The All-Ireland Limerick Senior Hurling Champions were the winners of Limerick Person of the Year 2018. John Kiely, Limerick hurling manager, Richard Lynch, founder and editor of ilovelimerick.com and Paul Browne, Senior Hurler, pictured at the award ceremony for Limerick Person of the Year 2018.
PHOTOS – Limerick’s All-Ireland Hurling Champions named Limerick Person of the Year 2018
The All-Ireland Limerick Senior Hurling champions have been named Limerick Person of the Year 2018.
The team which brought the Liam MacCarthy Cup back to the Treaty City and County for the first time in 45 years last year have been honoured at this year’s awards.
Limerick was brought to a standstill last August when the hurlers competed in the All-Ireland Final in Croke Park. The city and county erupted in joy and celebration when the final whistle blew after an agonising final few minutes in the match against Galway.
Nearly 100,000 greeted the victorious team at their homecoming, while thousands more people continue to celebrate as the players accompany the Liam MacCarthy Cup as it travels to all corners of the county.
Accepting the award on behalf of the hurling panel, manager John Kiely paid tribute to all the monthly winners: “Having listened to the stories of all the other award recipients, we’re humbled to even considered on the same page as these people. Their stories are just incredible, they’re powerful, they are inspiring, they are just ladened with courage and determination and they epitomise the people of Limerick in a very very unique way.”
“At the same time, I hope that our journey made their road and other people’s road a little bit easier this last year. To have been where we were last August and ended that phase of our history, I think, it’s a wonderful thing for us all and it opens up the door to an even brighter future.”
“On behalf of the team and the management I would like to thank you all for your support over the last number of years, it’s been incredible and inspiring for lots of young kids running around with hurleys in their hands.”
At the gala event in the Clayton Hotel in Limerick today (Thursday 21 February 2019) Cervical Cancer campaigner Vicky Phelan was also honoured with a Special Achievement Award.
Vicky, who unfortunately wasn’t able to make the Limerick Person of the Year 2018 ceremony was honoured for her work in uncovering the Cervical Check scandal and her tireless support of other women who have been affected and are fighting for justice.
Details of a new Limerick Hall of Fame were announced at the gala ceremony, with the late Cranberries lead singer Dolores O’Riordan being the first inductee.
Dolores’s mother Eileen was presented with a special framed front page of the Limerick Leader to mark the announcement.
PJ O’Riordan, Dolores’s brother said this award was something very special. “It’s a huge honour to be here for her induction into the Limerick Hall of Fame. Dolores was a very proud Limerick woman right to the end. Anyone who might have doubted that at any time need only to listen to any of her songs, you’ll hear that fine County Limerick accent, something her fans and music critics remarked upon.”
“It’s a pity she wasn’t here last year to witness the Limerick Hurlers All-Ireland win. She was a huge hurling fan all her life, not many people realise that. She is with us in spirit and I’m sure she would be delighted with this induction and she’d be very proud with this.
Now in its 18th year and sponsored by The Limerick Leader, Southern Marketing Design & Media and the Clayton Hotel and supported by Limerick City and County Council, the Limerick Person of the Year Award was set up to honour the achievements and success of local people.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr James Collins said: “Congratulations to the Limerick Senior Hurlers and Vicky Phelan on receiving their awards today. In their own way, they have helped to make Limerick a better place. The hurlers contributed to a summer to remember for all Limerick people. The way they conducted themselves on and off the pitch is a credit to all and the confidence they have shown mirrors the new-found confidence and renaissance of Limerick hurling.
Vicky Phelan’s bravery has been incredible. From the first moment she spoke out about the Cervical Check issues to her support of other women, she has been an inspiration to all.”
“I would also like to congratulate all the other monthly recipients for their hard work and dedication in promoting Limerick. You are doing extraordinary things and are making Limerick a much better place for everyone.”
Eugene Phelan, Editor of the Limerick Leader said: “The 12 nominees have, in various different ways, made a vast contribution to Limerick and its people in the past year, from the joy of the Limerick hurlers and Ladies Football team to the bravery of women like Vicky Phelan and Leona O’Callaghan.
Pat Reddan, General Manager, Clayton Limerick Hotel said: “Clayton Hotel Limerick is honoured to be a sponsor of The Limerick Person of the Year Awards. It gives us the occasion to recognise extraordinary achievements by amazing, selfless individuals, living in the Limerick area, that seize the opportunity to make our county and country a better place.”
Congratulating all nominees, Dave O’Hora, Managing Director of Creative and Media Agency Southern said: “As a company, we work with branding and creativity every day and these individuals and groups do incredibly creative things to add to the depth and meaning of brand Limerick, and we salute them for that.”
Past winners of the title include philanthropist JP McManus, world champion boxer Andy Lee, rugby stars Paul O’Connell and Tony Ward, and anti-bullying campaigner Luke Culhane.
The judging panel for Limerick Person of the Year 2018 consisted of Cllr. James Collins, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Eugene Phelan, Editor of the Limerick Leader and Conn Murray, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council.
For more information on the Limerick Senior Hurling team, click here
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Pictures: Conor Owens/ilovelimerick