LMSR Black Tie Ball at the Strand Hotel

The Spar Panto Beauty and the Beast cast in full costume for the launch of the show in King John’s Castle. Picture: Sean Curtin / True Media.

This past Friday at the Limerick Strand Hotel, Limerick Marine Search and Rescue Service hosted a glamorous LMSR Black Tie Ball in celebration of their 30 years in service since their establishment in 1986.

Richard Lynch of ILoveLimerick.com hosted the event, “I am so thrilled to be here tonight and I’m honoured to work with Limerick Marine Search and Rescue. They protect us and keep us safe.”

Joe Morgan, Chairman of Limerick Marine Search and Rescue, who organised the LMSR Black Tie Ball, then presented Richard and the team of ILoveLimerick.com with a special plaque thanking them for the new website that they built for LMSR and the ongoing publicity and marketing they offer to the charity.

Joe spoke about the honour of working with LMSR, “I think it’s important to recognise that there has been a lot of members in and out of the service over the last thirty years. The one thing they had in common was to improve the service and to save lives in the water and bring people who are lost back to their families. I would like to thank each and every member, past and present, for bringing Limerick Marine Search and Rescue to the level it is at today.”

Joe invited Michael o’Hanlon, Mayor for Metropolitan District of Limerick to say a few words about the work the volunteers at Limerick Marine Search and Rescue do. “I honestly believe the people who volunteer for the service are very courageous people, I’m not too sure if many of us would do the same. The work they do takes commitment and dedication to put your own life at risk for somebody else in distress.

Other guest speakers included Ger O’Flynn from the Irish Coastguard and John Leech from Irish Water Safety who congratulated LMSR for their service, “I want to congratulate Limerick Marine Search and Rescue for 30 years of saving lives, body recovery and moving with the times and improving constantly in term and training and equipment.”

Martin Quinn, Jimmy Connors and Tony Cusack, the three founding members of LMSR were presented with three bronze trophies for their contribution to the history of the charity.

Jimmy said, “30 years on and we’re stronger than ever. We feel so proud that the people of Limerick helped to create it. We are so grateful to JP McManus and to the other people who have given us big donations to keep us afloat but also to the people of Limerick for keeping our dream alive. To see it grow from here, for it to go further, is incredible.”

Tony added, “It’s the next generation of volunteers like my son Tommy who will carry on the tradition and keep the work going that started with us 30 years ago. New volunteers are the lifeblood of the organisation and we welcome anyone to join us who have the passion and share our goal to keep the waters of our beloved River Shannon safe.”

Check out Limerick Marine Search and Rescue Service website here.

Follow Limerick Marine Search and Rescue on Facebook.

For our previous story on LMSR Black Tie Ball from I Love Limerick click here.

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Photos: Cian Reinhardt / ilovelimerick

Garda Divisional Youth Awards 2016

(Back row) Grace, Culhan, Claire Culhane, Richard Lynch, Dermot, Culhane and Luke Culhane, Create No Hate and winner of Garda Divisional Youth Award. (Front row) Super Intendant Dave Sheahan and Super Intendant Derek Smart. Picture: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick

Youths throughout a number of Limerick communities were praised this week at the third annual Garda Divisional Youth Awards 2016.

Limerick Gardaí, in association with Garvey’s Supervalu and Centra, presented the awards at the Woodlands Hotel in Adare, celebrating young people for the positive contributions they have made to their families, schools and communities.

Chief Superintendent David Sheahan commended the Garda Divisional Youth Awards 2016 winners, praised the work and effort made by the families of winners and called on recipients to “continue to innovate and make a difference” in their communities.

Limerick City and County Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon attended the Garda Divisional Youth Awards 2016 in a show of support, praising the “tireless work to help their communities and helping others.”

Among the winners was Luke Culhane, a second year student at Castletroy college. In February 2016, having been cyber bullied he made a video called Create No Hate to show how it feels to have been cyber bullied and to explain to people that there are many things you can do to stop and prevent it. Thinking that if he could help one person he would achieve something, little did he know that the video would go viral and it now has over 5 million views worldwide. As a result, Luke has appeared on many international TV stations and radio channels and most recently has offered his advice via skype to students in a school in Cape Town, South Africa. By his actions, Luke has shown how to deal with cyber bullies, not to let them dominate your life but to stand up, speak out and challenge them. Speaking to I Love Limerick after he received his award, Luke Culhane said: “I got loads of recognition all over the world, but it is especially nice to receive recognition from my home county Limerick.”

Another recipient included the Express Yourself Mental Health group from Limerick Youth Service, which played a big part in Limerick’s Mental Health Week. The group is based in the Northside Youthspace in Ballynanty and consists of young people between the ages of 17 and 19. Led by Siobhan Wilmott, they are raising awareness about youth mental health and promoting positive mental health attitudes among young people. The group has made presentations at an EU summit in Amsterdam and have engaged in debates with local politicians to ensure that this very important subject is raised at the highest levels in the Dail. They have organised events for young people during mental health week and were successful in securing funding for Limerick Youth Service to provide staff for a mental health team. They continue to volunteer their time to many community events around mental health and are making a valuable contribution highlighting awareness and educating people on how to deal with it in a positive manner.

Among the other recipients of the Garda Divisional Youth Awards 2016 were the Crescent Comprehensive TY Students 2016, Sarah Duggan, Coláiste Chiárain Ambassadors of Strength in Adversity Group, Áine O’Connor, Luke, Phillip and Jake Kinsella, Cian O’Grady and Lee Quinn.

Crescent Comprehensive TY Students

Hugh Conlon, Adam Earlie, Kevin Le Gear, James Mullins and Luke Reilly completed transition year in May of this year. During that time, they had done some volunteering work in Milford Hospice and St. Camillus Hospital. However, during the summer, on their own initiative, they decided to embark on an epic journey by cycling all the way from Malin Head to Mizen Head to raise funds for Milford Hospice. They trained diligently every week, cycling from Limerick to Nenagh and back to prepare themselves for the 800km trip. It took the boys eleven days to complete the trip from Donegal to Cork raising over €1,700 for Milford Hospice. Rather than taking it easy during the summer these young men took on and succeeded in a challenge that resulted in a major contribution to a charity that hugely supports the local community.

Sarah Duggan

Sarah from Mungret, Co. Limerick is a student in Colaiste Mhuire in Askeaton. For the past five year’s she has been a central figure in the raising of funds for her local GAA club, Mungret St Pauls. Every week without fail she has sold lottery tickets in her area and to date has individually raised over €12,000 which helps to support the juvenile section of the club. When not involved with her club, she has found the time to volunteer in a local charity shop in Limerick, raised funds for MS and also helped out the Limerick Panto Society. A recipient of a Bronze Gaisce award, whenever Sarah is involved in a task she will always be enthusiastic, energetic and committed.

Coláiste Chiárain Ambassadors of Strength in Adversity Group

On arriving in Ireland, Hassatou Diallo from Guinea, Merveille Mangidi Ntoya and Moise Kahu-su from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Isaac Wairimu from Kenya, were each faced with common challenges such as learning a new language and adapting and integrating into a new culture. These student ambassadors despite personal sacrifices continue to overcome adversity through their resilience, strength of character, positivity and determination. Showing a true dedication to their academic attainment they also excel in the fields of sport, music and the arts. Through education they aim to realize their full potential and embrace the many opportunities which await them in their very bright futures. They are all ambassadors of ‘Strength in Adversity’. Each of these students, fully reflect the spirit, ethos and vision that is encapsulated in the Coláiste Chiaráin school motto, “Ad agusta per angusta” (Achievement through effort).

Áine O’Connor

Áine from Lisnagry, Co. Limerick is a student in Castletroy College. This year Áine began a fundraising campaign in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, a cause very dear to Áines heart. As part of this campaign she raised €400 in sponsorship and cut off 10 inches of her hair so that wigs could be made for people suffering from cancer. She is currently an active member of the St John’s 3/14 Scouts in Limerick, holding numerous badges in many different disciplines and is a leader with the cubs and beavers. A young person with a great sense of community spirit and willingness to help others, Áine is also in the process of completeing a short film called ‘Don’t Tell Mom’ which she hopes to enter in next year’s Fresh Film Festival.

Luke, Phillip and Jake Kinsella

In December 2015, the Springfield, Clonlara area of County Clare was devastated by flooding. The Kinsella’s home was amoung the houses in danger. As Mike Kinsella, had passed away in 202 it fell to his sons Luke, Phillip and Jake to help their mother Bridget engage in a course of action to save their home. For the next eight weeks, the boys worked day and night manning pumps and monitoring sandbags to ensure that the water did not break through. They faced many obstacles during the ordeal, taking it in turns to stay up all night manning their station. Despite Phillip suffering an asthma attack which resulted in a visit to the hospital, he was back helping the family the following day. Eventually in late January 16, the flooding subsided without breaking through the barriers. The boys then had to return to their studies they all obtained excellent results. The family wish to acknowledge the support of Mike’s parents, Mike and Mona and the help of their neighbours and friends, members of the civil defence, army and fire brigade, Clare County Council and the Gardai during their ordeal. Luke, Phillip and Jake Kinsella faced many challenges during that time. They overcame them with a display of immense dedication, strength and perseverance and their actions are an inspiration to everyone.

Cian O’Grady

Cian is from Herbertstown in Co. Limerick and is currently a student in Waterford IT. His commitment to community work knows no bounds. He has volunteered with St. Vincent de Paul soup kitchen in Limerick City, raised funds for Mid West Simon community, helps in the local nursing home and assists his local soccer club raising funds and coaching the younger players. Whenever an event takes place in his community Cian is involved. He has organised family fun days in Herbertstown and is a volunteer waiter at the local monthly parochial dinners for the elderly. Cian has already been recognised for his community work as he was the Irish winner of the Pramerica Spirit of Community Award in March 2016.

Lee Quinn

Lee from Moyross, Limerick City is a man on a mission. Having faced several personal challenges in his earlier years, Lee accepted support from a number of key agencies in the area. Two years ago, having finished his education he applied for the Trainee Jockey programme with RACE (Racing Academy and Centre of Education) in Kildare but was not successful. Such was his determination to get a place on this world renowned programme that Lee put in a year of effort working on his fitness, personal development and gaining work experience in Jim Bolger’s yard and in Leopardstown Racecourse. He reapplied for the course in 2016 and was successful in securing a place and is now three months into this very challenging but rewarding programme. He is a young man that is clear about his goals and has shown that hard work, perseverance and determination can bring its rewards.

Read more about the Garda Divisional Youth Awards 2016 here.

To read more about previous years of the Garda Divisional Youth Awards from I love Limerick click here.

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Garda Divisional Youth Awards 2016. Photos: Cian Reinhardt / ilovelimerick

St Augustines School Mental Health Awareness WeekSt Augustines School Mental Health Awareness Week has been running for the last three years and this year they coincided with the work that is being done across the city for Mental Health Awareness Week.

St. Augustine’s School, located on Sexton Street is one of five Youth Encounter Project schools in Ireland and was established in 1977. David Dineen is the principal and the school provides an alternative model of education providing Junior Certificate exams and the Junior Cert Schools Programme.

St Augustines School Mental Health Awareness Week was organised to coincide with Limerick Mental Health Awareness week. World Mental Health Day was October 10.

“During Mental Health Awareness week we aim to link our lessons to Mental Health providing an avenue to explore and talk openly about Mental Health,” explained Alma Mudd, a teacher at St Augustines.

Alma spoke to us about the benefits of having a Mental Health Awareness Week in their school. “I think it’s great that mental health is something that is becoming openly talked about and you see it on the news, facebook and billboards. There really is a recognition that mental health is something that we all have a responsibility to mind for ourselves and for each other. I think it’s amazing that the curriculum is incorporating mental health into schools.”

As part of the week, they participated in the Children’s Art exhibition at The Hunt Museum during Limerick’s Mental Health Awareness Week which was facilitated by Amanda Clifford. The art exhibition was open daily from Monday, October 10 until Sunday, October 16 at 10-5pm.

St Augustines School is working on achieving the Amber Flag and brought in Richard Lynch as a guest speaker to talk to the students about mental health on Thursday, October 13. The Amber Flag initiative aims to promote positive mental health issues in schools, colleges, clubs, societies and organisations throughout Ireland.

During our visit, Richard spoke to the students of St Augustines about positive mental health and spoke openly about his experiences with bullying, addiction and the struggle of dealing with his mental health and well-being throughout his life. He stressed to the students the importance of avoiding toxic people and instead interacting with people that enhance you as an individual. He also spoke about how maintaining good physical health and looking after our bodies can also help our minds. Going around the room, Richard asked each student what their passions were and encouraged the students to embrace their talents.

For more stories like St Augustines School Mental Health Awareness Week from I Love Limerick click here.

Pippa O Connor bookPippa O Connor book signing meet and greet happened on Saturday, October 15 at O’Mahony’s Book Shop for her Pippa, Simple Tips to Live Beautifully Book Tour.

People traveled up to five hours to meet Pippa and get their book signed and a picture. The audience ranged from young, enthusiastic bloggers to working mothers who enjoyed Pippa’s tips and tricks in her book.

The Pippa O Connor Book, Simple Tips to Live Beautifully, Pippa shares her secrets for looking good, living well and feeling great. Stuffed with practical tips and inspirational advice, Simple Tips to Live Beautifully is a book for everyone, aged 16 or 60, who wants to discover their own personal style and to build the confidence to celebrate it.

Before her signing, Pippa spoke with Richard Lynch about her book, blog and new denim line ‘Poco by Pippa’ which was released that morning.

“The book is a reflection of pippa.ie and I was getting a lot of messages all the time asking the same kind of questions. What’s appropriate to wear to a wedding? How do I dress for an interview? How do I make my living room really chic looking on a budget? I just thought, ‘I’m going to put all of this into a beautiful book’.” said Pippa O Connor, “With a book like mine you want the tips to be practical and things you can actually do and achieve yourself whether it’s how to do the winged eyeliner or how to get ready in ten minutes.”

Pippa O Connor’s website, pippa.ie, has grown enormously since it started four years ago and has gained a substantial audience. Pippa admits that it all began as a hobby while she was pregnant with her first son Olly and just grew bigger over time.

When asked about how to juggle between having a career and being a mother Pippa said “I think when you’re doing something that you love, you don’t mind getting up earlier in the morning and going to bed later at night. I’m just thriving on everything I’m doing because I’m so passionate about it but I suppose my one bit of advice is to try and get a bit of balance.”

Poco by Pippa, Pippa O Connor’s new denim range was released on Saturday morning and gained huge excitement from all of her fans. “People are really excited about it which makes me so excited! I’ve been thinking about this myself and with my team for a long time now so to finally have it out there is like a big relief off my shoulders. It consists of five styles of denim, something for every woman. We’ll start off with there and who knows what will happen in the future!”

To purchase Pippa O Connor book Simple Tips to Live Beautifully click here.

Check out Pippa’s website here.

Follow Pippa’s latest news on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For more of the latest books from I Love Limerick click here.

To watch the Pippa O Connor book signing interview with Richard Lynch click the video below!

Limerick Going for Gold 2016 winner is Glin! 

The West of Limerick is awake and celebrating after Glin was announced as overall winner of Limerick Going for Gold 2016.

There were jubilant celebrations in The Strand Hotel this evening (Tuesday 11 October) as the residents of the village claimed the top prize.

Richard Lynch of ILoveLimerick.com hosted the event and said,”I am honoured to be involved with this initiative for the past 5 years. It is my favourite event of the year!”

Limerick Going for Gold’s mission is to make Limerick a brighter, better, cleaner place to live, work and visit.Limerick Going for Gold 2016 winner

The competition fosters and nurtures community spirit and it’s plain to see in every town, village and estate that it’s flourishing.

A total of twelve communities made the final of the Limerick Going for Gold Challenge Category.  Limerick Going for Gold 2016 has a prize pool of over €76,000, courtesy of the JP McManus Charitable Foundation.

Prizes were also awarded in five other Going for Gold categories, including Limerick in Bloom, Best Estate/ Residential Area and Endeavour Award.

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon congratulated the participating communities: “It’s through the hard work and the commitment of the local communities that ensures that Limerick Going for Gold continues to be a tremendous success.  Who would have thought that the competition, which began in 2010, would have grown so much and captured the imagination of everyone, and become the success that it is.”

“I would like to that Limerick City and County Council and the JP McManus Charitable Foundation for organising the initiative, as well as the event supporters and sponsors including Limerick’s Live 95FM, The Limerick Leader and The Limerick Chronicle, The Limerick Post, Parkway Shopping Centre, I Love Limerick and Southern Marketing Media and Design.”

“Going for Gold’s mission is to make Limerick a brighter, better, cleaner place to live, work and visit and every community who participated in this campaign, as well as the event sponsors and supporters continue to contribute to that mission,” added Mayor O’Hanlon.

The Challenge Category final was made up of 12 groups from Limerick city and county who were decided by a combination of local judging and results from the national Tidy Towns Competition.

Finalists were chosen by popular vote on Live 95FM over a five-week period.  The finalists were Hospital, Kilteely, Murroe, Newcastle West and Patrickswell.

They were joined by seven wildcards – Adare Bruff, Croom, Feenagh, Glin, Moyross, and Rathkeale – which were selected by the Limerick Going for Gold judging panel of David Hurley (reporter with The Limerick Leader), Nick Condon (Tidy Towns Adjudicator) and Gerry Behan (retired Director of Service, Limerick County Council).

Following visits to each of the locations and lengthy discussions between the judges,  this year’s Limerick Going for Gold 2016 winner is Glin.

They receive the top prize of €10,000, with Kilteely receiving €7,000 for second and Adare getting €5,000 for third.

All finalists receive prizes to help them continue their good work.

Going for Gold 2016 Limerick in Bloom Category’s Overall winner was Ardpatrick (€5,000) with Strand in runners-up position (€3,000).

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

Rockhill received €3,000 for being the Most Improved Tidy Towns group.

Glenbrook Glendale Glendale Lawn scooped the €2,000 first prize in the Estates/ Residential Area category.

Endeavour Awards of €1,000 each to encourage and/or support ongoing work on the environment were presented to Limerick Youth Service Centre, Back2New Upcycling, Newcastle West and PALLs, Probation and Linkage in Limerick Scheme Dock and the Adapt Shop on Sarsfield Street for their joint Upcycling Initiative.

The Garden Competition Category was sponsored by the Parkway Shopping Centre and featured a prize fund of €1,000 in shopping vouchers.  Roger Beck from the Parkway Shopping Centre presented the top prize to Mrs Nellie Barrett, Ballintubber, Newcastle West.

Speaking at the ceremony, Gerry Boland of the JP McManus Charitable Foundation said: “Individuals, Tidy Towns Groups and Residents’ Associations from across Limerick city and county have once again come out in numbers to support this initiative.  One hundred and forty four groups participated this year and your participation and the voluntary work that you are doing creates a real sense of community in your local areas.

Gordon Daly, Director of Service Operations with Limerick City and County Council said: “Going for Gold is one of the premier community awards in the country and that is down to the supporters and sponsors of the competition, the generosity of the JP McManus Charitable Foundation, and, in particular, the hard work and dedication of the large number of volunteers across our communities in Limerick.  We are delighted that this annual event affords the opportunity to recognise the contribution they make to enhancing the quality of life in Limerick.”

List of Categories, winners and awards:

Going for Gold Challenge
1st Place          €10,000           Glin
2nd Place        €7,000             Kilteely
3rd Place         €5,000             Adare
4th Place         €3,000             Patrickswell
5th Place         €2,000             Newcastle West

Finalists (each receive €1,000)
Limerick in Bloom
1st Place          €5,000             Ardpatrick
2nd Place        €3,000             Strand
3rd Place         €2,000             Knockainey

Highly commended (each receive €1,000)
South Limerick City and

Garden Competition (trophies and vouchers from Parkway Shopping Centre)
1st place                       Mrs Nellie Barrett, Ballintubber, Newcastle West
2nd Place                      Christine Ronan, Pallasgreen
3rd Place                      Gerry Ryan, Rosbrien

Endeavour Awards (€1,000 for each organisation listed)
Limerick Youth Service Centre
Back2New Upcycling, Newcastle West
PALLs, Probation and Linkage in Limerick Scheme Dock and the Adapt Shop on Sarsfield Street for their joint Upcycling Initiative

Tidy Towns Incentive
Highest scores across the following categories (€1,000 each)
Tidiness and Litter Control                 Castleconnell
Sustainable Waste Management       Kilmallock
Wildlife & Natural Amenities             Broadford and Mountcollins
Landscaping and Open Spaces           Ardpatrick and Adare
Most Improved in each Municipal District (€1,500 Each)
Limerick Metro                       Gouldavoher
Adare/ Rathkeale                    Rathkeale
Newcastle West                      Athea
Cappamore/ Kilmallock          Glenroe

Most improved overall in Tidy Towns 2016 (€3000)
Estates/ Residential Area
1st Place          €2,000             Glenbrook Glendale Glendale Lawn
2nd Place        €1,500             Caherdavin
3rd Place         €1,000             Monaleen Park

Highly commended (each receive €500) Limerick Going for Gold 2016 winner.
Cappamore Estates
Castletroy View Residents Association Limerick Going for Gold 2016 winner.
Kyleafea/ Caemore Court Residents Association
Meadowbrook Residents Association
Rosmor Residents Association
Spring Grove Residents Association
Verdant Crescent Residents Association
Woodlawn Residents Association

Read more about Going For Gold here.

Check out the Limerick Going For Gold 2016 winner, Glin here.

Check out the JP McManus Charitable Foundation here.

Check out Limerick City and County Council here.

The Limerick CDKL5 Charity Walk 2016 took place Saturday, September 24. The aim of the walk was to raise awareness of this rare neurological condition as well as raise some funds towards research for a cure.

Richard Lynch pictured at last years CDKL5 Awareness Day 2014 with Jonna, Emma, Maia and Brendan Malone. Picture: Oisin Mc Hugh

Richard Lynch pictured at CDKL5 Awareness Day 2014 with Jonna, Emma, Maia and Brendan Malone. Picture: Oisin Mc Hugh

Maia Malone, a 9-year-old girl from county Limerick suffers from this rare neurological disorder. As a result of the condition Maia has severe daily seizures, which are not tamed by medication, she also suffers from gastrointestinal problems, visual difficulties, sleep disturbances, apraxia, bruxism, and she cannot talk or look after herself. Maia needs around the clock care by her family and those around there.

All members of the public were welcome to take part in the Limerick CDKL5 Charity Walk 2016 which started at 1pm on Saturday September 24. The group gathered in Limerick’s People’s Park at the tree planted at last year’s event before walking to Arthur’s Quay and returning to the park. Participants were provided with a wish ribbon that they can place on the tree at the beginning of the event.

Speaking at the event Maia’s Mum, Jonna said: “By raising awareness we are hoping that when people know more about CDKL5 and more doctors hear more about it, other children will get to be diagnosed sooner than Maia, Maia was four years of age before she got the diagnosis. The diagnosis has helped us to understand Maia’s condition a bit better.”

Limerick CDKL5 Charity Walk 2016

Jonna Malone and her daughter Maia pictured at the Limerick CDKL5 Charity Walk 2015 with Richard Lynch. Picture: Johnny Baynes for ilovelimerick.

“We are raising a little bit of funds today but that is not the main point of today, today is about awareness raising but the funds that are raised will go towards research for the condition. In Europe, they are doing very positive research about protein replacement therapy that maybe will be a cure for the condition, at the moment there isn’t one; but in time. Any money raised today will go towards funding the research.”

“When more people know about the condition it might be easier to have the diagnosis received quicker for other children. In this world, you have to shout for help if your child has a disability. By having the awareness that this is what our lives are like, it makes it a little easier.”

Another mother from Limerick named Graznya Musial whose four-year-old daughter Malgosia also suffers from the condition attended the event and said, “My daughter needs 24-hour care and it’s really reassuring that there are other families in similar situations to us.”

Both mothers have daughters with CDKL5 and met through the Irish CDKL5 Facebook page and met for the first time in person on the day of this year’s walk.

Also in aid of CDKL5 is ‘The Ultimate Firewalk’ that takes place in Bray, Co. Wicklow on September 30, just one week after the annual CDKL5 walk in Limerick.

CDKL5 is a rare X-linked genetic disorder that results in early onset, difficult to control seizures, and severe neuro-developmental impairment. CDKL5 is classed as rare disease however, more and more children and indeed adults are being diagnosed every day.

The CDKL5 gene provides instructions for making a protein that is essential for normal brain development. Although little is known about the protein’s function, it may play a role in regulating the activity of other genes, including the MECP2 gene (or Rett Syndrome). The CDKL5 protein acts as a kinase, which is an enzyme that changes the activity of other proteins by adding oxygen and phosphate atoms (a phosphate group) at specific positions. Researchers have not yet determined which proteins are targeted by the CDKL5 protein.

Most children affected by CDKL5 suffer from seizures that begin in the first few months of life. Most cannot walk, talk or feed themselves, and many are confined to wheelchairs, dependent on others for everything. Many also suffer with scoliosis, visual impairment, sensory issues and various gastrointestinal difficulties. As time has gone on it appears that there might be other symptoms that play a role in the condition.

Ten years ago, Professor John Christodoulou led an Australian research team that studied the DNA of three children from the same family and found a common genetic abnormality occurring on a gene that would later become known as CDKL5. His research was published in the prestigious journal, The American Journal of Human Genetics 2004. Glyn was one of the three children at the focus of Dr. Christodoulou’s study.

Glyn’s Legacy was in his DNA, which helped scientists to begin to identify what we now refer to as a CDKL5 Disorder. Unfortunately, Glyn passed on June 17, 1997, before his disease-causing gene was discovered, but his tragic, short life had an important impact on the children who have since been diagnosed with the same devastating disorder.

You can find more information on CDKL5 here.
Check out the CDKL5 Facebook here.
Read more about our previous coverage of Limerick CDKL5 Charity Walk here.

While you wait for Limerick CDKL5 Charity Walk 2016, check out our YouTube coverage of the Limerick CDKL5 Awareness Walk 2015 below.


BeSPOKE 2016 Limericks biggest ever cycling festival

pictured at the launch the ‘Bespoke – Limerick’s Cycling Festival’.
Pic: Don Moloney / Press 22

A variety of FREE cycling inspired events will take place across Limerick for BeSPOKE 2016, Limerick Smarter Travel’s cycling festival between 11th-19th June 2016, it was announced today (Tuesday).

For the second year running individuals and groups from schools, communities, campuses and workplaces have the opportunity to avail of funding to help them run their own cycling inspired event.  Limerick’s ‘Bike Week – Event Fund’ will see 18 groups receive financial support to independently run their own BeSPOKE 2016 event. Event fund winners include: Milford N.S., St. Pauls N.S., Shanagolden VTOS, Team Adare Cycling Club, Extern Foster Care, Cook Medical, Wild Atlantic Sports, Cycle4Sick Children, Johnson & Johnson, West End Youth Space, Northside Youth Space, Southill Area Centre, Northern Trust, Southside Youth Space, Sophie’s Journey Foundation, Limerick Milk Market, Mary Immaculate College, & Kileedy GAA.

The highlight event from Limerick Smarter Travel will take place on Sunday June 12th  with registration from two o’clock with the ‘Riverside Family Cycle’ starting at the Irish Estates, passing through the Shannon Fields before turning down the Park Canal and ending at O’Brien’s Park in Clare Street. The family-friendly cycle will be immediately followed by a ‘Party in the Park’ where there will be entertainment for everyone including;

Ireland’s first ‘Cycle Trials’ competition, with 4 class categories from novis to intermediate, hosted by Sean Putt, one of Ireland’s elite cycle trials riders.

BeSPOKE 2016 Limerick’s biggest ever cycling festival

pictured at the launch the ‘Bespoke – Limerick’s Cycling Festival’.
Pic: Don Moloney / Press 22

The 1916|2016 ‘Best in Show’ competition for cyclists and bicycles from 1916 or 2016, hosted by Richard Lynch, RichardKnows& ILoveLimerick.com

Family music, games, entertainment and refreshments

Elite Cycle Trials rider Sean Putt, said he’s looking forward to bringing the ‘cycle trials’ event to life, the first of its kind in Ireland.

“The event will include three competitive classes, Expert, Intermediate and Beginner, there will be a Novis class for anyone wishing to give cycle trials a go for the very first time on the day,” he said. “The event is being supported by Cycling Ireland, The Hub Bike Shop, National Bike Week, Limerick City and County Council as well as Limerick Smarter Travel. Trophies and prizes for winners will be sponsored by The Hub. We will also be having a ‘cycle trials taster session’ at ‘The Hub’ bike shop on June 5th part of The Hub’s Sean Kelly Charity Cycle and Family BBQ, do come along to get some one-to-one trials advice, to have a practice trial, or to pre-register for the trials competition on the 12th June,” he added.

Speaking following today’s announcement, Richard Lynch, said: “Between the 11th and 19th of June there are a wide variety of BeSPOKE events taking place across Limerick, a celebration and promotion of all that’s great about bikes and cycling, there really is something for everyone. Find out whats happening near you and your family. The ‘Riverside Family Cycle’ and ‘Party in the Park’ will form part of the State Centenary Programme to remember 1916, reflect on the republic 100 years on and reimagine our shared future. The cycle and party will have a 1916|2016 theme and include a ‘Best in Show’ competition, with judges and prizes for those entering their outfits/bicycles in the 1916 or 2016 categories. Do dress up, take part and have fun with friends and family! ” he added.

Donal Brennan, Senior Engineer, Limerick City and County Council commented: We hope to see as many people as possible out and about on their bikes enjoyed the fun-filled week of events during Limerick’s Cycling Festival. The BeSPOKE 2016 events form a very important time in our annual calendar, working with the Limerick community to creatively highlight the positives of cycling not just for recreation but as an integral part of each persons daily travel routine.”

For further information:

Web: Search ‘BeSPOKE’ at www.LimerickSmarterTravel.ie

Check out Smarter Travel on Facebook and Twitter

Leben Building Neurological Centre Acute Stroke Unit at University Hospital Limerick

Colette Cowen, CEO University Hospital Limerick, Gerry Boland, JP McManus Trust; Prof. Niall O’Higgins, Hospital Trust, Una Anderson Ryan, Chairperson Parkinson’s Special Projects and Richard Lynch, I Love Limerick. Picture: Kieran Clancy.

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.”

Leben Building Neurological Centre

Richard with Nollaig Lonergan (Mid Western Hospitals Development Trust) , Sue Ann McManus (Pro-Am), Una Anderson Ryan (Chairperson of joint-committee) at the turning of the sod for the new Leben Building at the University Hospital Limerick in 2012. Picture: Paul Mullins

“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.”

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