FET Kilmallock Road Campus: Pictured here are Chris Doyle, Engineering Teacher, Jayne Foley, Art, Craft & Design Teacher, Patricia Kennedy, VTOS Co-ordinator and Shane Cullinane, Assistant VTOS Co-ordinator (Picture taken before social distancing). Pictures: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick.

FET Kilmallock Road Campus offers great courses for Further Education and Training

FET Kilmallock Road Campus in Limerick City is a vibrant and modern Further Education and Training Centre. They offer a wide range of exciting course options, including the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (or VTOS for short) – a full-time course of study that is free of charge and offers childcare supports and training allowances. VTOS courses include Office Administration, Healthcare, Retail Skills, Contact Centre Operations, Art, Craft and Design, Engineering, ICT and the Leaving Certificate.

Other course areas on offer at the campus include Youthreach, Pathways to Engineering, Hospitality and the FAI Player Development programme. Further Education and Training will empower you to make the transition back into paid employment or further your studies.

The supportive team is there to help you make the right choice for wherever you want your Further Education and Training journey to take you. Gain valuable educational qualifications in a pleasant and welcoming environment. Family-friendly hours apply and individual career guidance is provided for all.

Courses include:

Art, Craft and Design

FET Kilmallock Road Campus

QQI Level 5 Major Award

Our course philosophy is simple – explore, express, create. If you have a keen interest in art, this course will enable you to express your creativity through a range of artistic processes including Design, Ceramics, Digital Photography, Painting, Drawing, Graphic Design, Animation and Fine Art. This course will allow you to develop a portfolio of work suited to your individual interests and talent. The Art Studio at Kilmallock Road Campus is an attractive, well-equipped space that offers a unique learning environment.

On completion of this course, you will have the opportunity to showcase your artwork to the public. You can also progress to Higher Education or into employment.

Enquire Now 

Healthcare Assistant

FET Kilmallock Road Campus

QQI Level 5 Major Award

This course will equip you with the knowledge and skills to fulfil the role of a healthcare assistant. Modules include Care Skills, Care Support, Care of the Older Person, Communications, Infection Prevention and Control, Safety and Health at Work, Palliative Care Support and Work Experience.

As a QQI Level 5 Major Award qualification is the minimum requirement for an individual to work within the healthcare sector, this course will enable you to gain employment in this industry. Patient Moving and Handling as well as Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons will also be provided.

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Engineering Skills

FET Kilmallock Road Campus

QQI Level 4 Major Award

This engineering course will provide you with the opportunity to gain a foundation in a range of important skills for a potential future career in engineering. The choice of subjects includes Maths, Communications, Engineering Workshop Processes, Electronics, Technical Drawing, IT and Work Experience. The course is delivered within our modern engineering workshop facilities at Kilmallock Road Campus.

On successful completion, you will also have the option of continuing your studies or seek employment.

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English for Employment Employability Skills

FET Kilmallock Road Campus

QQI Level 3 Major Award 

This course helps you to develop English language skills needed for the workplace. A wide range of accredited modules are offered including Communications, Maths, ICT, Business and practical skills at QQI Levels 3 and 4. As well as greatly improving your English language ability, you will be offered meaningful pathways into Further Education and Training and employment.

At the end of this course, you will be able to speak, read and write in English, as needed for employment. This course is for you if you are a non-native speaker of English.

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Office Administration

FET Kilmallock Road Campus

QQI Level 5 Major Award with Digital Marketing and ECDL

This course provides high-quality training in administration skills that will equip you to gain employment as a clerical officer, secretary, receptionist and front office operations. It is an intensive nine-month course that covers Word Processing, Text Production, Spreadsheet Methods, Bookkeeping, Payroll, Information and Administration, Communications and Work Experience. You will also have the opportunity to gain additional certification in Digital Marketing and ECDL. This very popular course offers a range of career pathways with proven potential to access employment.

On successful completion, you will have the option to further your studies through Higher Education or seek employment.

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Contact Centre Operations

FET Kilmallock Road Campus

QQI Level 5 Minor Award

This course will enable you to acquire the skills and knowledge to use information and communications technologies in an e-business context. You will learn how to operate effectively in handling customer queries and issues in a contact centre support role. You will also have the opportunity to study additional modules including Communications, Customer Service, Database Methods and Retail Sales Techniques.

On completion of the course, learners may progress into employment in a contact centre or continue their studies through Further Education and Training. This course is for you if you have good communications skills and enjoy working in team environments.

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Retail Skills

FET Kilmallock Road Campus

QQI Level 4 Major Award

This course will allow you to gain the knowledge and skills to work in the retail sector. You will develop the ability to deal with customers, understand retail sales techniques, payment procedures and other aspects of the retail environment. Modules include Retail Sales Techniques, Retail Payment Procedures, Customer Service, Communications, Business Maths, ICT, Personal Effectiveness and Work Experience. The course is delivered on a modular basis, which gives you the choice of taking up employment or remaining on the course to complete the full Retail Skills award. There is a strong practical element to this course with work experience offered.

On successful completion of this course, you will have the skills, knowledge and competency to work under supervision in the retail sector and or to progress to Further Education and Training.

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Leaving Certificate

FET Kilmallock Road Campus

SEC Award at NFQ Level 5

The Leaving Certificate full-time programme has fantastic progression opportunities for adult learners. Our subject choice includes English, Maths, Biology, Physics, Economics, Accounting, Business, Art, Engineering and Construction. Irish is also available if you wish to access the Bachelor of Education Degree course at Mary Immaculate College. If you are an international learner, you will have the opportunity to sit a range of Leaving Certificate language exams. You will study at a pace suitable to your own level of ability in a friendly, learner-centred environment. Intensive supports, including Career Guidance, is provided. The entry requirement for this programme is Junior Certificate or equivalent, with good proficiency in the English language.

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Employability Skills

FET Kilmallock Road Campus

QQI Level 3 Major Award

This course will give you the opportunity to complete a QQI Level 3 Major Award in a range of subjects suited to your individual learning goals. A wide range of choice is on offer and includes English, Maths, Business, ICT, Healthcare, Woodwork, Engineering and Art. The course provides a solid educational foundation in the core skills of reading, writing, numeracy and ICT. It enables you to develop your strengths to make informed choices in your Further Education and Training journey.

This course offers fantastic progression links to the Leaving Certificate, to apprenticeships or into employment.

Enquire Now 

In compliance with COVID-19 public health guidelines, the Further Education and Training Centre currently remains closed to the public but continues with enrolment planning for the 20/21 academic year.


For more information on FET Kilmallock Road Campus, click here or give them a call on 061 578 100 or email [email protected]

For more Richard Knows News, click HERE.


Limerick Virtual Pride 2020 – Pictured are Hugo Dahn, Myles Breen, Elysha Folan, Killian Fitzgerald (back) with Lisa Daly, Chairperson Limerick Pride and Richard Lynch, PRO Limerick Pride (front). Picture: ilovelimerick

Limerick Virtual Pride 2020 offers an amazing lineup of events!

limerick virtual pride

Lorcan McAuliffe, Mr Gay Ireland 2020 pictured in the People’s Park, Limerick. Picture: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick

Limerick Virtual Pride 2020 takes place from July 6 -12, with a virtual Parade on Saturday, July 11 at 2.30pm live from the Limerick Pride Facebook page. This year’s Virtual Pride offers something for everyone!

Lisa Daly, Chairperson of Limerick Pride said, “We are thrilled to be still able to bring some Pride into people’s homes during this time to offer a fantastic line up for this year’s festival. Special thanks to all our great community, without your support and teaming up together Limerick Pride 2020 would not have been possible, we are extremely grateful and proud of each one of you, so thank you. This year we chose the theme ‘Support Each Other’ with our hashtag #SpiritOfPride because now more than ever before we should be joining as a community and supporting each other.”

Limerick Pride 2020

Senator David Norris is this years Grand Marshall. Picture: ilovelimerick 

Richard Lynch, PRO of Limerick Pride said, “We are delighted to announce that this year’s Grand Marshall is one other than Senator David Norris, is an Irish scholar, independent Senator and civil rights activist. Internationally, David is credited with having, “managed, almost single-handedly, to overthrow the anti-homosexuality law which brought about the downfall of Oscar Wilde”, a feat he achieved in 1988 after a fourteen-year campaign. He has also been credited with being “almost single-handedly responsible for rehabilitating James Joyce in once disapproving Irish eyes”. He was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in Ireland. We own him so much and we are thrilled that he is our Grand Marshall for this years Virtual Pride!”

Lorcan McAuliffe, a mental health worker and a proud Limerick man who was crowned Mr Gay Ireland 2020 said, “2020 has put many unprecedented challenges before us. Covid-19 has taught us the importance of family, friends, the love we share and supporting each other. Although this year we won’t walk shoulder to shoulder proudly celebrating the love and pride our community holds so dear to our hearts, we are still all in this together! The virtual pride approach many have taken this year ensures that although we are not side by side that we can still celebrate our pride as a community and feel more connected than ever!”

With a physical Limerick Pride Festival not being able to take place, Limerick Pride are holding a  Limerick Virtual Pride to bring Pride into your homes and to reach those who may not have ever seen or experienced a Pride event or a Pride parade before. Lisa added, “We wanted to reach the wider and rural communities so that even if we cannot dance together in the streets, from the safety of our homes, we will be able to celebrate all that makes our community so beautiful, so resilient, and so rich with diversity. We would also like to encourage everyone including businesses to display a rainbow flag or change their business lighting into the colours of the rainbow to mark Limerick Pride this year.”

Events include a Glam Pride Inspired Make Up tutorial with local Make Up academy Jimmy C, ‘Then And Now’, an evening of stories, songs and performances featuring Limerick queer artists hosted by theatre artist and musician, Ann Blake and her wife Jenny, a Virtual Cabaret Bingo and a Limerick Youth Service Make Up Tutorial.

Mickey Martins returns for another year to host the pre-pride party, ‘Twas the Night Before Pride” secret session on Friday, July 10 which will be broadcast live on the Mickey Martins Facebook page.

On Saturday, July 11 from 2.30pm, a Limerick Virtual Pride Parade will stream on the Pride Facebook page followed by the traditional Pridefest featuring performances from many local artists, drag queens and the annual Tea Dance with Myles Breen.

More information can be found on the Limerick Pride website and you can watch all the events LIVE on the Limerick Pride Facebook page. More details below:

limerick virtual pride


Monday, July 6 

Limerick Pride Launch – TBA


Tuesday, July 7

Glam Pride Inspired Make Up Tutorial at 7pm 

This year Limerick Pride have teamed up with local Make Up academy Jimmy C to bring you Glam Pride Inspired makeup tutorial.

This is an Online Event which can be viewed live on the Limerick Pride Facebook page.

Jimmy C Makeup was first established in 2015 offering the highest quality in Makeup Training. Jimmy C is now renowned for the Jimmy C College Of Makeup Artistry where they offer the very best Makeup Training for all levels.

limerick virtual pride


Wednesday, July 8 

‘Then And Now’ at 8pm

Join Theatre Artist and Musician, Ann Blake and her wife Jenny, a political activist, as they host Then And Now: an evening of stories, songs and performances featuring Limerick queer artists. Reflecting on the theme of being out at different ages in different times, the artists will share a combination of their own work and/or work which inspires them. Artists on the night include Myles Breen, Michelle Fox, Shane Hickey O’Mara, Jared Nadin and more to be confirmed.

Ann wrote her award winning show, The Morning After The Life Before, in 2017 and has since toured it in Ireland, The UK, Canada and New York and Jenny was a key figure in ‘Yes Equality Limerick’, the Marriage Equality campaign in 2015.

limerick virtual pride


Thursday, July 9

Youth Zoom event TBD 

The Youth Zoom event which will include chats and musical numbers.

 Virtual Cabaret Bingo at 6pm 

Join your hosts Dame Stuffy and Carrie Dewayy as we bring you Virtual Cabaret Bingo. This will be bingo like you have not experienced before so get ready for a night of comedy, entertainment, and performances. Prizes up for grabs on the night, including cash prizes so the more people that take part the more money you have a chance of winning. To play only costs €5 for 2 Bingo Sheets which will be emailed to you. Full list of rules and Paypal link can be found on the Limerick Pride Facebook event page. This is a night not to be missed, we would highly recommend you and family or friends to join in on the fun. Remember the more people in it the higher the cash prize will be.

limerick virtual pride


Friday, July 10

Limerick Youth Service, Make Up Tutorial TBD 

Limerick Youth Service, Make Up Tutorial with drag queen and king followed by a movie night over zoom with young people There will also be a competition with a Prom King/Queen and Monarch for non-binary.

 ‘Twas the night before Pride’ secret session from 9pm 

Mickey Martins returns for another year to host the pre-pride party, Twas the night before pride secret session. Mickey Martins will have the guest DJ. THIS IS LIVE ON MICKEY MARTINS FACEBOOK PAGE AND NOT AT THE ACTUAL PUB.


limerick virtual pride

Saturday, July 11

Limerick Virtual Pride Parade at 2.30pm

Limerick Virtual Pride Parade will be shown out on Pride Facebook page, where we will show a mix of our Parades, messages, and pictures from the public. This year’s Grand Marshall is Senator David Norris.

The virtual Limerick Pride Parade will also feature as the opening pride event for Pride Inside. Pride Inside includes Kerry Pride, Killarney Pride, Galway Pride, Black Pride Ireland and Mayo Pride which have for the first time all joined together to bring events across Ireland from July 11th-19th .

Virtual Pridefest at 4pm

Join Pride for the traditional Pridefest (Block Party) where there will be performances from many local artists, drag queens, Live music from Irelands Got Talent Cork girl duo Sparkle and more.

Dj Olivia Chau at 8.30pm

Dj Olivia Chau brings you the best of R&B, hip hop, and floor filler classics.


Sunday, July 12

A Cup Of Tea With Tina D at 6pm

limerick virtual pride


Thursday July 9 – Saturday July 11

Virtual Youth Pride

Please note: All youth events registered through Eventbrite will receive a package, no youth events during the week will be shown out on any of Limerick Prides social media pages. Follow

limerick virtual pride

For more Richard Knows News, click HERE.


The Limerick legend and hardworking entrepreneur that is Ann Curley, pictured on the streets of Limerick City on one of her usual working days.

A tribute to Limerick living legend Ann Curley 

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Mary Doyle

Ann Curley is nothing short of a Limerick legend in the eyes of those who are familiar with her work. Better known as ‘Curley’, Ann has worked so hard her entire life, from “teaching half of Weston to swim”, and running a club in Weston, to establishing a children’s holiday camp in Ballycotton, Co. Cork, funded by the proceeds of Curley’s Charity Stall at the Limerick Milk Market, and ‘Second-Time Round’, her thrift-shop on Wickham Street.

Ann Curley is a well-known, and much-adored character, whose love of children and dedication to her community is truly honourable. As her eightieth birthday approaches, we want to pay tribute to Ann, and give her life’s work the recognition it deserves.

ann curley

Ann pictured with her good friend Caroline Clarke. Picture: Pat Browne

A close friend of Ann’s, Caroline Clarke, who works for Our Lady of Lourdes Community Service, told us a little bit about Ann’s background in teaching and how the children’s holiday home came to be, saying, “She is a personal friend of mine for over 25 years – she is celebrating her 80th Birthday soon. Work-wise she was employed by Limerick Social Services group as a pre-school tutor in the mornings and in the afternoon/evenings she was a recreation tutor for Limerick City Council.”

Ann’s love of children was always central to her endeavours, from the beginnings of working as a teacher for many years, to establishing the Garryglass Children’s Holiday Home in Ballycotton a number of years ago. Ann brings dozens of local children to the Garryglass Holiday Home each summer for a unique holiday experience – a welcome break by the sea, away from technology and the hustle and bustle of modern life.  No telly, no web, no phone coverage, no video games. A 1950’s summer holiday that gives Ann the opportunity to teach so many kids to swim and how to fish.

“She had her own building for many years at Garryglass and in the summer she ran a playscheme for circa 100 children for the whole month of July and in August, a children’s holiday where she took groups of kids away to the seaside, and she funded this mostly through the market and charity shop,“ Caroline added.

Ballycotton has become the focus for a summer adventure that has influenced so many of the local children, many of whom otherwise may not have had any opportunity of experiencing such a marvelous holiday. One of Curley’s major triumphs has been securing ownership of the house so that the future of the summer camp project is guaranteed.

Ann Curley left a very memorable impression on so many children in Limerick, from teaching them about life, to giving them the experience of the Garryglass Holiday Home, to spreading joy through her stall at the Milk Market week after week. Reminiscing on the impact that Ann had on them during their childhood, one Facebook user wrote, “Our very own legend, our childhood is full of great memories that Curley helped us make”. Another user said, “They broke the mould when they made Curley, she reared us all. She was a second mother to us all growing up. Our childhood had the best of memories because of this lady.”

Ann’s charity stall at the Limerick Milk Market, which she has now been running every Saturday for over thirty years (currently taking a break due to Covid-19 restrictions), is not only an essential component to the administration of the Garryglass Children’s Holiday Home, but is also the heart and soul of the Milk Market. Curley’s Charity stall is often the first thing encountered by those entering the Milk Market through the Mungret Court Archway, and it is a hub for activity and engagement. A haven for unexpected gems and bargains, you never know what you will find amidst the wacky and wonderful collection of second hand, or “worn once”, ladies apparel, comics, books, toys and assorted bric-a-brac that she sells.

Ann Curley

Just a few of the many children that the Garryglass Holiday Home grants a unique holiday experience to every year, pictured having fun at the beach in Ballycotton.

When asked about Ann Curley, Manager of the Limerick Milk Market, David Fitzgerald, had nothing but positive things to say, “Ann I suppose, is a very hard worker, she gets straight to the point, takes no nonsense, and she would be, in a very positive sense, as tough as hard-nail boots. But at the same time she has a heart of gold. When you see her or talk to her for the first few times, you will see that she is a big presence, and she’s famous across Limerick for her compassion, her kindness, and the hard work she has put into the community.”

“She has also been involved in the community in so many other ways, she has helped people with education, bringing them up from difficult spots. She is a quintessential Limerick person, her resilience really signifies Limerick in the sense that she will keep going no matter what and she’s as tough as they come, but has a very caring nature behind it all. She always looks after people, she’s a force to be reckoned with you know, she punches above her weight, and I think that is Limerick. She epitomises all the good qualities about Limerick,” he added.

We hope to see Ann back at the Milk Market soon, doing what she does best, but in the meantime, the I Love Limerick team want to pay tribute to her work and wish her a very Happy Eightieth Birthday.

For more information on Ann Curley’s Charity Stall, click here.

For more Richard Knows News, click HERE.



By Sinéad Benn



This lady is just super

She holds a high position,

Very well deserving

Of total recognition

Kids from Weston through the years

She treated like her own,


They are adults now,

And want to thank her

Now that they have grown

She taught so many how to swim

And day trips, her great deeds,

As she worked her shop

‘Second time round’

support for all their needs

Many want to thank

Ann Curley

For memories that will stay,

A legend of dear Limerick

Three cheers for u we say! ⭐

Ann Curley

St Munchins Community Centre Manager, Linda Ledger, is known for her kindness and incredible work ethic. Picture: Leon Ledger

A tribute to 15 years of St Munchins Community Centre 

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Mary Doyle

This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the establishment of St Munchins Community Centre, located in Kileely, Co. Limerick. This state-of-the-art community centre has had an active role in promoting community involvement and development in Limerick since opening in 2005, and has grown and expanded greatly over the last fifteen years as a result of the demand for its range of excellent facilities. St Munchins Community Centre is a hub of community activity, from age-friendly groups, education and dance classes, to their flower shop, beauticians and Meals on Wheels service, to name only a few.

Covid-19 unfortunately had a huge effect on the normal running of the centre over the past few months, with restrictions forcing its closure to the public, and a lack of funding posing a threat to the continuation of their services. But with the determination of Linda Ledger, Manager of St Munchins, and the support of its workers, volunteers and donations from the public, the centre is still thriving, helping hundreds of people every day, in spite of the complications posed by Covid-19.

Richard Lynch of I Love Limerick said, “I have volunteered my publicity services to the centre for over a decade and have loved every single minute. One of my favourite memories was in November 2015 when the centre celebrated its tenth anniversary with special guests JP and Noreen McManus and daughter Sue-Ann Foley as they turned the sod on the new day-care facility that was built on the grounds. Another incredible memory was the visit of President Michael D. Higgins in 2011. In recent times Linda and her crew have done stellar work with their Meals on Wheels service during the Covid19 pandemic. I am incredibly proud of centre manager Linda Ledger, her team and of everyone who has contributed to the success of the centre.”

We spoke to Linda Ledger, Manager of St Munchins Community Centre, about the last fifteen years, from the history of the centre and its development over the years, to its importance in the community and their plans for the future, along with everything in between.

Linda, could you share a bit about your background and where your passion for community and volunteering came from?

The community has always been a part of my life, it’s where I was born and bred and it’s where I continue to raise my family. I was working in Dunnes Stores for many years until I had a severe car crash which stopped me from being able to work. I then moved on to the National Learning Network which gave me the skills and confidence to put myself out there again, so I started in St. Munchins Community Enterprise Centre as a volunteer and after a few years applied for the manager’s role.

I really want to make a difference, I’m trying to implement services here that are at an affordable cost, so nothing is for free but everything is at a low-cost no-cost. So anything here is about holistically, how would I like to improve my own life and what I could bring to it.

St Munchins Community Centre

In November 2015, pictured at St Munchins 10th Anniversary celebrations – Richard with Kevin O Reilly, Denise Mulcahy, Catherine Troy, Kieran O Neill, Chairperson St Munchins Community Centre, JP McManus, Sue Anne Foley, Noreen McManus and Linda Ledger, Manager St Munchins Community Centre. Picture: Jonathan Baynes/ilovelimerick.

Why was St Munchins Community Centre set up and how?

Years ago there were two handball allies here that were let go into disrepair. So between the Resident Association at the time, the chairperson Jim O’Neill, and the council, it was decided that we’d get a community centre as it was our land. At the back, there are ten affordable houses which helped with the money towards building here, and then as you drive in, there’s six family homes, two disability homes and ten sheltered accommodation for the elderly. The community centre is in the middle of all of that.

So it was really set up at the time to try and bring all the services together. It wasn’t the size that it is now, so at the time, in the beginning, we just got the money from the council and from the affordable houses. I was around at this time then but I was only a volunteer on the working committee.

How did you become the manager? 

At the time I was a volunteer and after my car crash in 1997 I was actually 40% disabled, and now I’m 30% disabled. I physically don’t look it, but I feel it. My life changed after the car crash, and I’m still a very strong advocate for the National Learning Network because it is where people have a chance to rehabilitate themselves no matter what is wrong with them. That’s what brought me here. I was volunteering here when there was a job open for a twenty-hour manager. At the time I wasn’t in the best head-space, you wouldn’t be believing that you could do something like that, but everyone encouraged me to go for it, so I went for it and luckily I got it.

How is the centre funded and how can people help its future success?

We get about €60,000 to €90,000 from the council and that sounds like a lot of money but when you look at the running of the centre, that wouldn’t even cover your light, heat or anything. We are getting €25,000 from the HSE. But so far during the pandemic we’ve had to spend €119,000 alone on food, that’s not including packaging or wages. Meals on Wheels has always rendered a lot, we have two fully qualified chefs and it is top class restaurant food, there are no shortcuts. We’ve got four vans and a bus on the road, and at the minute now we also have two electric cars that were donated from Smithstown Light Engineering Shannon, and we have the Red Cross with ambulances because we have so much on the go at the minute.

There’s a big misconception, if you look at our office accounts, you’ll see that it’s over €1 million coming into us, but we are only a third party and we have to hand it out. So our turnover last year was over half a million but that’s money we use, with wages and everything, there’s never any of that left. What people mightn’t understand is that everything we do with all the businesses is that they are social enterprises there to try and create employment for local people and people that need jobs. Social enterprise means that all the money you make goes straight back into the community.

How has JP McManus contributed to the centre?

You couldn’t say enough about the man, he’s incredible. It’s so much more than funding, he’s there for us, he’s a brain to pick on. What I love about his foundation is that it’s very open and transparent, he doesn’t just give out money to the person who writes the best application. They go out and investigate it and they look at it and follow up with you all the time to see what you’re doing. He’s just fantastic. JP has always helped us when we’ve tried to extend, and when our backs are against the wall. Like when we wanted one of the new vans, the government wouldn’t give us the grant unless we had philanthropy backing. Even though we had the money ourselves, they need to see it coming in from a philanthropist. Just to know JP is always backing us all the time is amazing.


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St. Munchin’s Community Centre, Meals on Wheels, Limerick – we featured on RTE News at 1pm today. Our service is for anyone over the age of 55, we deliver to Limerick & surrounding areas. We operate 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday. Dinner & Dessert cost €5. All of our drivers are Garda vetted, friendly and will practice social distancing to keep everyone safe. Please contact us on (061) 596 011/ (061) 458 651 to order your dinner before 11am for same day delivery. If you see our van around your area and you are interested in our service give us a call. We’d be more than happy to explain our service to you for you or a loved one. We are a social enterprise, but we depend on our enterprises in the centre as income to keep our doors open. We’ve had to close the doors on our Hair & Beauty Salon, our community café, our florist etc, which had a massive effect on income. Currently we are struggling financially but we would hate to close our doors as we understand the need for our service. If you would like to donate, please use this link gf.me/u/xrajfz We all need to look out for one another in these hard times. Please stay inside & stay safe. Thank you to all of those who have supported us & kept us going during these hard time. We’d love to keep going, so please help us in doing so. We are still accepting donations if any businesses have anything to donate also.

A post shared by St. Munchin’s Community Centre (@stmunchinscc) on

Did you think fifteen years ago that the centre would grow so much, expanding into all these different areas and offering so many services?

I didn’t. It organically grew and I suppose at the time, when we did our first extension, JP Macmanus had said that the centre really should be bigger and it should be in a greenfield area, and really not to be just building on here that it was too small. And at the time I was thinking ‘No, sure we’re great as we are’. But now looking at it, he was right. It grew and expanded so much because it’s what the people we wanted, we never drove it. We always listened to the people and it organically grew. Now we have so much, from education with the VEC, care for the older person, as well as hair, beauty, the flower shop, a photography studio, youth clubs, dancing, bingo, age-friendly, older-people clubs, chiropody, Meals on Wheels, sit-down lunches, board rooms for rent, classes, walking clubs – we have a bit of everything.

What does the centre mean to the people in the community in terms of employment and support?

We now have 162 people employed. 26 of those are directly employed and the rest are on community employment schemes, jobs initiatives, and are part of the National Learning Network. We actually have people working all over the city, we have 16 different locations. So we work closely with the Department of Social Protection, as well as the City Council and the LCETB.

I love our track record for progression. The thing about community employment schemes is that people think okay you’re only getting an extra twenty euros a week. You can look at it that way or you can look at it from the perspective of you’re getting the chance to re-educate yourself, to see can you get a job that you want, and for whatever reason that you didn’t have a job before, you can now experience the clock-card system of turning up for work, and the training to get you into another job. So you can look at it with the glass half full and say sure what would I be doing that for, whereas the people who come in are yes, only getting 20 euros more, but they’re also getting all the training, and the rehabilitation that they need to get them into a better job, so it’s up to you. You can come in and the world is your oyster, you work with the scheme in that you have every opportunity.

St Munchins Community Centre

Richard Lynch pictured at the centre in December 2011 with President Michael D. Higgins, Brenda Gardiner and Linda Ledger. Picture: Dolf Patijn/ilovelimerick

What do you think has made the centre so successful that it continues to grow each year and help so many people?

I think why it’s so successful is that we have a real bottom-up approach, the centre is run by the community for the community. And I think for everything, Richard (Lynch) is our PR and he started us off and got us known in Limerick, I think he even let us know about JP. The advice I would give to any new community centres would be to come and look at our mistakes and learn from them, and look at the model we have now. It’s a very good model with a very bottom-up approach and there’s a way of making it work. You have to include the community, I always believe that you’ve got to bring the community with you.

What inspires you to keep up your amazing work after fifteen years, and what is the most rewarding part of what you do?

I’m forever fighting for the centre, and now with the pandemic, I made sure to argue out my point that we would get the money from somewhere to keep going. I want to just make a difference for children in the position that myself and my own kids were in. I’m very passionate about what I do and it confuses a lot of people because sometimes they can’t understand me, it can be hard for people to keep up with me.

I love what I do. Every day is different, I just think it’s the constant learning. You can think you know everything but you never know everything. I like to think I know everything but I still learn and I’ve realised that I’m never going to know everything. Watching someone come in who is either on probation, or on a scheme, or with literacy issues, or an older person not knowing how to use a computer, whatever it may be. And all of a sudden there’s somewhere where they can go to learn, and then they can then do it.

I think the most rewarding part of it is when you see that you can keep an older person out of hospital, or when you can see the little things like thank you cards, and realising the things we may take for granted like doing their dinners, what that means to them is so much more, it might be the only phone call or visit they get that day, some of their families might live away and its security for them. When we thought we had to close down at the beginning of the pandemic, the amount of people who tried to help, the money that was donated to us, that blew us away. It’s the people of Limerick and Ireland that kept us open, and that keeps me going.

What do St Munchins and its employees, volunteers and visitors mean to you?

I get on brilliantly with them all, the employees and volunteers are the best in the world, but I know that when I walk into the room, there’s silence. They talk to me but I can never be one of the team because I’m the manager, and it’s just something I’ve had to learn to live with now. Everyone knows they can come to me with anything, I’m very fair, but they say I’m like marmite, that people will either love me or hate me. I’m a good boss but I’m straight out, just be upfront with me. It can be lonely at times because there are so many people here and when you’d hear them all laughing and joking, people coming in and out, it can be different when you are the one at the top. Like with the pandemic, people would visit and they’d only want me in the pictures because I’m the manager, but I see all the keyboard warriors saying I do nothing and only want to be in the pictures when I actually hate pictures. You can’t please everyone.

It doesn’t feel like fifteen years, and when I go in somewhere like King John’s Castle and see a girl in there that used to work here, seeing her now doing her thing having her own job – I love that. To know you made a little difference then. All it is is opening the door to somebody.

In the last fifteen years what are the highlights and best memories for you?

I actually can never remember anything, so I look back at the videos that Richard made on the I Love Limerick Youtube, I love looking back and seeing all the people and milestones, having the Taoiseach visit us. Looking back at the kids dancing, knowing they’re grown up and some of them are now working here teaching dancing. It’s amazing to watch.

How important was it to you to continue some of your services as much as you could during Covid-19?

It was brilliant. We are helping so many people, we’re gone across the whole city helping so many groups. It was amazing to be able to keep going, and when the donations started to come in we were just blown away, to know that people really appreciated it and everyone wanted to be a part of something that was helping other people.

What is next for St Munchins Community Centre, are you excited to welcome back your regular visitors when it is safe to do so?

We had a beautiful day recently when we got to go out and see all the elderly people when they were allowed to travel so far, and they loved it. I’d love to see them back but I’m dreading it at the same time because with our rooms now we’ll only be allowed to sit down a very small number of people together, and there’ll have to be time limits, so it’s scary to think about reopening because it’s not going to be what it was, for a while anyway. So we have to make sure that we make it as good as we can for our visitors. We’ll make a good go at it anyway, we’ll figure something out.

From Richard and the whole I Love Limerick Team, we want to congratulate Linda and everyone at St Munchins Community Centre on fifteen years of amazing work. Long may it continue.

To donate to St Munchins Community Centre, click here.

For more information on St Munchins Community Centre, click here.

For more Richard Knows News, click HERE.

A Tribute to Frontline Heroes – Pictured here are singer Emma Langford, soprano Sinead O Brien and MC Lorcan Murray (back) with organiser Una Heaton and Richard Lynch, ilovelimerick (front). Picture: ilovelimerick

‘Thank you, Frontline Heroes’ raises money for Pieta House and shows gratitude to our frontline heroes through song

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Mary Doyle

Today, Saturday, May 23, Limerick came together in song to give a huge thank you to the frontline heroes who continue to fight against Covid-19, while raising much-needed funds for Pieta House. ‘Thank you, Frontline Heroes’ at the Strand Hotel featured moving performances from the phenomenal Limerick talent of Emma Langford, Sinead O’Brien, Ger O’Donnell, Derek Moloney, Karen Franklin, Jim Lynch and the Munster Supporters Choir.

Frontline Heroes

Munster Rugby Supporters Choir pictured at A Tribute to Frontline Heroes. Picture: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick

The event was broadcast live on I Love Limerick’s Facebook page and was watched by 10,000 people within hours of the broadcast.

Kicking off at 3pm with Lyric FM broadcaster Lorcan Murray as MC, an emotional but hopeful and uplifting song list including ‘The Prayer’, ‘There is an Isle’, ‘Something Inside So Strong’, ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’, ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’, and ‘Stand up and Fight’ was performed from the city view suite in the Strand Hotel, with onlookers from the streets of Limerick below, as well as those following the online livestream. Limerick people came together and sang along as a symbol of their gratitude for the frontline workers – healthcare professionals, supermarket employees, and anyone who has put themselves at risk to work on the frontline during this worldwide pandemic.

Una Heaton, event organiser, said, “It was an idea I had that it would be a nice way to use music to thank our frontline people, while also raising money for Pieta House. Music is a great way to alleviate stress and bring people together, and when I asked people to get involved everyone was so enthusiastic, nobody said no, everyone wanted to take part. The Limerick Strand I thought was the perfect location as it looks across the city and down on the river Shannon below. A huge thank you to Tom and Eilis Walsh of Hearit, Simon McGuire and Daragh Flynn of Munster Multimedia and Ilovelimerick.com for the sound and video of the event and Limerick City Community Radio for your support.”

Not only was the event a way of thanking our Frontline workers, but it was also dedicated to fundraising for Pieta House. The need for Pieta’s lifesaving services is greater than ever as COVID-19 impacts not only the nation’s physical health but its mental health too. Even before COVID-19, the public need for Pieta’s services was on the increase, with calls to Pieta’s helpline up 49% year on year, while text messages had increased by 46%. Pieta House provides free therapy to those engaging in self-harm, with suicidal ideation, or bereaved by suicide. They rely on the generosity of the public whose donations and fundraising make up over 80% of their income.

Elaine Austin, CEO of Pieta, said, “As a result of COVID-19, our helpline has seen an increase in calls from people all over the country who are in crisis right now with many others presenting with high anxiety. Our bereavement counselors are supporting people who have lost loved ones and who are struggling to come to terms with their loss in a world where friends and family cannot grieve together as a result of the lockdown.

To donate to Pieta House, click HERE.

For more information on Pieta House, click here.

For more Richard Knows News, click HERE.

Cal O Driscoll, 17, (centre in red) from Castleknock, Dublin took home the title of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2020 for his short film ‘Pirates’ at this year’s Fresh International Film Festival which took place online due to Covid- 19. Pictured here at the Light House Cinema in Smithfield, Dublin with young filmmakers Zac Goold, 18, from Delgany, Co. Wicklow, (far left) Milosh Hughes, 18 from Malahide, Dublin, Ella Nethercott, 16 from Rathgar, Dublin, Max Hendrickson, 15 from Dublin city centre, Maya Peters, aged 18 from Rathmines, Dublin, Sean Treacy, 15, from Ashford, Co. Wicklow, Aoife Reece, 16 from Killinick, Wexford and Luke Flanagan, 16, from Ashbourne, Co. Meath (picture taken before social distancing). Picture: Anthony Sheehan/ilovelimerick.

Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2020 announces its winners

Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards 2020 was due to take place at Fresh International Film Festival in Limerick this past March but due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, the awards took place online on Wednesday, May 13 via Fresh Film Festival’s YouTube channel.

This year, the competition received a record of more than 1,700 entries. Demi Isaac Oviawe, star of RTEs ‘The Young Offenders’, hosted this year’s online awards.

Cal O’Driscoll

17-year-old Cal O’Driscoll (on right) from Castleknock, Dublin took home the title of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2020 for his short film ‘Pirates’. Pictured here with actor Adam Dolan, 16 from Malahide (left) at the Light House Cinema in Smithfield, Dublin (picture taken before social distancing). Picture: Anthony Sheehan/ilovelimerick.

17-year-old Cal O Driscoll from Dublin took home the title of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year 2020 for his short film ‘Pirates’, about a pirate station in 1980s Ireland. Speaking about his win, Cal said, “It was an absolute honour to win Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year. This year was different from any final I have ever experienced as the Finals took place online due to the current Covid-19 situation”. Cal O Driscoll Cal O Driscoll

“I watched the awards with my cast and crew on a group zoom call and Fresh Film still managed to maintain the excitement and magic of the Festival this year like they have done every other year. I am so thankful to receive this award as there were so many other films that deserved it also. Today was a dream come true and I can’t wait to see what all my fellow young filmmakers make for next year’s festival!”

Oisin McKeogh, aged 18, from Co. Clare was the second-place winner for his film ‘Midsummer Beauty’, about a teenage girl named Luna who struggles with a crush on her best friend.

Oisin described his award as “exciting”, saying, “it’s my fifth year entering Fresh International Film Festival. I have grown as a person and a filmmaker with this Festival. I am honoured to have won this award surrounded by such a talented group of filmmakers.”

Milosh Hughes, aged 18 from Dublin took home third place for his film ‘Synthasia’, a dystopian technological fantasy. Kildare Young Filmmakers with director Molly Hoque won the Best Group award for their film ‘Witch Hunt’ and Alexandra College, Dublin with director Ella Nethercott won Best School for their film ‘Four’.

Other entries received Highly Commended Awards on the day, including Sean Treacy from Wicklow for Direction for his film ‘Broken Reflection’, Max Hendrickson from Dublin for Concept for his film ‘Enkata’, and Josh Lynas from Down for Storytelling for his film ‘Lost in Transit’. The Audience Award winner which was voted for online was awarded to Michael Keane, 16 from Co. Cork for his film ‘Final Shot’ based on the Columbine school shootings in the USA.

In addition, a number of specialist awards were presented for the Seniors including the Cartoon Saloon Animation Award, the RTE 60 Second Short Film Award and the RTE Factual Award, in addition to the International awards.

Emmanuel Li from the UK won the International Film Award for his film ‘Have You Seen Buster?’ about a spirited, determined 12 year old named Jacob who embarks on a search for his missing dog Buster, encountering whacky townsfolk along the way.

Now in its 24th year, Fresh International Film Festival invites young people from Ireland and overseas, aged 7 to 18 years, to create, exhibit and share films. The festival provides an opportunity for these young filmmakers to have their work seen on a cinema screen for the first time and to compete for the title of Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year.

All films submitted are also considered for a range of Specialist Awards including the Radharc Trust Award (documentary), the Cartoon Saloon Animation Award, the RTE 60 Second Short Film Award and the RTE Factual Award, in addition to the International and Audience awards.

Cal O’Driscoll

Oisin McKeogh, 18, from Killaloe, Co. Clare was the second-place winner of Irelands Young Filmmaker of the Year 2020 for his film ‘Midsummer Beauty’. Pictured here at the Belltable, Limerick with actresses Devlin Staunton, Ballina and Rebecca Jones, Killaloe (picture taken before social distancing). Picture: Beth Pym/ilovelimerick

Fresh International Film Festival encourages young people to make films by hosting an annual international film festival for young people, presenting Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards, acting as an advocate for young filmmakers and promoting their work worldwide.

Fresh Film runs a number of initiatives throughout the year, including a Hothouse programme designed to bring young people of different ages and diverse backgrounds together to share their film experiences and create new collaborative work, as well as distributing Irish films made by young people to festivals all over the world.

“The standard was so high this year,” said Jayne Foley, Director of Fresh International Film Festival. “Every year the Festival progresses we see advancements in how young people are making films.” Jayne adds, “Next year will be our 25th anniversary and in setting up Fresh in 1997 we were looking to create those shared moments”.

“We love cinema and we wanted to create a community of young film-makers who would bond over screenings at a Festival. Ireland’s Young Filmmaker of the Year competition meant that the films screened and stories told would be their own. Video was king then, and we watched as video cassettes dropped through our letterbox from all over the country”.

“And they’ve continued coming, on shiny discs, memory sticks and links now from Ireland and across the world. We have come along way and so have our young filmmakers and I congratulate each and every one of them. Thanks to them the future of filmmaking is bright!”

The Junior Finals will air at 4 pm on Wednesday, May 20 on Fresh Film Festival’s YouTube channel.

To make a donation to the work of Fresh Film go to paypal.me/freshfilm.

For more information about Fresh International Film Festival, click here.

For more Richard Knows News, click HERE.


Airoe Valencia, Nurse at St Camillus Community Hospital pictured in 2018 with Michael McInerney, Resident looking at the plans for the new proposed development. Picture: Cian Reinhardt

A tribute to the exceptional staff at St Camillus Community Hospital 

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Mary Doyle

St. Camillus Community Hospital, located on Shelbourne Road in Limerick City, is a building that many people may pass by without realising the exceptional work that is carried out inside. St Camillus was first built in 1841 as a Limerick Union Workhouse, but today has the main function of an Older Persons Community Nursing Home, as well as offering several other essential community services such as granting marriage licenses, registering births and deaths, dental and orthodontics, primary care child and family psychology services, as well as much more.

The incredible frontline staff at St Camillus Community Hospital continue to provide essential healthcare assistance to the most vulnerable of patients throughout this COVID-19 crisis, putting themselves at risk for the health and safety of our loved ones. Now adapting to COVID-19 contingency plans, the hospital has seen its canteen converted into a new 23-bed Treaty Ward. This development will provide the opportunity for the care of a larger number of patients, as COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly.

St Camillus Community Hospital

St Camillus Community Hospital pictured in the 1950s

Further long-term plans are in place to strengthen the facilities of St Camillus, as in 2018, the HSE unveiled plans for a new €18.9 million state of the art facility, to cater for 75 long-stay residents. With the aim of completing this development by 2021, this project is part of the Government strategy of bringing long-stay public care facilities up to the highest standard, by developing 63 more single rooms and 6 more twin rooms.

Sian Rowe McCormack, Director of Nursing at St Camillus Community Hospital, paid tribute to their wonderful staff, saying, “What is apparent in every breath of the building is the staff commitment to exceptional care for our patients. I want to pay particular tribute to our exceptional staff, across all our staff categories, who continue to look after vulnerable patients during COVID-19, and always go above and beyond to deliver exceptional health services”.

The building which is now known as St Camillus Community Hospital is steeped in history, once being one of the largest workhouses in Ireland with a capacity of 1600 inmates. The Limerick Union Workhouse site was converted to a hospital in 1933, and has since provided exceptional and critical healthcare and community services for many people across Limerick.

Speaking about his own experience with St Camillus Community Hospital and its staff, I Love Limerick’s Richard Lynch said, “I personally have so many fond memories. I came here for my first dental appointment, I got my marriage license here, my two sisters got married here, one of my best friends got married here, but more importantly, my Mum passed away in 2016 and before she passed away she was cared for here for many weeks by the incredible staff, and for that, I am eternally grateful.”

Richard, on behalf of everyone at I Love Limerick, extended his gratitude to the staff at St Camillus for their continued hard work, saying, “I personally want to thank all the amazing staff at this hospital who provide critical and loving care to so many people’s loved ones at this difficult time during the COVID-19 crisis. You’re doing an amazing job and I applaud all of you.”

For more information on St Camillus Community Hospital, click HERE.

For more Richard Knows News, click HERE.

Hockey player Roisin Upton has been named Limerick Person of the Year 2019. Picture: Brian Arthur 

Irish hockey star Róisín Upton named Limerick Person of the Year 2019

A Limerick woman who played a pivotal role in securing a first-ever Olympics appearance for the Irish Women’s Hockey team has been named Limerick Person of the Year for 2019.

Hockey player Róisín Upton from Raheen, Limerick showed nerves of steel and ice-cool precision as she scored one of the goals in the sudden death shoot out last November to see Ireland through to the finals in Tokyo this summer.

Accepting the award, a visibly shocked Róisín said she was ‘completely blown away’ as a very proud Limerick woman: “I’m so proud of my roots, to have gotten to where I am, it takes an absolute village. I was lucky to part of a history-making group of women in the World Cup – I’m one of 28 on the Irish team and I’m the only one from Limerick and I carry that flag proudly and the support has just been phenomenal. To have made history again in 2019, being the first female team to have qualified for the Olympics is very special and I hope that we can top this again in 2020 as we’re on this road to Tokyo. The calibre of people in this room is incredible, this means the world to me.”

At the gala event in the Clayton Hotel in Limerick today (Thursday 27 February 2020) the monthly winners for 2019 gathered to see who would be chosen as Limerick Person of the Year.

Now in its 19th year and sponsored by The Limerick Leader, Southern Marketing Design & Media, and the Clayton Hotel, and supported by Limerick City and County Council, the Limerick Person of the Year Award was set up to honour the achievements and success of local people at home and abroad.

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Michael Sheahan said: “Congratulations to Róisín Upton on receiving her award today. She has shown her true colours in the white heat of sport when the stakes were extremely high. She has the edge when it comes to being on the pitch and competing for club and country, and her enthusiasm and the way she interacts with supporters and the general public is all-embracing. She epitomises what Limerick is all about.”

Eugene Phelan, editor of the Limerick Leader said: “Limerick Person of the Year is one of the highlights of the year for us at the Limerick Leader as it gives us a chance to honour ordinary people who have done extraordinary things during 2019. There is great diversity in this year’s nominees: we have two Emmy Award winners; sports stars; campaigners and the winner of the Rose of Tralee not to mention Love Island.”

Pat Reddan, General Manager, Clayton Limerick Hotel said: “The Clayton Hotel Limerick is delighted to be a sponsor of The Limerick Person of The Year since its inauguration. To be involved in a group, with my fellow sponsors, that gets the chance to recognise the extraordinary achievements by an individual or a group of people to better our city, county, and country, is, as a Limerick man, something that I am very proud to be a part of.”

Congratulating all nominees, Dave O’ Hora, Managing Director of Creative and Media Agency Southern said: “Creativity and storytelling are at the heart of what we do at Southern. The people nominated here today as Limerick people of the year each tell a very different story. They share a common credit, their individual, powerful tales of achievement, endeavor, winning, losing and above all else trying, to reinforce the story of this remarkable place, Limerick!”

Past winners of the title include Richard Lynch of ilovelimerick.com, philanthropist JP McManus, Limerick’s All-Ireland winning senior hurling team, world champion boxer Andy Lee, rugby star Paul O’Connell, Tidy Towns champion Helen O’Donnell and anti-bullying campaigner Luke Culhane, whose important video against bullying has been highlighted again since the tragic death of TV star Caroline Flack.

This year’s Limerick Person of the Year judging panel consisted of Cllr. Michael Sheahan Collins, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Eugene Phelan, editor of the Limerick Leader and Dr. Pat Daly, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council.

Monthly Award Biographies

January: John Shinnors

The January Person of the Month award was presented to renowned artist John Shinnors who published the book, Adult Reading at Artist’s Bedtime – a stunning collection of illustrated stories.

John began his studies at Limerick School of Art and Design under Jack Donovan before leaving the confines of conventional education to pursue his own vision of artistic creativity.

Despite going on to become one of Ireland’s foremost artists, John’s parents were “totally indifferent” to his talent when he was growing up.

His father tore up some of his paintings in later life “because he thought they were obscene.”

That didn’t deter John however, he went on to show his work in many solo and group exhibitions in Ireland. His hands have produced paintings, which commanded up to €70,000.

John has been involved in supporting the visual arts in Ireland through the Shinnors Scholarship for an MA in Curatorial Studies in partnership with LIT, LSAD and Limerick City Gallery of Art, and the Shinnors Drawing Award at LCGA.

When he goes away somewhere John’s paints travel with him. While working he has to have music playing – Rachmaninoff or Tchaikovsky, “anything big and heavy” he says.

His paintings often combine the figurative and abstract at once. The drawings and paintings in the sketchbooks are more figurative as they illustrate personal stories that are poignant, humorous and surreal.

February: Malachy Browne

Malachy may have arrived at journalism a little later than most, but he has made up for lost time.

Not alone has he landed a job with the most famous newspaper in the world, The New York Times, but he also played a key role in seeing the publisher land an Emmy Award.

The Broadford native who is a multimedia journalist and senior story producer with The Times, joined his colleagues from the Visual Investigations Unit, at the 39th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards in New York.

The Times won the award for an investigative film documentary into the Las Vegas massacre of 2017.

Malachy and his team were presented with the prestigious accolade exactly one year to the day after the massacre took place in which 58 people attending a concert were gunned down and slain.

Having completed his formative education at Broadford National School and St Munchin’s College in Limerick city, Malachy studied engineering at UCD before going on to complete a Masters in International Relations in UL.

His uncle, veteran journalist Vincent Browne gave him an apprenticeship at Village, the current affairs and cultural magazine.

He joined Storyful around 2011 before working for Reported.ly which was set up by the founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar.

Malachy was based in Dublin and they were based in New York so he was over and back to New York quite a bit. A conversation with some of the editors in The Times led to him landing his dream job.

March: Crafty Angels

A group of women who have devoted countless hours to making clothes and other items for the less fortunate in Limerick and around the world were honoured with the Limerick Person of the Month award for March.

Crafty Angels, a group of 30 ladies, meet every Monday in the Millennium Centre in Caherconlish for two and a half hours. They combine a chat, a cuppa, and an interest in all forms of craft with charity work.

Liz Stanley, from Caherline, set up the Crafty Angels with the late and much-missed Maureen Kenny towards the end of 2013.

One of the charities to benefit greatly from their work is KidzCare, which provides care, education, and love to underprivileged and orphaned children in Tanzania. The group sends out suitcases packed with skirts, baby clothes, toiletry bags, and school supplies to various parts of the world through charities.

Incubator covers, tiny little caps and snuggle blankets are given by the group to the neonatal ward in University Maternity Hospital Limerick and therapy dolls and Freddy bags go to the Ark Unit in University Hospital Limerick.

The Crafty Angels hail from Kildimo, Murroe, Doon, Caherconlish and Mitchelstown.

April: Students of Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally

A group of students whose work on raising awareness of sexting looks set to see a change in legislation was named the Limerick Persons of the Month for April.

Students from Ardscoil Mhuire in Corbally have met with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris in Limerick to brief him on their work and to discuss their concerns in relation to sexting abuse among minors in Ireland.

Their campaign to highlight the issue, Keep it PG, has garnered national attention and has seen them secure a number of high -profile awards including Young Social Innovators (YSI) of the Year 2018 and a Garda National Youth Award.

Sexting abuse is the sending of unsolicited sexually explicit digital images, videos, text messages, or emails, usually by mobile phone.

The overall aim of the campaign, according to student Erin Barrett, is to make sure changes take place nationally “because every teenage girl should be able to open their phone without the threat or risk of there being a nude image on their screen”.

The students conducted a survey in class which showed that 20 out of the 27 female students had received “nudes”.

The survey was also conducted in the local boys’ school with similar results.

Brid Herbert, principal at Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally joked that she feels almost like the girls’ PA, such is the level of media interest in their campaign.

May: Sean Byrnes

A teenager whose motto in life is ‘all things are possible’, was named the Limerick Person of the Month for May.

It’s the latest honour for 14-year-old Sean Byrnes from Pallasgreen. He was honoured with a Limerick Garda Divisional Youth Award and was also named a winner of the inaugural Garda National Youth Awards 2019 in the Special Achievement category.

Sean has Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. He is a wheelchair user but he won’t let it define him.

His vision is to start Limerick’s first-hand trike club to encourage others with disabilities to take part in activities, be inspired, and have fun.

Sean has experienced first-hand the benefits of sporting activities, how it has empowered him to be independent and to exceed.

Sean and his mum Fiona took part in their fifth Great Limerick Run 10k to help them raise funds and support the Mid-West Spina Bifida Association.

The goal is to purchase five trikes suitable for different age groups.

Sharing is a key aspect of the new Limerick Hand Trike Club, which has the slogan, Trike Something New.

“When we get the bike, each person will have it for a couple of weeks and then pass it on and pass it on,” Sean explained.

Sean is also a certified PADI Seal Team Diver. In the 2014/15 season, he was awarded Irish junior wheelchair basketball blitz’s best young player of the year. 

June: Saoirse Exton

Limerick teen climate change activist Saoirse Exton was named the Limerick Person of the Month for June.

The 14-year-old Gaelcholaiste Luimnigh student has been protesting every Friday for the past 10 months to raise awareness of climate change. Her action is part of the Fridays for Future, a global movement that sees students across the world highlight the cause across the world in solidarity with Greta Thunberg.

Saoirse and fellow Fridays for Future Limerick representatives led crowds of over 1,000 people through the streets of Limerick as part of the Global Climate Strike on September 20, resulting in one of the largest protests the city has ever seen.

“We’re striking here today because not enough action is being taken by our government locally, nationally or internationally so this is why we are fighting here today,” said Saoirse at the protest.

Hundreds of pupils from numerous schools across the city and county took part in the march.

So what is Saoirse’s message for the people of Limerick?

“Just think!”…“Think of what you’re doing when you buy things. Just think about what you’re doing. Think, can I take the bus today? Can I walk today? Can I cycle today? Just think.”

July: Adare Manor team

The Team at Adare Manor who secured The Ryder Cup for 2026, which is estimated to be worth up to €161m for the Irish economy, was named the Limerick Person of the Month for July.

Colm Hannon, CEO of Adare Manor accepted the award along with the manor’s golf course superintendent Alan MacDonnell. The duo accepted the award on behalf of the entire team at the five-star resort who secured the prestigious biennial golf competition between Europe and the United States.

Adare Manor resort was bought by businessman JP McManus, his wife Noreen and family in late 2014 and underwent a massive redevelopment over 18 months in 2016 and 2017.

With six years before the first player tees off in The Ryder Cup on Limerick soil, the 104 bedrooms at Adare Manor have already been block booked.

Sources say that the potential for tourism and international marketing far outweighs any financial investment the taxpayer will make.

Officials from The Ryder Cup first visited Adare Manor back in 2015 and carried out “a detailed inspection” of the course.

“Hopefully, touch wood, it will all go to plan,” said Mr. MacDonnell of the Ryder Cup.

“I think the roar of the crowd will be a hair standing on the back of your neck moment for me and the whole team in Adare.”

August: Sinead Flanagan

Adare native Sinead Flanagan was named the Limerick Person of the Month for August having been crowned the international Rose of Tralee.

The 28-year-old junior doctor was the first Limerick Rose to be awarded the title in 25 years.

Sinéad has used her new title to great effect both at a local, national and international level.

She embarked on a visit to Kolkata with the Hope Foundation as an ambassador to help out with the work they do.

And on Valentine’s weekend, she was joined by 14 fellow Roses and escorts in traveling to Belarus to work as a medic and teaching volunteers for children with special needs through Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children International charity.

Sinéad qualified as a physiotherapist at the University of Limerick before studying Medicine in University College Cork, completing eight years of study between the two universities.

“It’s amazing, I’m really proud,” said Sinéad of taking the Rose of Tralee crown. “Twenty-five years is a long time, and Limerick has a proud tradition of having a strong Rose Centre and I’m so proud to represent our fine county and city – not everyone gets to represent their county, so it’s great.”

September: Greg O’Shea

A Limerick man who melted hearts on both sides of the Irish Sea was named the Limerick Person of the Month for September.

Rugby player Greg O’Shea was crowned the winner of Love Island 2019 with his partner on the island Amber Gill.

Limerick-born Greg who entered the Love Island villa in mid-July split the £50,000 prize with Amber after the pair were coupled up and voted as the overall winners by viewers of the popular ITV show.

The reality TV show attracted record audiences in the UK and was also hugely popular in Ireland – with the final attracting more than 650,000 viewers across all platforms.

Greg attended Scoil Ide, Corbally, in his youth before attending Crescent College Comprehensive. He played rugby in both schools and won all the Munster school medals with Crescent Comp.

His grandfather, Bill, and father, Niall – as well as several uncles – are Shannon RFC men through and through, while his first cousin, former Ireland U20 flanker Kelvin Brown, is playing with the nine-time AIL winners.

Greg now has his heart set on seeing himself and his Irish Rugby Sevens teammates qualify for the Olympic Games in July. 

October: Max Dennison

One of the world’s leading lights in the visual effects industry was named the Limerick Person of the Month for October.

Max Dennison who grew up in Kildimo is one of the most respected artists in special visual effects.

Last September Max along with his team at DNEG, one of the world’s leading visual effects companies, took home an Emmy Award for outstanding special visual effects in a supporting role.

He scooped the most coveted prize in the television industry for his artistic touch on the hit HBO show that captured the fallout of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Speaking to the Limerick Limerick from London, Max said of the Limerick Person of the Month award: “This award recognises the singular achievements of ordinary people doing extraordinary things and I feel especially privileged to be included with such alumni.”

Max, who attended St Michael’s primary school and Villiers secondary school in Limerick city, was represented at the monthly award presentation by his parents Jim and Valerie.

Interestingly, Max’s interest in film was sparked during the 1980s when the Neil Jordan-directed High Spirits was being filmed in Dromore Castle near Pallaskenry.

Max would cycle up to Dromore Castle and was allowed onto the set to see the world of film in action.

A talented illustrator Max spent the first year of his college career in Limerick in the School of Art and Design before doing a degree in Product Design. Skilled at both illustration and computers Max has worked with a number of world-renowned companies.

His CV includes films and television series such as The Lord of the Rings, Superman Returns, X-Men, The Da Vinci Code, Harry Potter and Star Wars.

NovemberRóisín Upton

Irish hockey player Róisín Upton who played a starring role in helping the Ireland women’s hockey side qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time ever was named the Limerick Person of the Month for November.

The 25-year-old who was born in Janesboro but now resides in Raheen converted her penalty in a sudden death shootout to help Ireland book their plane tickets to Tokyo in July.

The Limerick woman showed incredible composure to covert her sudden death penalty after missing a penalty earlier in the shoot-out.

A former student of An Mhodhscoil primary school in the city, Róisín began playing hockey as a first-year student at Crescent College Comprehensive.

Despite her obvious skill and speed, Róisín admits she “wasn’t great at hockey at all in the first year”.

Fast forward then a decade to a November night at Energia Park in Dublin. The second leg at the Donnybrook stadium finished scoreless, as the first leg had, meaning the game went to penalties.

Róisín Upton squeezed home her effort in sudden death, allowing goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran to deny the Canadians and book Ireland’s ticket to Tokyo.

She didn’t know it but Róisín had broken the top of her ulna (a bone in the forearm that goes from the elbow up to the hand).

Preparation has already started for Tokyo with an Olympic medal firmly in Róisín’s sights. Hockey player Roisin Upton Hockey player Roisin Upton Hockey player Roisin Upton. Hockey player Roisin Upton. Hockey player Roisin Upton Hockey player Roisin Upton.Hockey player Roisin Upton.Hockey player Roisin Upton.

December: Sarah Corbett-Lynch

Sarah Corbett-Lynch who lost both her parents in tragic circumstances was named the Limerick Person of the Month for December after penning a self-affirming book, which has helped children explore grief, loss and a range of other complex emotions.

Sarah was only 12 weeks old when her mother Margaret ‘Mags’ Fitzpatrick died in November 2006 from a severe asthma attack.

In August 2015, when she was just eight, Sarah’s devoted father Jason, 39, was then murdered in North Carolina.

Sarah and her older brother Jack returned to live in Ireland with their aunt Tracey, Jason’s sister.

While at home one day, feeling somewhat bored, Sarah started writing.  She liked it so much she continued, and some 18 months later she had her debut book ready for publication.

Noodle Loses Dad, her first book of the Boogawooga series, sees Noodles take the reader on a journey as she faces the loss of a loved one, moving houses, becoming part of a blended family and learning to find hope and happiness again.

Part of the proceeds from the book sales go towards the Children’s Grief Centre.

The response to the publication has been “amazing” with Sarah finding herself on The Late Late Show couch chatting to Ryan Tubridy.

At the tender age of 13, Sarah has five other books written and there has already seen interest from publishers in the United States.

Her aunt Tracey said the family is “immensely proud” of Sarah particularly her empathy towards other children, and her ability “to be able to climb down there and feel what other people feel”.

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