom she invited to take part in her Great Get Together.  They have a collective following of over 250,000 people on Instagram alone, so if that isn’t a Great Get together I don’t know what is! They are all fantastic to lend their support and time voluntarily to Focus Irelands first Great Get Together campaign to help us spread the word. We hope that lots of their fans follow their lead and have their own Get Together. It doesn’t matter how big or how small”.

Celia is now calling on you to support Focus Ireland and host a Get Together of your own. Why not host a fun fashion Get Together with friends swapping clothes, accessories and styling hints and tips! Or have a best-dressed competition at work or your local club!! Whatever you do is up to you – as long as you bring people together to do something you love while helping to raise funds for Focus Ireland’s work to combat and prevent homelessness. #gettogether #focusireland #bordgaisenergy

For more information and to register go here.

For more stories on Focus Ireland, go here.

Celia volunteered her time to style a fashion photo shoot to promote Focus Ireland Beloved charity shops. Celia pictured here with Richard Lynch and the crew from I Love Limerick, the team from Focus Ireland and models from the Holman Lee Agency. Picture: Michael O’Sullivan/OSM Photo.

Celia Holman Lee styles shoot to promote Focus Ireland Beloved shops

Limerick’s Celia Holman Lee has given her backing to the fight against homelessness with the news that she has been unveiled as an ambassador for Focus Ireland.

The well-known model, fashion stylist and television presenter is supporting the Focus Ireland efforts locally in Limerick, and nationally, as the homelessness crisis worsens.

Recently Celia volunteered her time to style a fashion photo shoot to promote the Focus Ireland Beloved charity shops. The shoot was produced with the help of Richard Lynch and his crew from I Love Limerick and took place at the Georgian House building and the Peoples Park in Limerick city. Luke Culhane, Limericks current Limerick Person of the Year and Aisling O’Connor filmed the day’s events. Limerick ladies Lousie Griffin and Mary Joyce donated their time to do the makeup and the hair and Michael O’Sullivan from Cork who regularly works with Focus Ireland was the photographer for the shoot. Models were provided by the Holman Lee Agency.

Focus Ireland Beloved shops help Focus Ireland to raise funds to create safe, secure homes for homeless people all over Ireland.

These quaint little shops have four locations in Ireland and are the talk of the town. The quirky boutiques specialise in quality fashion and gifts for women and children.

Beloved stocks new and gently worn clothing donated by designers, retailers, and private donors. You’ll even find many clothes with the labels still on. Examples of stock include items from designers Fendi and Dolce & Gabbana as well as high street shops Karen Millen, Zara, Cos, and Oasis. The stores also stock homeware, gifts, calendars and iPhone covers.

All the money raised through the stores goes directly towards Focus Ireland’s fight against homelessness.

Focus Ireland Beloved

Celia pictured styling a model from the Holman Lee Agency for the Focus Ireland Beloved charity shops photo shoot. Picture: Michael O’Sullivan/OSM Photo.

Next year, 2018 will mark twenty years of Focus Ireland service provision in Limerick City and County, and now more than ever Celia is urging local people to get behind the efforts.

Focus Ireland Ambassador Celia Holman Lee said, “I am so honoured to become an ambassador for Focus Ireland as thanks to them there is a clear end in sight for the trauma of homelessness that Irish families are currently going through each day.

“It breaks my heart to see that the number of homeless children has continued to rise and to be given an opportunity to shine a light on this crisis is something that I feel very passionate about.

“I am a mother and a grandmother and my family means more to me than anything else in the world.”

She added: “We have to protect these families and ensure that all children in this country feel safe and secure.”

The impact, which Focus Ireland has made on the people of Limerick, was borne out by a recent study, which outlined the difference a youth housing project made in the city.

It changed the lives of young people who were homeless or at risk, and the project has been so successful that leading international experts believe it should be introduced nationally.

Shockingly 1 in 3 now experiencing homelessness is a child and the situation is getting worse all the time. There are now over 2500 children living in emergency accommodation in Ireland. Homelessness is a frightening and shocking experience for anyone, and for a child, even a short period of being out of home can have a long-term and far-reaching impact on their life.

Focus Ireland’s Limerick Manager Ger Spillane has witnessed first-hand the impact of the soaring cost of rent coupled with a shortage of supply, locally.

Mr. Spillane said: “Focus Ireland knows through our work that seeking advice and information as early as possible can really help to prevent people from losing their home.

To have someone as committed and high-profile as Celia Holman Lee supporting our efforts means a lot in terms of raising awareness of the issues, and helping us to fund our services.”

Mr. Spillane said: “Our frontline staff here are still dealing with people who have become homeless from the rental sector as rents have been hiked up and they can’t afford them.

There needs to a much wider range of Government actions taken to keep protect tenants and keep them in their homes.”

The charity said the Government really has to kick-start the building of homes and follow through on delivering a more secure private rented sector if Ireland is to end the deepening crisis in the rental housing and homelessness areas.

Ger Spillane added: “Having Celia on board helps Focus Ireland to raise vital funds and awareness of the fact that the housing crisis is continuing to deepen.”

He concluded: “An average of 80 families has become homeless every month so far this year, compared with 60 a month last year. The crisis is worsening.”

Focus Ireland said it aims to play its own key role in overcoming the crisis – for people who are homeless or at risk as the charity aims to double its housing stock over the next four years. The charity currently provides homes for over 600 households around the country who were previously homeless or at risk.

To find out more about the Focus Ireland Beloved Shops and where they are located click here

To read more of our stories on Celia Holman Lee’s involvement with Focus Ireland click here and here 

To read more Focus Ireland stories go here

To find out more about Focus Ireland click here

Every year, in Limerick over 150 parents, families and professionals are affected by the devastation of losing a child or young person suddenly.

2016 has seen an increase of 68% in the number of notifications to FirstLight – an organisation that provides professional supports during these traumatic events.

During 2015 the FirstLight hotline received 243 calls. In 2016 to date Jan-August the hotline has received 210 calls, an increase of 100% on this time last year.

Due to this increase, FirstLight need to raise €25,000 to ensure parents, families and professionals in Limerick who lose a child or young person suddenly and unexpectedly, receive appropriate professional support in their darkest hour.

FirstLight Limerick has called on Munster player Keith Earls and Richard Lynch of ILoveLimerick.com to back the campaign and spread the word. FirstLight is calling out to 100 Limerick businesses to roll in behind Richard and Keith to donate a minimum of €250 to the FirstLightCork100 Campaign to reach a target of €25,000.

Keith Earls, Munster Rugby and Richard Lynch, ilovelimerick.com at the launch of the First Light Limerick 100 campaign. Picture by Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick.com

Keith Earls, Munster Rugby and Richard Lynch, ilovelimerick.com at the launch of the First Light Limerick 100 campaign. Picture by Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick.com

International rugby player, Keith Earls believes “As a parent I want to highlight an important issue and give FirstLight the advantage by calling on all Limerick businesses to come together and support the FirstLight100 campaign where 100 businesses can tackle the need to fund these professionally qualified services by donating 250 euros each to the cause.”

Richard Lynch, of I Love Limerick said “In the past year, I lost my best friend, my mother and my father and the grief has been incredible. I cannot comprehend what it’s like for a family to lose a young child. I want to urge everyone in Limerick to support the Limerick FirstLight100 campaign and show FirstLight what the people of Limerick are made of.”

Kevin O’Meara, Chairman of FirstLight who lost his son Timmy also stresses the importance of the campaign. Kevin believes ‘by encouraging businesses to sign up and support the campaign we can enable FirstLight to ensure that these services are available to all parents, families and professionals who want the help of FirstLight no matter where they live in the City and County. A service that literally provides a light in the darkest moment imaginable’

To sign up to the campaign contact Louise O’Sullivan on 0868581268 or email [email protected]ght.ie

Check out FirstLight’s website by clicking here.

For more information on charities across Limerick from I Love Limerick click here.

Check out our video all about the campaign below.

Limerick LGBTI Pride Festival 2016 got under way last week with a number of special events held for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities in the city, as well as the wider Limerick public.

As always, there was an educational aspect to the Limerick LGBTI Pride Festival 2016. Support meetings will be held throughout the week for youth, adult and transgender groups.

The main event, of course, was the annual Limerick Pride parade, which kicked off last Saturday from City Hall.

The theme of this year’s festival was #UnitedColoursofLimerick and the Parade was led by Broden Giambrone, the chief executive of Transgender Equality Network Ireland. Broden brought many friends from Dublin and after the Parade made an inspirational speech at PrideFest 2016, a showcase of local LGBT culture, held in a beautiful marquee on the grounds of the Hunt Museum.

In 2015, Ireland saw the Marriage Equality Referendum passed as well as a Bill on Gender Recognition; Broden said that although these are welcome changes and are massive steps in LGBTI history in Ireland there is still a lot to be done. Broden says there is a need for hate-crime legislation, increased supports nationally and the revision of the Gender Recognition Act to include all members of the trans community.

“More broadly increased positive visibility is what we need, that is what changes people’s views. Legislation is important but we need to show that as trans people, we are part of Irish society, we are your siblings, your co-workers, your friends, we are your family. We are one element, one aspect of human diversity.”

Pride festivals are a celebration of history, community and acceptance said Broden, who also believes it is the perfect platform to educate society on the LGBTI community, “A lot of people at Pride come from within the community, but you also get a lot of friends, families and allies coming as well, so it is the perfect platform to be talking about these issues and the diversity of the LGBTI community.”

“Being trans is part of the human condition, we should be able to accept that and celebrate it like we do all diversities. Positive visibility is a big part; supporting people in being able to live true to who they are.”

I was honoured that Broden said yes when I asked him to be the Grand Marshall for this years Limerick Pride. There is a need for LGBTI Pride festivals, as long as others in the global LGBTI community are not as fortunate as us in Ireland in terms of equal human rights. We must take a stand for human rights for all. That’s why our theme this year is #UnitedColoursofLimerick. We want Pride to be an inclusive, open and integrated event welcoming all people regardless of their sexual or gender orientation, religion or race. This year we aimed to put the T back into LGBTI, with a focus specifically on advancing the rights and equality of trans people and their families and we succeeded admirably. It was thrilled to be able to see transgendered people walking through the streets of Limerick with the people of Limerick put on the streets waving them on with love.

Limerick LGBTI Pride Festival 2016

Limerick LGBTI Pride Festival 2016 pictured at The main Climax Party at Dolan’s Warehouse, will feature Queens of Limerick, Madonna Lucia and Sheila Fitzpatrick taking to the stage with local acts and with the Dublin queens of Dragged Up. Picture: Edmund McCarthy/ilovelimerick

The Limerick Pride LGBTI Festival 2016 took place starting on Monday July 11 until Sunday July 17 with the Parade on Saturday July 16 and featured a multitude of events from workshops, support meetings and discussions to evenings of music and club nights, to cater to the Pride needs of everyone.

Limerick LGBTI Pride Festival 2016

Limerick LGBTI Pride Festival 2016 – Limerick Youth Service will host Limerick’s first Pride Youth Party at LYS’s Lava Javas Youth Cafe, 5 Lower Glentworth St on Friday, July 15.

A Day in May photograph exhibition was launched in The Belltable, 69 O’Connell Street on Monday, July 11 to coincide with Limerick LGBTI Pride.

Limerick Pride’s official Launch night was on Monday July 11 and finished off in Strokers Gay Bar on William Street with champagne, finger food and dance floor musical treats. Strokers are opening 7 nights during Pride to offer something different on every night of Pride.

On Tuesday July 12 from 1pm to 4pm, Strokers Gay Bar hosted a Trans Workshop. Whether you’re interested in learning to put on make up, pick out high heels or how to create a realistic beard, this was a very special event. Experts were there to show all who attended the skills you need to present in your gender.

 On Wednesday July 13, the Pride Wedding Show, a wedding fair established in 2014 as part of Limerick Pride Festival, took place from 6pm to 8pm, venue TBD. Sharon McMeel, an award winning wedding planner, said about the fair: “We’ll have different suppliers and vendors there, so all couples regardless of their sexual orientation will have a good opportunity to get answers to their important questions if they are considering getting married. With the historic ‘Yes’ vote last year for the marriage referendum, it’s great to be able to look out for all the people who have gotten newly engaged.”

Limerick LGBTI Pride Festival 2016

Limerick LGBTI Pride Festival 2016 – A huge thanks to Shannon Conference and Sports Bureau, Limerick City & County Council and to Fran O’Donell of Futureama Productions for sponsoring this year’s Limerick Pride flags on the Shannon Bridge. Pictured here the flags flying proudly with the Limerick 2020 flags. Picture: Sarah Hayes/ilovelimerick

Wednesday after the Pride Wedding Show, Cobblestone Joes was home to the Limerick Pride Open Mic night. The inclusive atmosphere of one of Limericks top music venues was the perfect fit for the #UnitedColoursofLimerick theme with all singers and musicians welcome for this fantastic music celebration.

On Thursday July 14, Mezz Ladies Night at the Red Hen saw the comeback of the hottest night for girls who like girls with a prosecco reception, DJ and late bar with free admission.

On Friday, July 15 the now traditional event ‘T’was the night before Pride’ took place at Mickey Martins from 9pm-11.30pm. Running since 2008, Mickey Martins returned for another year to host the pre-pride party with guest DJ Aoife Nic Canna. Afterwards it was off to Club Milk’s 3rd Birthday Bash with DJ Gary G.

The annual Limerick LGBTI Pride parade began on Saturday July 16, and brought some extra colour and music to Limerick City Centre, gathering at City Hall at 1.30pm, the Parade made its way at 2.30pm sharp up O’Connell Street, across Mallow Street to Henry Street, past Arthurs Quay Park and returned to the Hunt Museum for PrideFest 2016.

PrideFest 2016 was a showcase of local LGBT culture in Limerick in a lavish marquee in the museum gardens with host Paul Ryder, with special guests Hands in Harmony Deaf Community Choir and back by popular demand Patrick James, Voice of Ireland 2015 winner. Limerick legend, actor, director and playwright, Myles Breen held his annual tea dance, which for many is a highlight of the festival.

That night after Pridefest, the main Climax Party at Dolan’s Warehouse, featured Queens of Limerick, Madonna Lucia and Sheila Fitzpatrick taking to the stage with local acts and with the Dublin queens of “Dragged Up” including Gala award entertainer of the year Victoria Secret, Paul Ryder, Regina George and Pixie, followed by DJ Ruth on the main floor, a “Saved by the 90s” party upstairs and Madonna Lucia hosting her monthly party at Confessions with DJ Bugsy. Three rooms packed with colour, vibrancy and music for all.

On Sunday, June 17, a Prideful Recovery Event was held at GOSHH, 18 Davis Street from 1pm – 5pm with holistic therapies including Reiki, Tarot and angel card readings.

A full line-up for Pride week can be found at www.LimerickPride.ie with updates at www.facebook.com/limerickpride. Tag your photos and comments about this years Pride with #UnitedColoursofLimerick.

For media inquires contact [email protected].

To check out all the updates on Limerick LGBTI Pride Festival 2016 click here.

For more news stories about Pride from I Love Limerick click here.

 

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Caseys Centra

Caseys Centra Love Thy Neighbour Summer Carnival launch – Pictured: Jackie Bonfield, General Manager Mid West Simon Midwest Community and Duncan Casey, Mid West Simon Community Ambassador.

Caseys Centra host Love Thy Neighbour Summer Carnival in aid of the Mid West Simon Community and Limerick Marine Search and Rescue takes place on Thursday June 16, from noon until 3 pm, at the Caseys Centra store, Mount Kenneth on the Dock Road.

Munster Rugby star Duncan Casey, actor Myles Breen and Richard Lynch of I Love Limerick will be your hosts for a day of summer festivities with carnival games, free food tastings, drinks, music, prizes and giveaways galore with Limerick’s Live 95fm providing music during their live roadshow.

Caseys Centra are inviting guests to sample their tasty deli food offerings, including Mexican dishes, carvery dinners, sandwiches and salad creations. Carnival games include ‘Test your Strength’ where you could win a signed Paul O’Connell Munster Rugby Jersey, ‘Dunking Duncan’, an opportunity to dunk one of Munster Rugby’s hottest players into a bath of freezing cold water, Hook a Duck and Piñata Bash.

Caseys Centra

Caseys Centra Love Thy Neighbour Summer Carnival MC Myles Breen

All activities on the day are donation based and organisers are pleading for the public to dig deep in order to raise as much funds as possible for two extremely deserving Limerick based charities.

The event concept originated when management from Caseys Centra, located on the Dock Road, saw the positive impact they had on their neighbours Mid West Simon Community after they began donating unused food to the charity’s service users. Caseys Centra decided they needed to do more.  This evolved into a fundraising day for both Mid West Simon Community and fellow neighbouring charity, Limerick Marine Search and Rescue.

Kevin Foley, Manager Caseys Centra said, “Calling the fundraiser “Love thy Neighbour” came from us wanting to show our support for local organisations such as businesses, charities and communities. There is strength in numbers and if we all support one another, Limerick would be unstoppable. We want these charities to know we are there for them and will continue throughout the year to support them unconditionally.

Jackie Bonfield, General Manager Mid-West Simon Community, said, “We are so honoured that our neighbours Caseys Centra and Limericks Live 95fm have decided to support our fundraising initiatives with an event that not only shows the best of Limerick but also stresses the importance of how much we all need love and support from our neighbours.”

Joe Morgan, Chairperson Limerick Marine Search and Rescue said, “This year we are celebrating our 30th anniversary and in the spirit of community, the event really emphasises the importance of local support. Our organisation is volunteer based and we need to raise ongoing funds to continue the work we do.

Fergal Deegan, Marketing Manger Limericks Live 95, said, “We are thrilled to support our neighbours and the work they do. Limerick Marine Search and Rescue play a key part in tracing missing people in Limerick. The River Shannon is the life force of Limerick and this organisation keeps it safe for all of us. Mid West Simon Community reaches out to people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or experiencing housing difficulties. Both organisations are vital to the Limerick community.”

Love Thy Neighbour Summer Carnival in aid of the Mid West Simon Community and Limerick Marine Search and Rescue is on Thursday, June 16 from noon to 3pm at Caseys Centra and all are welcome. 

Find Caseys Centra on Facebook here
Mid West Simon Community online here
Click here to find Limerick Marine Search and Rescue Facebook page

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