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.

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