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Inspiring young mother, Emma Cullinane overcomes challenges to publish her debut book

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Emma Cullinane, a 26-year-old from Abbeyfeale, County Limerick is showing how hard work can help a young mother juggle being a student, a writer, and a parent.

Emma Cullinane, an inspiring young mother from Abbeyfeale, County Limerick has overcome challenges to pursue her dream and publish her debut book

Emma Cullinane, an inspiring young mother from Abbeyfeale, County Limerick has overcome challenges to pursue her dream and publish her debut book
Emma Cullinane said she “wrote this mindfulness activity book for children in order to develop resilience, empathy and self-awareness”

Emma Cullinane, a 26-year-old from Abbeyfeale, County Limerick is showing how hard work can help a young mother juggle being a student, a writer, and a parent.

Emma’s inspiring journey began when she discovered her pregnancy at the age of 20, while studying abroad during an Erasmus program in Amsterdam. Undeterred by the challenges ahead, she committed to completing her education, despite facing financial hardships due to the lack of a SUSI grant and social welfare.

With unwavering determination, Emma not only completed her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology at the University of Limerick but also pursued and successfully obtained her Master’s Degree in Criminology at University College Cork, defying the odds. Now, with two degrees under her belt and two young sons, Callum, aged five, and Theo, aged two, Emma is set to release her first book, titled “My Super Power Is,” which delves into themes such as mindfulness for children.


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Emma’s story is one of triumph over adversity, emphasising the importance of perseverance and resilience in the face of challenges. Despite facing numerous roadblocks, including financial constraints and limited government support, Emma believes that young parents should not have to sacrifice their dreams due to parenthood.

Emma hopes to see more government action to remove roadblocks that currently restrict young parents from education. This includes hurdles in receiving the SUSI grant, such as her parents’ circumstances being taken into account, despite the fact she was living separately and had a child of her own, the high cost and low availability of childcare, and the cost of living.

She also hopes that her book will help highlight children’s mental health and the lack of services in the country. 

Commenting on the issue, Emma said, “Children’s mental health is one of the most important issues in today’s society. As of February of this year, there were 4,434 children who were awaiting access to mental health services in Ireland. I wrote this mindfulness activity book for children in order to develop resilience, empathy and self-awareness.”

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.