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Celebration beats Commemoration: Cllr Michael Sheahen holds Mayoral Reception for living Limerick legends

Mayoral Reception October 2019 at the Council Chamber to Limerick Literary Icons: Mae Leonard, Maureen Sparling, Michael Sheahan, Mayor of Limerick, and Malachy McCourt. Picture: Bruna Vaz Mattos/ ilovelimerick

Celebration beats Commemoration: Cllr Michael Sheahen holds Mayoral Reception for living Limerick legends 

Cllr. Michael Sheahan, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick held a Mayoral Reception, Wednesday, October 16 with Limerick literary legends, Malachy McCourt, Maureen Sparling and Mae Leonard to celebrate their livelihoods and works. 

All present commended Cllr. Michael Sheahen for his decision to celebrate those whilst they are living rather than commemorate them when they have passed.  




Mae Leonard, best known for her longstanding contributions to Sunday Miscellany’s began with the phrase, “They say the profit is never appreciated in his own parish”- a nod to The Mayor’s kind gesture in acknowledging them. 

In return, Mae who is also a poet and folklorist, provided us with an evening of laughter and nostalgia as she so charmingly told stories of growing up in Limerick.


Malachy McCourt kept spirits up as he told his perspective of old Limerick through a stream of witty comments and reflections of his brother, Frank McCourt; author of ‘Angela’s Ashes’. 

Malachy touched on the success that came from his brother’s works despite people’s expectations of him and encourages us to never step on the dreams of others. 

“We must never thread on the dreams of our children”. 

Through her work, Maureen Sparling has kept the literary tradition of the ‘Parish’ alive, and we could see that again this evening in her reciting of a poem from her first book ‘Remembering Old Limerick’. 

Maureen is a novelist, short story writer, and poet and is set to launch her 13th book next year. 

The event ended with a song from the local Men’s Shed group.

To finish, in the words of Malachy McCourt, “Be hopeful, be generous, be literate and have the craic”. 

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Picture: Bruna Vaz Mattos/ ilovelimerick 

Mayoral Reception October 2019

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.