Richard Lynch pictured with Helen O’Donnell, Ann Boland, Mayor Michael Sheahan and Pat Lysaght at the Mayoral Reception. Picture: Bruna Vaz Mattos/ilovelimerick
Mayoral Reception honours Ann Boland, Pat Lysaght and Helen O’Donnell
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Sophia DiBattista
On Friday, January 24, 2020, Mayor Michael Sheahan commemorated Ann Boland, Pat Lysaght and Helen O’Donnell for their influence on Limerick.
The reception took place at the council chambers in Limerick City.
Each honouree dedicated themselves to different causes within the city, ensuring a bright future for all its citizens. Members of both family and community celebrated the recipients’ achievements.
John Costelloe of the Limerick City and County Council acted as the master of ceremonies and introduced each person.
Ann Boland was honoured first. After overcoming the death of her son fourteen years ago, she dedicated her time to fundraising, charity and providing defibrillators across Limerick.
Her niece, Nicole McMahon, spoke openly about her aunt. She said, “Ann decided then that rather than, I suppose, just give up, she just took the decision that she was going to put every effort that she had into raising as much money as she could to get as many defibrillators in and around Limerick.”
Costelloe introduced Lysaght by saying, “Pat Lysaght’s legacy will live on forever with a link to our rivers and waterways.” His love for Limerick’s green environment contributed to his efforts in the conservation of land and water systems. From this devotion, Lysaght helped win the 2020 European Green Leaf Award for the city.
Before accepting Mayor Sheahan’s honour, Lysaght read aloud an original poem called “The Shannon’s Way,” detailing the river’s picturesque beauty.
Lastly, Helen O’Donnell’s son Thomas praised her work as chairperson of Limerick Tidy Towns, a member of Limerick’s Chamber of Commerce and in keeping Limerick clean, safe and bustling with jobs.
He discussed the acclaims O’Donnell’s volunteers received during the Tidy Town’s competition. He said, “Helen is happiest when working with volunteers. She is a doer and enjoys nothing more than a new challenge.”
“Currently, Helen is a chair member of the Board of Management in Crescent College Comprehensive, chair of Ireland’s Northstar Safe Food Advisory Board, member of the JP McManus Benevolent Fund committee and An t-Údarás Rialaithe, the governing body of Mary Immaculate College,” O’Donnell added.
Helen O’Donnell was also a founding member of Team Limerick Cleanup and has devoted numerous efforts in Limerick’s women’s refuge movement. She was named Limerick Person of the Year in 2012.
Mayor Sheahan concluded the night’s event by strengthening the people’s pride in Limerick. He said, “Be proud of your city. Be proud of your county. Don’t let people from outside, who don’t know us, put Limerick down. We have a great future here in our city, and it’s optimised here by these wonderful Limerick people.”
For more information on Limerick’s City and County Council, click here.
For more stories on Mayoral Receptions, click here.
Pictures: Sophia DiBattista/ilovelimerick