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WATCH Limerick nurse Hazel Hartigan takes on Operation Transformation 



Hazel Hartigan pictured above aims to be ‘Fabulous at 48’ following her Operation Transformation role


WATCH Limerick nurse Hazel Hartigan takes on Operation Transformation 

By I Love Limerick correspondent Mary Caroline McCarthy

Hazel Hartigan

The OT team will be back on RTE this week

A Limerick-based nurse has been confirmed as one of the leaders in the upcoming series of Operation Transformation which returns to RTÉ One this week.

Pallaskenry local, Hazel Hartigan, 47, who is originally from Wexford is one of the five new leaders who will feature in the new series which will be presented by Kathryn Thomas.

Hazel Hartigan works as a full-time staff nurse in St John’s Hospital in the city and she is determined to be fabulous at 48 and 2021 is her year to do it.

The last twelve months have been an eventful time for Hazel to say the least, with the full-time nurse contracting COVID-19 in April 2020. She had to self-isolate at her Pallaskenry home until her symptoms had cleared, making sure her family didn’t catch it.

Hazel married her husband Richard in 1999 after six years of dating and welcomed her first child, Tommy, in 2000, and then welcomed twin girls- Chloe and Niamh. Sadly, Niamh was stillborn and Chloe was later diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, global development delay, and chronic lung disease.

Hazel soon became Chloe’s full-time carer. All of this, with her other child aged just 18 months. In 2006, Richard and Hazels fourth child, Grace was born but the joy was bittersweet as just over a year later Chloe- then just five years old- passed away.

Hazel always dreamed of becoming a nurse, having worked as a cleaner and catering attendant in University of Limerick Hospital from 1996 to 2018.

In 2015, seven years after Chloe passed away and after years of telling Richard she wanted to do nursing, she finally took the big step at 42 to return to education and started her nursing studies.

She qualified in January 2019 and she is a staff nurse in St John’s Hospital. Hazel’s weight has been up and down, having been part of slimming clubs before- which were successful but as soon as she takes her foot off the pedal her weight creeps back up again.

Hazel is excited to be joining the show and to be going through the transformation. The producers are encouraging members of the public to get up, get active, and get healthy after the hard year we have all had.

When speaking on her interview with Operation Transformation host Kathryn Thomas, Hazel said, “I remember saying to you Kathryn when we first met that I want to be fab at 50 – and you said sure why not be fab at 48. I am so happy to get that chance.”

We at I Love Limerick wish her well on her Operation Transformation!!


For more about Hazel on Operation Transformation, go HERE 

For more stories on Operation Transformation, go HERE

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 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.