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.

 

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

 

Richard Lynch, ilovelimerick with Jp McManus, Paul O’Connell, Helen O’Donnell and Senator Maria Byrne at the People’s Park for Team Limerick Clean Up 4 which took place on Friday, March 30. Picture: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick

Over 18,500 volunteers join forces for Team Limerick Clean Up 4

Paul O’Connell and JP McManus visit communities across Limerick to help with mass tidy-up

A record-breaking 18,500 volunteers have participated in Team Limerick CleanUp 4, Ireland’s largest one-day tidy-up. Across hundreds of locations around Limerick city and county, teams of schoolchildren, businesses, residential groups, Tidy Towns and sports clubs have come together today (Good Friday, March 30) to give their community a Spring Clean and make Limerick the tidiest and cleanest place in the country.

With an increase of 2,000 volunteers from 2017’s event, the clean-up was launched by sponsor JP McManus and ambassador Paul O’Connell at the People’s Park, Limerick, this morning. Ex-Munster and Ireland rugby captain O’Connell, who has led the cleaning charge since its inception in 2015, said he was delighted with the record turnout across the county.

“It’s amazing to see such a community effort from the people of Limerick, with everybody coming together to help make their neighbourhoods and surrounding areas as tidy as possible. What started out as a small local initiative has become an annual fixture on Good Friday where people from every pocket of Limerick are now getting involved” he said.

Team Limerick Clean-Up (TLC) is an initiative sponsored by the JP McManus Benevolent Fund and administered by Limerick City and County Council. Endorsed by Paul O’Connell, the official partners include Mr. Binman, The Limerick Leader, and Limerick’s Live 95FM. Participants this year included current and ex-Munster rugby players Keith Earls, David Wallace and Jerry Flannery.

Team Limerick Clean Up

J.P. McManus, Richard Lynch, and Paul O Connell pictured at Team Limerick Clean Up 4. Picture: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick

 

It is estimated that over 70 tonnes of litter were collected last year by the event partner, Mr. Binman, something that sponsor JP McManus is very proud of.

“I’d like to thank each and every volunteer who has given some of their time on what is a very cold day. This is an annual event that is very close to my heart and I’m delighted to see participation numbers continuing to grow, year on year,” said Mr. McManus, when he spoke about Team Limerick Clean Up 4.

As part of the clean-up effort by Tait House Community Enterprise Centre, they held their first ever ‘Trash Fashion’ event at Roxboro Road. Participants created a design or dress up using recycled, sustainable, eco-friendly art materials, which was judged by members of the community.

Following the mass clean-up around Limerick, tea and coffee gatherings for volunteers, neighbours, and friends were hosted at over 300 locations throughout the county. These took place in homes, community and sports centres and schools, where participants celebrated their tidy neighbourhoods.

 

For more stories on Team Limerick Clean Up click here

For more information on Team Limerick Clean Up 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.

Croí Glas launch

At the official Croí Glas launch at the Hunt Museum – Colman Byrne, Limerick Open Navigation, Helen O Donnell, Limerick Tidy Towns, filmmaker Namu Desai, musician Moley O Súilleabháin, Richard Lynch and Anna Gibson Steel, Croí Glas, publicist Niamh O’Carroll, Nóirín Ní Riain, Croí Glas, Marian Hurley, Deputy Mayor Limerick City and County, Rugby legend Peter Clohessy (front) and Elisa O’Donovan of Swimable Limerick (back). Picture: Dolf Patijn/ilovelimerick.

Croí Glas launch celebrates the River Shannon in all her glory!

Croí Glas is a new Limerick-based initiative that celebrates and creates positive energy around the River Shannon and invites everyone to get involved. The Croí Glas launch and first official Croí Glas event, ‘Listen to the River’ was held over St. Patrick’s weekend.

The project first came about when Irish sacred singer, Dr. Nóirín Ní Riain and Holistic Practitioner, Anna Gibson Steel decided they wanted to do something positive around the river and approached Richard Lynch to help them develop their idea. Richard agreed that the project would greatly benefit and change people’s perception of the River Shannon, and suggested that the team use aspects such as arts and culture as a way of encouraging people to express their love of the Shannon.

This past weekend Croí Glas held their official launch at the Hunt Museum on St. Patricks Day with guest of honour composer Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin followed by musical performances by Moley Ó Súilleabháin, Owen Ó Súilleabháin and Dr. Nóirín Ní Riain. Their float at the parade featured Elisa O’Donovan of Swimable Limerick on a Salmon Boat playing the Goddess Sionna, who gave her name to the River Shannon.

Croí Glas launch

At the Croí Glas launch at the Hunt Museum – Nóirín Ní Riain, Richard Lynch and Anna Gibson Steel of Croí Glas with Irish composer Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin (second from right) who was the guest of honour at the event. Picture: Dolf Patijn/ilovelimerick.

Speaking at the official press launch on Saturday, guest speaker, and musician Micheál Ó Súilleaháin shared his own wisdom of the River Shannon and described the river as Ireland’s “cultural spine” which touches all four provinces. He reflected on the thousands of years of stories the river held before us and spoke of the first stories of the Shannon dating back to around 800 years ago, noting the “powerfulness” of people referencing the poem named ‘How the River Shannon got its name’.

Micheál also paid homage to Fionn MacCumhaill and the salmon of knowledge, and spoke of how “the river Shannon is a majestic river full of fish and wise salmon.”

On Sunday, Croí Glas held their first official event ‘Listen to the River’. The concept for this event was the brainchild of Ray O’Halloran of Limerick City Build to “bring together arts, culture, mythology, music, social inclusion, boating and water-sports to the general public.”

Theatre practitioner Ann Blake produced an event where the Goddess Sionna was returned to the River Shannon surrounded by three watercrafts created by Limerick City Build especially for the event, with one of the craft transporting the famous uilleann pipe player, Mickey Dunne.

On the opposite banks of the Shannon, the event was celebrated musically with Dr Noírín Ní Riain on one side and Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin on the other. The Croí Glas logo was unveiled in spectacular fashion by fly-boarders flying above the river.

Croí Glas launch

At the official launch of Croí Glas at the Hunt Museum – Richard Lynch and Anna Gibson Steel of Croí Glas with Rugby legend Peter Clohessy and Nóirín Ní Riain, Croí Glas (front) and Elisa O’Donovan of Swimable Limerick (back). Picture: Dolf Patijn/ilovelimerick.

The public is invited to create their own events inspired by the Shannon and register them on the Croi Glas website so they can be shared with the wider community. In this way, all of us will be on the same page and work together in celebration of the Shannon.

Croí Glas ambassadors include composer and musician Míchéal Ó Súilleabháin, comedian Jimmy Carr, singer and poet Moley Ó Súilleabháin, Lough Gur Centre Manager Kate Harrold, Colman Byrne of Limerick Open Navigation, Ireland rugby star Peter Clohessy and Niamh O’ Carroll who won the UL Outstanding Contribution to Society/Humanitarian Award in 2009.

For more stories on Croí Glas go here.

For more information on Croí Glas go here.

 

Thomond Community College Multicultural

Thomond Community College Multicultural Day 2018 – Richard Lynch pictured with students and Principal Eugene O Brien. Picture: Ciara Maria Hayes/ilovelimerick

Thomond Community College Multicultural Day 2018

Thomond Community College Multicultural Day 2018 was held Friday, March 9 and there were plenty of colourful photo opportunities available with participating students in national costume. Richard Lynch was honoured to be the Master of Ceremonies again for the sixth consecutive year. Previously, the event was held at the Salesians School before it closed two years ago and every year the event is organised by an amazing teacher named Siobhan Conway.

Thomond Community College Multicultural Day 2018 was a hugely worthwhile, inclusive event, which gave each and every student the opportunity to showcase their home nation and educate their fellow students. To see the pride of students in their native traditions and language is just wonderful. So many students can truly find a voice through this event and all in attendance, students, staff, parents, and guests, learned so much – it truly is an education for all. The day created a real opportunity to celebrate both diversity and integration.

Thomond Community College Multicultural Day 2018

At the Thomond Community College Multicultural Day 2018, Richard pictured with teacher and organiser Siobhan Conway, Sr. Bridget O’Connell and Principal Eugene O’Brien (back) and pupils Merit Amadasun, Aisha Garba and Temera Odhomor, all aged 15 from Nigeria (front). Picture: Ciara Maria Hayes/ilovelimerick.

Countries that were showcased at Thomond Community College Multicultural Day 2018 include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Lithuania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Morroco, South Africa, Poland, Nigeria, The Congo, The USA, and Syria to name just a few! Each country had a visual display of all that makes their individual cultures unique and interesting, including fun facts, history and weather information. Many of the students also wore traditional costumes for the day. Delicious food, prepared and cooked by the students and their families, further reflected the intercultural theme.

An afternoon of international music and dance attended by the whole school, brought the celebrations to an end. The afternoon’s acts featured members of the Rusangano Family as part of Music Generation Limerick, student singing group ‘Sister Act’ from Nigeria and rapper Victor Hogan Poole to name a few. There was also some Irish dancing and African drumming.

Being close to St. Patrick’s Day, the event was seen as an appropriate time to hold Thomond Community College Multicultural Day 2018 and give a well-deserved forum to the citizens of the new Ireland, and a real opportunity to share heritage. This is a unique event across the schools of the Limerick-Clare E.T.B., and indeed further afield, attracting praise from Limerick migrant rights organisation Doras Luimni over the years. This initiative was running for almost 10 years in Salesian Secondary School and was called Salesians Multicultural Day – Integration through Education. Following amalgamation and the establishment of Thomond Community College in September 2016, there was no hesitation in continuing with an event of such enormous popularity and previous success.

Students from local national schools also attended on the day, as did the Mayor of Limerick and RTE filmed at the event earlier in the day. At a time when it was never more important to demonstrate leadership in integration it really is a worthwhile initiative.

 

To read about last years Multicultural Day at Thomond Community College click here.

To read more about Multicultural events in Limerick click here.

To visit the school website go here

Pictured at Limerick Person of the Year awards, Luke Culhane, Limerick Person of the Year 2016, Richard who won Limerick Person of the Year in 2011, Sister Helen Culhane, Limerick Person of the Year 2017 and Celia Holman Lee who was a Lifetime Achievement Winner in 2014. Picture: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick

Children’s Grief Centre founder Sr Helen Culhane named Limerick Person of the Year 2017

The founder of a local support service which has helped more than a 1,000 children affected by loss through death, separation or divorce, has been named Limerick Person of the Year 2017.

Sr Helen Culhane, Limerick Person of the Year 2017 received the top honour for her dedication and commitment to providing grieving children and young people with a place and space where they are given the opportunity to examine feelings associated with loss, and learn that they are not alone.

Sr Helen Culhane, Limerick Person of the Year 2017 founded the Children’s Grief Centre in 2009 which sees around 30 children a week, aged four to 18 years. Seventy percent of the children who attend have separated parents while 30 per cent have suffered a bereavement.

In total, there are approximately 30 volunteers attached to the centre. The volunteers include a retired career guidance teacher, a play therapist, psychologist, psychotherapist, and an art therapist.

Her work had seen her selected as the January 2017 Limerick Person of the Month and her work stood out among the judging panel.

Accepting her award Sr Helen Culhane, Limerick Person of the Year 2017, said: “I’m shocked to be quite honest and very humbled to receive this award.  Thanks to everyone of you and to all those who organised the event today.”

“The work that I’m involved with, we see it as very important work as we are supporting children who are impacted by loss due to bereavement, separation, and divorce, and if by winning this award it draws attention to that [work], it will be a goal achieved.”

Limerick Person of the Year 2017

Sr Helen Culhane, Limerick person of the year with Michael Noonan TD, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Picture: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick

At the gala event at the Clayton Hotel in Limerick, former Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan TD was also honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Now in its 17th year and sponsored by The Limerick Leader, Southern Marketing Design & Media and the Clayton Hotel, the Limerick Person of the Year Award was set up to honour the achievements and success of local people.

Eugene Phelan, Editor of the Limerick Leader said: “There is fantastic diversity among the 12 monthly award winners from Diana Mirza, a world chess champion to Joy Neville, voted the number one rugby referee in the world.”

“All strands of life are covered from the local garda who put his life on the line to save others, to a young entrepreneur, whose invention may improve efficiency in hospitals all around the world, to a young solicitor based in Dublin, who is flying the flag for Limerick through the Capital Limerick project.”

“These are just ordinary people doing extraordinary things and who have during 2017 made Limerick a much better place.”

Limerick Person of the Year 2017

All the Limerick Person of the Year nominees pictured with Mayor Stephen Keary, Micheal Noonan TD and the organisers of the event after the announcement of Sr. Helen Culhanes win. Picture: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Stephen Keary said: “Congratulations to Sr Helen Culhane and Michael Noonan on receiving their awards today.  Through your work, although in different spheres, you have always shown a commitment to help Limerick, in your own particular way, and we are all reaping the benefits. I would also like to congratulate all the other monthly recipients for their hard work and dedication in promoting Limerick.”

Former Minister Michael Noonan has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work down through the years as a government minister and a public representative for the area.

Speaking after he received the Lifetime Achievement Award Deputy Michael Noonan said: “I’m emotional after all those beautiful tributes paid by everybody. This is a great honour, I would like to thank all the sponsors in conferring this honour on me today. You can get honoured in many parts of the world on occasions but to be honoured in one’s home city is very important.”

“It would be fairer if this was a group award because a lot of the achievements in Limerick over the last seven years are the work of many people.  What I was good at was identifying ideas that might work and implementing them.”

Pat Reddan, General Manager, Clayton Limerick Hotel said: “We are delighted to sponsor such an event that showcases the very best of Limerick and the people who call it home, they truly are all inspirational.”

Congratulating all nominees, Dave O’Hora of Southern Marketing Design & Media said: “Each of the nominees have in their own way made an outstanding contribution to the cultural, sporting, business and community scene in Limerick, today Limerick celebrates and it should.”

The ceremony also included a tribute to the late Dolores O’Riordan by Lorcan Murray followed by a breathtaking performance of The Cranberries’ ‘When You’re Gone’ by Singer Emma Langford.

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

This year’s Limerick Person of the Year judging panel consisted of Eugene Phelan, Editor of the Limerick Leader, Conn Murray, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council and Cllr. Stephen Keary, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick.

For more information on the Children’s Grief Centre, go here.

For more stories on Limerick Person of the Year, go here.

Limerick Going for Gold 2017 #LoveyourLimerick photo competition with Luke Culhane

A new category has been added to this year’s Limerick Going for Gold 2017. #loveyourlimerick Photo Competition aims to attract wonderful photographs of communities, places, and towns throughout Limerick city and county.

There will be a junior category for those under 21 who enter this category. A cash prize of €500 will be awarded to the winning photographer who submits best overall #loveyourlimerick 2017, with an additional €500 awarded to his/ her community.  Runners-up prizes will also be awarded. 

#loveyourlimerick

Film maker Luke Culhane, Limerick Person of the Year launching the #loveyourlimerick campaign. Picture: Alan Place.

Luke Culhane, Film maker and our current Limerick Person of the Year lends his support to the #loveyourlimerick Photo Competition.  The 14-year-old, who campaigned against cyber-bullying with his ‘Create No Hate’ video that reached international acclaim.  Luke was also Grand Marshall in this year’s Limerick’s St Patrick’s Day parade. Last week I had the honour of creating a video promo with Luke for the #loveyourlimerick campaign and you can see it now on ILoveLimerick.com and all our social media.

To enter the Limerick Going for Gold #loveyourlimerick Photographic Competition email a high-resolution image (1-10  megabytes) to [email protected], use the hashtag #loveyourlimerick and upload on either Instagram or Twitter. Indicate your age if you are under 21

A cash prize of €500 will be awarded to the winning photographer who submits best overall #loveyourlimerick 2017, with an additional €500 awarded to his/ her community.  Runners-up prizes will also be awarded.

More than 140 applications have been received for Limerick Going for Gold 2017.

All of these groups have already received Limerick Going for Gold Environment Improvement Grant funding ranging from €200– €2,000 to assist them with their environmental work and help with the overall aim of Limerick Going for Gold which is to make Limerick a cleaner, brighter, place to work live and visit.

These groups are also in with a chance to win an award in the Limerick Going for Gold Grand Final that will take place in October. Judging of all the Limerick Going for Gold entrants is ongoing and will take place up until mid-September.

Other categories in this year’s Limerick Going for Gold competition include Limerick in Bloom, Residential Areas (including Estates), Challenge Category, Tidy Towns Incentive Category and Best Front Garden Competition, sponsored by the Parkway Shopping Centre. More info on Limerick.ie.

To enter the Limerick Going for Gold #loveyourlimerick Photographic Competition:
A cash prize of €500 will be awarded to the winning photographer who submits best overall #loveyourlimerick 2017, with an additional €500 awarded to his/ her community.  Runners-up prizes will also be awarded.

For more on Limerick Going for Gold 2017 click here

 

Richard Lynch, PRO Limerick LGBTI Pride 2017, Cllr Vivienne Crowley, Deputy Mayor of Limerick pictured with some the inspirational young people who form the Youth Advisory Panel on the LGBT Youth Strategy at the Limerick LGBT Pride Parade 2017. Picture: Álex Ricöller/ilovelimerick

Limerick LGBTI Pride 2017 is huge success with inspirational youth pride of place

By ilovelimerick correspondent Frances Watkins

This year the focus of Limerick LGBTI Pride 2017 was youth with inspirational young people taking pride of place in the celebrations. The Limerick LGBTI Pride 2017 Grand Marshals were the incredible young people who form the Youth Advisory Panel on the LGBTI Youth Strategy. This strategy is the first of its kind in the world focusing on the needs of LGBT young people in Ireland. The young people came from all over Ireland to represent the youth strategy team. Seven members of the group travelled to Limerick to take part in the LGBTI Pride Parade as Grand Marshals.

Limerick LGBTI Pride 2017

Some the inspirational young people who form the Youth Advisory Panel on the LGBT Youth Strategy at the Limerick LGBT Pride Parade 2017. Picture: Álex Ricöller/ilovelimerick

The young people were delighted to be involved in Limerick LGBTI Pride 2017. The group were keen to focus on gender recognition. During their speech at Pride Fest following the parade, one member of the group said “In this country, if you are under 16 you can’t be legally recognised for your gender. If you are between 16 and 17 you can but you have to go through loopholes. Right now we are trying to fix that so that everybody can have legal gender recognition”. 

The amazing young people spoke candidly at Pride Fest with another member saying “When we were talking to young people while doing our consultations we found out that some of the words we use all the time in our community are not words that everybody knows. When I say my pronouns are she/her that means that is how I would like to be addressed, when people use those pronouns with me that is them respecting me”. 

The aim of the group is to develop a strategy which addresses the challenges and needs faced by young members of Ireland’s LGBTI community and will work with young people from all over the country to do so. The strategy will ensure that all young LGBTI young people can achieve their full potential in terms of their physical and mental well-being, being safe and protected from harm and are respected and contributing to their world.

Limerick LGBTI Pride 2017

Pictured Glenn Keating, Belong To (bottom left) pictured with some the inspirational young people who form the Youth Advisory Panel on the LGBT Youth Strategy at the Limerick LGBT Pride Parade 2017. Picture: Álex Ricöller/ilovelimerick

Members of the group also spoke about their experience of being involved in the strategy and what it means to them “I am lucky I live in Dublin it’s a very friendly and open environment but other areas of Ireland are not like that and those are the people that I am trying to help. Those people who are younger than me and who will grow up after me deserve to be represented”. 

The group were passionate about their work and one member spoke about the inclusion of the I for intersex in LGBTI. “I stands for intersex, an intersex person is someone who was born with ambiguous genitalia or chromosomes. That means that they are not classed with what would traditionally be a male or female body. Often these babies have surgery to make them ‘normal’ and we would like to put a stop to that with our involvement in this strategy”. 

Overall, Limerick LGBTI Pride 2017 was a huge success with events running throughout the week. The main celebrations took place on Saturday with the Parade, Pride Fest at performances at Dolan’s. The parade saw hundreds of people line the streets of Limerick to celebrate Limerick LGBTI Pride 2017. This was followed by a huge Pride Fest held at the Hunt Museum which featured performances from legendary drag queen Shyanne O’Shea, Unity Gospel Choir Limerick amongst others. Saturday night saw Dolan’s filled with Pride as they hosted the Pride Climax party.

X Factor star Saara Alto took to the stage and gave a dazzling performance. Other performances on the night came from Limerick native Doreen Grimes, Shyanne O’Shea, Madonna Lucia and Paul Ryder.

Richard Lynch, PRO Limerick LGBTI+ Pride 2017 said “People have been asking now that Marriage Equality has been passed in Ireland, why is there a need for a Pride Festival? There will always be a need as long as others in the global LGBTQ community are not as fortunate as us in terms of equal rights. We must fight for our brothers and sisters throughout the world and take a stand for human rights for all. That’s why our theme this year is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBTQ) Youth. It was an event supporting LGBTQ young people in Limerick and beyond and we want Pride to be an inclusive, open and integrated event welcoming all people regardless of their sexual or gender orientation, religion or race.

For more on Limerick LGBTI Pride 2017 click here

For more on the LGBTI+ National Youth Strategy click here