St Munchins Community Centre 10 year anniversary

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

Spirits were high this week at the St Munchins Community Centre 10 year anniversary celebrations, after a decade of community enhancement and development, with special guests in attendance.

 JP and Noreen McManus attended the celebrations with daughter Sue-Ann Foley, in a show of support for the centre, and to turn the sod on the new day-care facility that will be built on the grounds.

After being presented with a number of gifts, in a show of gratitude for the help of the JP McManus Benevolent Fund, Sue-Ann Foley spoke to the crowds, encouraging the people who avail of the services offered to be “grateful” that they have people to speak for them, because “not every community has it. “We get plenty of applications in for centres such as this, and we try and help as many people as we can. It’s very easy to help St Munchin’s.

“My parents are very proud Limerick people.. And this centre shows what Limerick is about and the proper community spirit,” Sue-Ann said. Linda Ledger, St Munchin’s Centre Manager, thanked the McManus family for their continued support over the past decade. “None of this could have been done without JP McManus, he’s been our backbone. All our dreams have really just come true, and they’re even better than we thought.”

The centre continues to expand, taking over the grounds of the former St Lelia’s National School, which was one of three schools amalgamated into Thomond Primary, earlier this year. Thomond Primary is one of the many beneficiaries of the wide range of services that St Munchin’s offer to the community, with one of their newest ventures being the community café at the school, an extension of the café in the centre. Backed by social enterprise, six of the centre’s staff serve food to more than 250 students, giving them the chance to socialise with fellow students in the morning, over a healthy breakfast.

Linda Ledger spoke about the community café initiative, and its success so far. “There are some things like that, that we do, that you can’t put value on. There’s no glossy document, you just have to see it. And when you see something like that, it’s really wonderful,” she said. The new facility at the former St Lelia’s will be an “educational outreach” for everyone, young and old.

Paul Patton, Head of Further Education and Training, Limerick and Clare ETB, officially announced the major award in Healthcare Support that will be available in the new facility. Speaking about promoting education in the community, Mr Patton said: ““The whole idea is, as a social enterprise, is to work within the neighbourhood, and further afield.” This award covers modules, such as; Care Skills, Care of the Older Person, Care Support, Palilative Care Support, Infection Prevention Control, naming just a few. “We’re going to look at education in a completely different light.. We are tackling education, our way,” Linda said.

Visit the St Munchins’ Community Centre website here

Check out the St Munchin’s Community Centre Facebook page here and Twitter here

Read more about St Munchin’s here

Basketball Blitz event in aid of Honouring Aaron

Pictured: Jerry O’Dea, Metropolitan Mayor of Limerick, Cecelia O’Flaherty, Founder of Honouring Aaron and Richard Lynch. Picture: Michelle Hogan/ILoveLimerick.

An U10’s Basketball Blitz event in aid of Honouring Aaron, a Limerick fundraising initiative, will be held on Sunday December 6 at Presentation Primary School gym on Sexton Street.

Honouring Aaron, previously titled ‘Remembering Aaron’, is an organisation which raises funds for a number of children’s charities in the Limerick area.

The event will see a number of U10’s Limerick basketball teams take part, followed by a cake sale. There will be a cover charge on the door and a charge for entering the basketball blitz.

Honouring Aaron, set up in memory of nine-year-old Aaron who died tragically in 2014, has raised up to €15,000 in total since its establishment.

Cheques will be presented on the day to charities who have been the beneficiaries of the initiative, with Jerry O’Dea, Metropolitan Mayor of Limerick, in attendance.

This will be the second year running of the Basketball Blitz in memory of Aaron, with a fun-filled event having taken place in 2014.

Basketball meant a great deal to Aaron as a member of the Limerick Laker’s, whose jersey was retired last year in a mark of respect and remembrance at the blitz event in 2014.

Temple Street will remain as an annual beneficiary of Honouring Aaron, with two Limerick charities, The Blue Box and Sophie’s Journey Foundation, both benefiting from the fundraising initiatives of Honouring Aaron in the future.

Cecelia O’Flaherty, Aaron’s mother, spoke about Honouring Aaron and why Temple Street Children’s Hospital was her chosen target for the donation.

“After Aaron left Galway University Hospital he was brought to Temple Street Children’s Hospital. They were so good to him there.

“They were all touched by Aaron in the time that he was there, they would bring him presents all the time,” Cecelia said.

Since its establishment, Honouring Aaron has raised money for a number of local charities, such as; Claughan GAA Club, Limerick Laker’s Basketball Club, Cliona’s Foundation and the Bumbleance.

Cecelia, a Civil Defence officer, acknowledges the support offered by the people of Limerick, showing her gratitude for every effort made, saying that all the support she has seen has been “overwhelming.”

The 2014 UL Sport Kids Run took place in Aaron’s memory last year, the day before the Barrington’s Hospital Great Limerick Run.

Funds raised from the Great Limerick Run go to Galway University Hospital, where he was airlifted to after his accident, and to Temple Street Hospital in Dublin, where he spent his final days.

Donate to “Aaron O’Flaherty Memorial Fund” at EBS bank in the Parkway Shopping Centre. BIC No: EBSIIE2DSDD IBAN No: IE04EBSI93902145610398

Follow the Honouring Aaron Facebook page here

Follow the Honouring Aaron Twitter here

Read more about Limerick charity here

Rugby legend Paul O Connell awarded UL doctorate honour

Dr Paul O Connell with Richard Lynch from I Love Limerick. Photo by Jonathan Baynes for

Limerick rugby legend Paul O Connell was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science at a ceremony in front of 1,000 invited guests on Thursday November 5, 2015.

The former Ireland captain, who bowed out of international rugby after picking up a hamstring injury at the World Cup last month, is the 100th person to receive an honorary doctorate at the University of Limerick.

Irish head coach Joe Schmidt, Munster players past and present, his family and friends, including wife Emily, son Paddy and daughter Lola were at this special event celebrating.

“I am delighted, I am a bit overwhelmed by it. I had a look through the list of previous conferees – it is great company that I will be keeping. I had a lovely phone call from Declan Kidney this morning – I was at his conferring previously,” said Paul.

O’Connell, who won 108 Irish caps over a glorious Irish career, said that the University, where he completed three of four years of a computer engineering degree before professional rugby came calling in 2001, had played a “big part” in his life.

“When you grow up in Limerick, the University ends up being a big part of your life, even if you don’t go here as a student,” he said.

“To get appreciated by your home university is something that is very special. I have played in teams all my life, great Munster and Irish teams and to be getting individual honours sometimes when you play a team sport is a bit strange and it can be a bit embarrassing because you are never in that situation, it is never about the individual when you are part of a team.

For 15 years the Munster icon has trained almost daily on campus in UL, and has a long association with the campus that dates back his days as a swimmer in the original PESS swimming pool as a four or five year old, he explained.

Asked about a break with that routine now with his move to Toulon in the offing – albeit with months of rehab for his injury ahead of him – he said simply: “It is part of life, part of the circle of life.

“I think the Toulon move is something I gave a lot of thought to and I swayed back and forth as to whether it was the right thing or the wrong thing to do. But I think for whatever I want to do for the rest of my life, I think I will be all the better for having this experience and it is something I am really looking forward to,” he said.

“Limerick will always be my home and it will always be somewhere I would like to come back to.”

O’Connell explained why he wouldn’t rule out a return to education in the future: “I have had good excuses with having two kids and having a senior role in the Irish team and Munster team as well. I have toyed with it, I have come in and spoken to the University plenty of times about the possibility of coming back and doing various things and I cooled on the idea as well. But I probably have 18 months left playing rugby and I will be taking a little bit of time out after that and who knows, I could end up back here as a student as well,” he admitted.

UL President Professor Don Barry paid tribute to the rugby legend, who has been a director of the UL Foundation since 2011, saying that the occasion was an “opportunity to honour those who have inspired, who have led with courage and passion and who have made great contributions in their fields of endeavour.

“Much thought, consideration and deliberation goes into deciding who is worthy – except when it is a real-life super hero, and particularly when his name is Paul O’Connell.

“Today I am very proud that UL bestowed upon Paul our highest honour. He was already an important member of the UL family, but today he accepted a place in the history of this institution,” he added.

Read Richard’s tribute to Paul O Connell here.

Read more about Paul O Connell here.

Read more about UL here.

Watch our exclusive interview with rugby legend Paul O Connell 

Castleconnell winner of the Limerick Going for Gold competition 2015

Limerick Going for Gold 2015, which for the first time included the communities across Limerick City and County, featured a prize pool of over €76,000, courtesy of the JP McManus Charitable Foundation.
the JP McManus Charitable Foundation.

Castleconnell were named as the overall winner in the Challenge category at Limerick Going for Gold Competition 2015, receiving a €10,000 prize.

I had the honour of taking on the role of Master of Ceremonies for the event, which raised awareness of environmental issues, got people involved in their own areas and made a physical difference in communities.

JP McManus presented Castleconnell at the Limerick Going for Gold Competition 2015 with their cheque and trophy, thanking them for their role in their community.“There’s a great passion here, of people and a love for the county. Everybody embraces everybody.“I feel very privileged and honoured to be here and everybody’s a winner here. I can see Limerick getting cleaner and brighter, I am very happy to be from here,” McManus said.

Over €76,000 was awarded to Limerick communities who raised awareness of environmental issues, got people involved in their own areas and made a physical difference in communities. Through four categories – Challenge, Limerick in Bloom, Best Front Garden and Tidy Towns Incentive categories – Limerick communities were awarded with monetary prizes and were commended on their “fantastic” work.

Awards were also presented on the night in Endeavour and Residential Areas categories. Limerick Mayor Liam Galvin was in attendance on the night, acknowledging the role of communities and sponsors in the Going for Gold initiative.

The Challenge Category winners at the Limerick Going for Gold Competition 2015, whose finalists were chosen by public vote following radio and newspaper coverage, included Kilteely, Broadford, Anglesboro, Rathkeale, Hospital and O’Malley Keyes, each receiving an award of €1,000. Croom and Caherdavin came in joint fifth place in the Challenge category, each receiving an award of €2,000.Kilfinane, reaching fourth place, were presented with a cheque for €3,000 by Gerry Boland. South Limerick City received an award of €5,000, coming in third place in the Challenge category.

Check out the Limerick Going for Gold Facebook page here

Read more about the Going for Gold competition here

Butterfly Ball 2015

The Mid-Western Cancer Foundation’s annual Butterfly Ball is considered one of the high profile events of the Mid West area social calendar.  This year has been difficult from a financial point of view for everybody personally and professionally. This continues to be true for the HSE where funding and resources remain restricted. Indeed the Director General of the HSE has accepted the adverse impact on patient care.

The aim in the Mid-Western Cancer Foundation is to complement and cooperate with the HSE to assist the regional Cancer Services in areas such as purchasing of equipment, funding research, and continuing education that is necessary to support our designated national Cancer Centre. The Foundation also helps to create awareness of cancer in the Mid-West region and to the run the Support Centre.

The Foundation continues to receive considerable donations from those individuals who have been treated in our Centre and also their families and friends who have been affected by their experience.  The presence of the Mid-Western Cancer Centre has enabled the majority of patients to be treated locally thus remaining at home with support from family, friends and health professionals within the region.  

The last 12 months of fundraising has been difficult as experienced by all charities. Nevertheless, significant funds have been used to maintain and improve the quality of care to patients at the Cancer Centre by providing, for example;

  • Recliner Chairs in Day Ward- €20,500•Software for Prostate Imaging – €20,000
  • Paxman Cooler – Hair Loss prevention €12,500
  • Chairs polished and upholstered – Oncology Reception and clinic €3,600
  • Armchairs in Ward 4B – €7,666
  • Funding for additional medical staff – €17,811

In total, over €80,000 has been raised.

Funding is also used on an ongoing basis to support the Cancer Information and Support Centre. Here, the foundation aims to complement the medical treatment by the provision of psychological and counselling support with access to services such as complimentary therapies and support groups. This is in conjunction with the Irish Cancer Society. We hope to be just as successful for the next year so that we can maintain all the services currently provided.

The number of people who are being diagnosed in this region is increasing and will continue to increase.  In the current environment we need your support more than ever to help us ensure the continuing management of our patients with cancer.

Details about this year’s Butterfly Ball 2015:

This years Butterfly Ball 2015, was held on Saturday 3rd of October in the  Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Ennis Road, Limerick.

Tickets were €90 per person which included:

A champagne reception with the Dolmen String quartet.

  • A 4 course meal, 
  • Complimentary professional photography from Michael Martin photography
  • Gift bags from  Lorraine O’Connell at No15 Le Maison De Curio
  • Special entertainment – Las Vegas Casino with HIYA Events featuring Elvis Presley and DJ James Sexton, 
  • Raffle on the night with great spot prizes. 

Tickets were available from the Mid-Western Cancer Foundation office at the Cancer Information & Support Centre  or  online.

Thanks go to Brian Harrington, from the Radisson Blu Hotel, for sponsoring the Butterfly Ball 2015 press launch, and the staff and the George Boutique Hotel for hosting the event.

Visit the Mid-West Cancer Foundation website, to buy tickets here

Read more about the Butterfly Ball here

Read more about Limerick charities here


Sports stars join ranks of Clionas Foundation Purple Platoon

Pictured is Niamh Kavanagh, Joy Neville, Paul Browne and Brendan Ring. Picture: Oisin McHugh

Sports Stars Niamh Kavanagh, Paul Browne and Joy Neville have joined the ranks of Clionas Foundation Purple Platoon to take part in Adare to Survive in Limerick on Sunday the 27th of September. They are also calling on others to take up the challenge and complete the course to raise funds and awareness for Cliona’s Foundation.

If you’re up for the challenge then complete the 7.5km military style obstacle course with the Purple Platoon team. By joining the Clionas Foundation Purple Platoon, €5 of your registration fee will go directly to Cliona’s Foundation. You will be sent a combat pack that includes one of our purple running t-shirts, wear this to distinguish our division. Invite friends, family and colleagues to join you on this mission, and help make this our largest ever squad.

Register now and battle it out as a team, to join the Purple Platoon sign up online through the Adare to Survive website below or click on the Cliona’s Foundation Button on the homepage and follow the directions.

Cliona’s Foundation provides financial assistance to critically ill children all over Ireland. Founded in 2007 by Brendan and Terry Ring, in memory of their daughter Cliona who died of an inoperable brain tumour, Cliona’s Foundation has raised in excess of €870,000 already helping more than 230 families across Ireland.  Cliona’s Foundation receives no financial state support and relies on the generosity of the public for support and to ensure its continuity

For further information or to join the purple platoon contact Rachel on 061-331333 or email [email protected]

To learn more about Cliona’s Foundation, donate or apply for financial assistance please click here

Follow Clionas Foundation on facebook here

Read more about Cliona’s Foundation here

To register click for Adare to Survive, click here

For more information check out the Adare to Survive Facebook page here and Twitter here

28/08/2015 REPRO FREE The founder of the ILoveLimerick website, Richard Lynch will once again take up the role of master of ceremonies at the Limerick Going for Gold Grand Final in September. Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Councillor Liam Galvin joined media sponsor Live 95FM's Geraldine O'Regan and Mr. Lynch at People's Park this week for the announcement. Run by Limerick City and County Council in association with the JP McManus Charitable Foundation, Limerick Going for Gold encourages businesses, community groups and individuals to improve their areas, reduce the impact of litter across the City and County and generally make Limerick a cleaner brighter place to work live and visit. Judging of all Limerick Going for Gold Category entrants is ongoing. The initiative is supported by Live 95FM, Limerick Leader, Limerick Chronicle, Limerick Post, I Love Limerick, Parkway Shopping Centre and Southern Media Marketing. Picture: Alan Place/Fusionshooters.

Going For Gold Community Category finalists have been named in the Challenge Category of Limerick Going for Gold 2015 following a public vote.

The communities of Anglesboro, Broadford, Castleconnell, Kilfinane, Kilteely and Rathkeale have been voted through to the final by public text vote on Live 95fm’s Limerick Today Show.

The six communities will challenge for the top prize of €10,000 in the Challenge Category of Limerick Going for Gold 2015.  A number of wildcard communities will be chosen by Limerick Going for Gold judges over the coming weeks.

Run by Limerick City and County Council in association with the JP McManus Charitable Foundation, Limerick Going for Gold encourages businesses, community groups and individuals to improve their areas, reduce the impact of litter across the City and County and generally make Limerick a cleaner brighter place to work live and visit.

Judging of the Limerick Going for Gold Challenge, Limerick in Bloom and Best front Garden Categories is ongoing. The Tidy Towns Incentive category will be based on the National Tidy Towns results.

Meanwhile, Richard Lynch has been confirmed as Limerick Going for Gold host for this year, once again taking up the role of Master Of Ceremonies at the Limerick Going for Gold Grand Final in October.

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Councillor Liam Galvin joined media sponsors and Mr. Lynch at People’s Park this week for the announcement.

Going for Gold Challenge Category

This category was open to all groups including those that have entered Tidy Towns

Limerick in Bloom Category:

This category, which is open to all groups, relates to appropriate planting and floral displays, use of colour, perennial planting and planting schemes that attract biodiversity.

Best Front Garden Competition: 

The Parkway Shopping Centre, Childers Road, sponsors this category. The garden must be visible from the public road.

Tidy Towns Incentive Category:  

This category is open to groups that have entered the National Tidy Towns Competition in 2015 and whose results are listed in the 2015 Tidy Towns Results Book.

Check out the Limerick Going for Gold Facebook page here

Read more about Limerick Going for Gold here


Richard Lynch pays tribute to rugby legend Paul O Connell

Picutred: Richard Lynch and Paul O’Connell

Richard Lynch pays tribute to Rugby Legend Paul O Connell on his retirement from International Rugby.The IRFU and Munster have confirmed that Paul O Connell will be released from his contract at Munster after this autumn’s Rugby World Cup.

In an interview with Richard Lynch who is the creator of, he describes how grateful he is to have worked with Paul O’Connell from the Special Olympics in 2010 right up to Team Limerick Clean-Up in April 2015.

Richard explained: “On behalf of myself and I Love Limerick I would like to pay tribute to the retiring Munster and International rugby legend who I have worked with on a number of occasions since the beginning of I Love Limerick.

Paul is a man who is truly proud of our beautiful city as he has said himself on numerous occasions and proved undoubtedly over the years through his involvement with positive campaigns and charity work.”

In April 2012 Paul was made a Freeman of Limerick which is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon an individual from Limerick City and County Council. On receiving the award Paul explained that this award was something he will treasure for the rest of his life; “it is truly an honour for me to receive this award from my native city.”

More recently, Paul has also put extraordinary time and effort into campaigning for Team Limerick Clean-Up which was an event sponsored by the JP McManus Benevolent Fund on Good Friday of this year.Paul has also expressed his love for his home city through many different projects he has campaigned for over the years. Richard added: “I have been lucky enough to work with Paul throughout projects such as the Special Olympics which took place in Limerick in 2010 and again in 2014. Paul actively campaigned for volunteers to get involved and part of the success of the event is certainly down to his involvement and the spirit he brought to the event, endearing more and more people to get involved.”

Richard said: “Paul launched the event back in September 2014 where I had the privilege of working with him again for such a fantastic and positive cause. This man couldn’t be prouder of Limerick and Limerick truly couldn’t be prouder of him, up to 10,000 people showed up on Good Friday to clean up their city and local areas which is no doubt down to the encouragement they received from one of the countries favourite sports stars. Speaking at the launch I remember talking to Paul for a documentary for I Love Limerick and he really cared not only about the clean-up  but also about the future of Limerick, he said: “we need to get as many people out onto the city as we can to clean it up and tidy it up for the series of events that happen every summer in the city. Teaching kids how to look after the city and the county and to be proud of it and setting those standards which hopefully they will carry throughout their lives”. Not only has Paul O’Connell been an ambassador for multiple charities throughout Limerick over the years, but his sporting achievements are simply second to none making him someone we hold in very high prestige here at I Love Limerick and of course throughout the entire county and country.”

He made his Ireland debut against Wales in February 2002 and has won 101 caps for his country. With Ireland, Paul has won a Grand Slam (2009), led his country to two RBS 6 Nations championship titles (2014, 2015) and claimed four Triple Crowns (2004, 2006, 2007, 2009).Paul made his senior Munster debut in August 2001 and has represented the province on 178 occasions. With Munster, Paul has won two European Cups (2006, 2008), three League titles (2003, 2009, 2011) and a Celtic Cup in 2005.

In 2009, Paul led the British and Irish Lions Tour of South Africa.  A three time Lions Tourist (2005, 2009, 2013) Paul played in a total of 7 Lions Tests and was a member of the Series winning side in Australia in 2013.

Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Kevin Sheahan, has also paid tribute to Paul: “He has served his City, Province and Country in outstanding fashion throughout his rugby career. He is a man who loves Limerick, its people and the proud title that Limerick holds as sporting capital of Ireland and in turn, the people of Limerick idolise him. I would like to especially thank him for all the wonderful sporting memories he has helped create over the years with Munster Rugby, particularly so many unforgettable days in Thomond Park Stadium and two very special European finals in Cardiff”.

Richard finished by paying his respects to the work Paul has done and will hopefully continue to do: “Paul’s outstanding achievements have made him one of the most well respected and adored sports stars in the country and certainly here in Limerick. I would like to express how proud I am and everyone at I Love Limerick is of how he has served his city in extraordinary ways since the beginning of his rugby career. We would like to wish Paul and his family all the very best with their future endeavours, we hope he will continue to inspire the people of Limerick and Ireland like he has done for so many years now and we look forward to working with him on upcoming projects in the future. On my own behalf, thank you Paul and I wish you all best in the World Cup this autumn and beyond.”


Read more about Paul O’Connell’s charity work here.

Check out Paul O’Connell’s Facebook here.

Follow Paul O’Connell on Twitter here.