See What’s Happening in the Latest
I Love Limerick Leader Column
You can view the article by clicking on the preview.
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.
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.
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
Last Thursday Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon honoured me with a Mayoral Reception at City Hall with friends and family present as recognition for my work with I Love Limerick. In attendance, Limerick Person of the Year Luke Culhane, style queen Celia Holman Lee, fitness guru Leanne Moore, Senator Maria Byrne, singer Emma Langford, actor Myles Breen, blogger Sharon Tucker, community activist Helen O’Donnell and representatives from various charities and communities.
I was very honoured to be recognised by the city as this city is not only my birthplace, but I could never ever imagine living anywhere else. It’s my home and my life. I have been doing I Love Limerick for 9 years and I can’t believe it will be a decade next summer!
I have been involved every year in the Limerick Pride Festival since 2008. In 2008, I produced Limerick Pride and made the event a weeklong festival. I wanted it to be integrative and inclusive so I called it I Love Limerick. The theme of that year’s Pride was of Limerick people loving one another and loving our city. When you logged onto ilovelimerick.com it actually took you to LimerickPride.ie. That was the birth of I Love Limerick.
It developed into a community website dedicated to reporting and promoting positive news about Limerick people, communities, charities and events. I Love Limerick was set up to help people, to give people a platform that normally wouldn’t have one. I started the project in an effort to counteract the negative press Limerick was getting in the national media at the time; little did I know the adventure I was undertaking. I have been so blessed to meet so many incredible people, to work with so much talent and to given the chance to make a difference and do something positive.
Highlights of the last nine years include interviewing my idol Terry Wogan, doing the last interview ever with the last living Knight of Glin, winning Limerick Person of the Year in 2011 and being part of the success of the many charities and community groups that I do voluntary PR for.
Money and fame don’t motivate me. If they did I would be living in Dublin or I would be still in New York where I lived for over 15 years. The most important thing for me is my family and I could not imagine being apart from them. My parents passed away in the last years and I used to care for them full time. Now I live in a house with my partner Hugo, between my brother and sister homes and all their children and it’s heaven! It’s just what my parents wanted, for us to all be together. The highlight for the Mayoral Reception was that my eight year old niece Lucy and my six year old nephew Ryan were there as it’s something they will remember always.
My thanks to Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon who is so very kind to me and who said, “When I first spoke to Richard, I knew what he was doing for Limerick and that made me happy as Richard does a lot of work for a lot of communities in Limerick and he only puts out positive news because he love’s Limerick and we all love Limerick.”
I intend to keep working hard. The emotional payback from the work is immeasurable. I don’t care about money. I know I need it to survive so I am doing my best to make a living and also continue volunteering with I Love Limerick. Fortunately, loyal fantastic talent surrounds me since the beginning such as Dolf Patijn, Orla Clancy and Jonathan Baynes. My right arm for the last 4 years has been my videographer, Aisling O’Connor. I am so grateful to everyone who works with us, as you are only as good as the people you work with.
I do love Limerick. It’s been so good to me and the people inspire me every day. All the hard work has been worth it and I would do it all over again. Limerick is really about the people who make up this great city and county. I am Limerick, You are Limerick, We are Limerick. Thank you Limerick, I Love you. Richard x
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.”
Read more about Limerick 2020 here
Follow Limerick 2020 on Twitter here
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.
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.
Former WBO World Middleweight Champion and one of Limerick’s great all time sports people, Andy Lee, returned to St Francis Boxing Club for the official handing over of keys to Limerick City and County Council of a property adjacent to the club.
The property acquired by the club will provide what was described as a much-needed extension that will allow the club to expand from what is currently a 40-member capacity to over 70 members.
Former Middleweight Champion Andy Lee spoke of what it means to see the club where he honed his skill receive the expansion, describing the difference it can make by putting “People on a path in life.”
He added, ”You have to invest in young people, give them a purpose. You get a life-long return from it. The St Francis Club has turned out and still is turning out national champions.“Who knows, maybe we already have an up and coming world champion in our midst in the club and that’s something we all dream about.”
“Who knows, maybe we already have an up and coming world champion in our midst in the club and that’s something we all dream about.”
The adjacent property, which will help double the club’s capacity, was recently purchased by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government through Limerick City and County Council. St Francis’ is the longest running boxing club in Ireland and in the past decade has produced over 20 All-Ireland Champions as well a WBO World Middleweight Champion in Andy Lee.
St Francis Boxing Club President Noel Griffin, who has over 60 years experience in boxing said, “Today is a dream day for us. We have been constrained in terms of capacity for so long that I expect we will double the members in the club within weeks of the new extension opening.”
At the ceremony, speeches echoed the importance of this expansion for the club and the community, focusing on the impact clubs like St Francis’ have on the youth in the city.
Speaking to ilovelimerick.com Ken Moore of St Francis Boxing club said, “We will develop to a membership of 70 people, 30 extra boys and girls will have somewhere to go every night. It will get them off the streets, away from their video game consoles. They will be here learning a skill and great sport.”
A new era in the care of Parkinson’s patients at University Hospital Limerick has been marked with a ceremony this Friday at the newly opened Leben Building Neurological Centre/Acute Stroke Unit.
A plaque has been unveiled in recognition of the contribution of the Parkinsons Association of Ireland MidWest Branch in developing the unit and the generosity of JP and Noreen McManus and family.
The new unit opened in November 2015 and includes 24 inpatient beds, nine of which are dedicated to neurology, including Parkinson’s, patients. It was completed at a capital cost of approximately €3 million, with additional equipment costs being met jointly by the Parkinson’s Association and the HSE/UL Hospitals Group.
The unit takes up one floor of the six-storey, €16.5 million Leben Building, a project delivered through a development agreement between the HSE and three charities which came together to form Leben Developments Ltd; namely the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland, the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland/TLC4CF and the Mid-Western Hospitals Development Trust.
The unveiling ceremony took place during Parkinson’s Awareness Week and coincided with the launch at UHL of “Meds on Time”, a Parkinson’s Association campaign to ensure the timely administration of medication to patients in order to control their symptoms.
Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative condition after Alzheimer’s with an incidence of one to two per 1,000 in the general population and one per 100 in the over-80s. It is accordingly estimated that there are approximately 680 people living with Parkinson’s disease in the Mid-West (Clare, Limerick and north Tipperary).
Speaking at the unveiling today, Una Anderson Ryan, Chairman of Special Projects, Parkinson’s Association of Ireland, said the new unit would greatly benefit the region’s growing Parkinson’s population. It was a far cry from the old ward 3B where Parkinson’s patients were treated in an environment unfit for purpose.
“The Mid-West Branch of the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland have spent most of the past decade seeking to have a modern state-of-the-art facility in the region for people with Parkinson’s Disease. Thankfully, and at long last, our desire has been achieved and is evident for all to see at University Hospital Limerick. It has been a long and arduous task from design stage; involving architects and engineers, to financial and legal considerations, the tendering process and consequent monitoring at all stages of development,” Ms Anderson Ryan said.
“We believe that this new Neurological Centre will be a tremendous asset to the people of the Mid-West and the fact that it has been built at no cost to the state is hugely significant. The Parkinson’s Association here in the Mid-West is particularly indebted to JP and Noreen McManus and their family and we thank them for their munificence. The impact of the McManus family on the Mid-West Region is truly awesome and words do not exist to thank them fully and adequately,” she added.
That generosity has benefitted not only Parkinson’s but other neurology and stroke patients in the new unit.
Prof Declan Lyons, Consultant in Geriatric Medicine and Clinical Director, Medicine Directorate, UL Hospitals Group, commented: “Stroke is becoming more and more prevalent in Ireland as the population ages and is becoming a bigger and bigger part of what an acute hospital like UHL does. The technology, the drug treatment and the management of acute stroke patients has changed dramatically in recent years and that will continue to be the case.”
“That makes it all the more important to have the right facilities to deliver optimal care to stroke patients and that is what this new unit will help us to achieve. We are deeply grateful to the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland, to the McManus family and to all of our own staff who have contributed to delivering this marvellous new unit for our stroke and neurology patients,” Prof Lyons said.
The contribution of the HSE and Department of Health in meeting much of the equipment costs in the stroke unit and in the wider Leben project was also acknowledged. The HSE has in addition met the costs of additional nursing, medical and allied health posts in the new unit, including in speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and neuropsychology.
Meds on Time
The Parkinson’s Association of Ireland has also contributed to specialist staff training and awareness campaigns around Parkinson’s and the unveiling marked the commencement at UHL of the “Meds on Time” campaign.
Staff nurse Michael O’Halloran is one of seven nursing, physiotherapy and pharmacy staff who, supported by the Parkinson’s Association and UL Hospitals Group, volunteered for a Parkinson’s Disease Nurse Specialist course at London’s South Bank University two years ago. That knowledge is now being applied for the benefit of Parkinson’s patients in the new unit.
“A working group focusing on the care of Parkinson’s Disease patients is now fully functioning and its aim is to provide up-to-date, evidenced-based, efficient, optimal care to Parkinson’s patients admitted to the ward,” said Mr O’Halloran.
“Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive, fluctuating neurological disorder. It occurs when the cells in the part of the brain that control movement are lost. These cells produce dopamine, a chemical that enables people to perform smooth co-ordinated movements. Without enough dopamine in the brain, everyday activities including walking, swallowing and even smiling are affected,” explained Mr O’Halloran.
“The main treatment for Parkinson’s Disease is medication and there are specific drugs which work by replacing or mimicking the actions of dopamine. Often people will be on a number of drugs, each of which must be taken throughout the day at specific times. These stimulate a carefully timed release of chemicals into the brain to allow a person with Parkinson’s to control their movements. The symptoms and progression of Parkinson’s Disease is unique to each individual. It may have taken a long time for the patient and specialist to establish the best individualised drug regime. Once a medication regime is disrupted, it may take hours, days or even weeks for a person’s Parkinson’s to stabilise .This can have serious consequences for ward management and the treatment for which the person was originally admitted. The patient is likely to require a higher level of care and an extended hospital stay – at a significant cost in both time and resources. There is an increased risk of accidents and falls, and in some cases the originally planned treatment may no longer be possible. The patient may also feel a loss of dignity and independence as well as the ability to communicate and exercise choice in their care,” Mr O’Halloran explained.
Dr Peter Boers, consultant neurologist, UL Hospitals Group, said: “It is a very well recognised phenomenon with Parkinson’s patients that their symptoms are time-dependent and that they have to take their medication at the correct time. When any patient comes in to hospital, there is a standard hospital prescription chart which has the times pre-specified – be it 8am, midday, 4pm and so on – but that might not suit the Parkinson’s patients. They might need their medication at 7.30am, 11.30am and so on and there is no provision for that on the pre-printed charts. What has to happen is there has to be an understanding among medical and nursing staff at ward level that the Parkinson’s patients medication has to be given at the time they take them at home. The particular time is very important.”
Lolas Ball, an evening to remember Lola Jane Nagle took place this past Saturday in the Greenhills Hotel in aid of ACT for Meningitis. Richard Lynch of I Love Limerick was honoured to host the event with his good friend Leanne Moore and the night was very emotional, filled with love and a huge success!
On April 15 last year one family’s whole world was turned upside down when they tragically and suddenly lost their precious little girl Lola, aged just 17 months, to meningitis. Nothing could have prepared them for the devastation that losing a child would cause. Since then the family have worked tirelessly to prevent another family from going through their nightmare. Lola’s family wants to ensure that no one faces the meningitis journey alone.
Last June, an unbelievable crowd gathered today the AllStar Ink tattoo parlour, in Limerick City, for a Lola Nagle ACT for Meningitis Fundraiser. €19,924.28 was raised after a number of people donated money, or paid to get butterfly tattoos, in aid of the ACT for Meningitis organisation.
“We never thought meningitis would affect us but it did,” says event organiser and Lolas sister, the inspirational 17 year old Leah Melling. “We organised this ball to remember our beautiful little butterfly Lola, and to raise funds, but also to raise awareness of Meningitis because knowing the signs and symptoms may just save a life. We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from the people of Limerick.”
ACT for Meningitis is a national meningitis support and awareness charity based in Galway. Set up in 2011 by Siobhan and Noel Carroll following the loss of their 4-year-old daughter Aoibhe to this devastating disease. ACT for Meningitis aims to raise awareness, promote education and provide free support to anyone in Ireland affected by meningitis.
Entertainment was provided by Voice of Ireland contestant Niall O’ Halloran, Ciara Meade, lead singer of the well-known Limerick band Funk Junkies, MizDrea, Tiny Giants and upcoming singer songwriter Aaron Hackett, magician Steve Spade and comedienne Al Foran. Guests then danced the night away with DJs Ian McLoughlin and Party Marty.
People, who did not attend the ball, can still make a difference and offer their support to ACT for Meningitis.
Support Act for Meningitis here
Find Lolas Ball on Facebook
Read more on the I Love Limerick site here
[nggallery id = 16]