By Pat Brosnan

Over 230,000 in Limerick to see the Giant Granny

Thousands of people gathered along the routes and City streets to catch a glimpse of the 7.5 metre Giant last week with record crowds lining the streets and the quays of Limerick to Grandma Giant farewell on one of the hottest day of the summer. The attendance has broken all attendance figures in the city with over twice the amount of people attending the Giant’s journey as the Pope’s visit to Limerick in 1979. “The amount of people that attended our event has exceeded all expectations with an excess of 200,000 visitors over the weekend” said Mike Fitzpatrick, director of Limerick City of Culture. It was a massive boost for the economy. The granny has captured the hearts of not only those who visited the city, but overseas with photographs, videos and images being shared throughout the world putting Limerick firmly on the map. Grandma giant ventured across the whole city for the three days before lying down to red in her bed on O’Connell Street in Limerick’s city centre.

Red Cross Cadets – Cadet Search 2014

Calling all 13-15 year olds. Are you interested in learning an important life skill? If so the local West Limerick Red Cross are running cadet first aid classes near you. Enrolment for these cadet classes will take place in the Red Cross House, Portland Drive, Gortboy, Newcastle West on Friday night 19th September from 7-8pm and St. Ita’s Hall, Main Street, Abbeyfeale on Saturday morning 20th September from 10.30am to11.30am. If you are interested and have any enquiries please contact Nicola on 087-6235977.

Nominate your Volunteer of the Year

Volunteer Ireland has launched its sixth annual Volunteer Ireland Awards with a call for nominations for “Volunteer of the Year”. The Volunteer Ireland Awards are the national awards to celebrate volunteering in Ireland. The awards aim to celebrate and recognise the thousands of people across Ireland who give their time to benefit others. Speaking at the launch, Mr Paul Moriarty, Manager of Limerick Volunteer Centre said “volunteers are one of Ireland’s most precious resources.” This year alone over 8,000 volunteers have registered with local volunteer centres and through 1-VOL, the national database of volunteer opportunities. These volunteers have clocked up an incredible 300,000 hours of volunteering. For those who have found themselves unemployed or underemployed as a result of the recession, volunteering is a great way of sharing your expertise and developing new skills.

In the first year of the recession Volunteer Ireland and local Volunteer Centres saw a one hundred per cent increase in people registering to volunteer and levels have remained at similar levels ever since. We are calling on people now to take this opportunity to say thank you to their local volunteers and to nominate an outstanding volunteer they know from their local community. Volunteer Ireland also announced this week that the “Volunteer of the Year” award will, from this year onwards, be named in memory of the late Christine Buckley, co-founder of the Aislinn Clinic. Christine campaigned tirelessly on behalf of victims of institutional abuse for more than 25 years. Christine was Ireland’s volunteer of the year in 2009 and went on to be presented with the award for “European Volunteer of the Year” at the European Parliament in Strasburg the same year. Anyone can nominate a volunteer and the Volunteer Ireland Awards are open to volunteers of all ages working with Irish volunteer organisations. There are ten different categories including arts, culture and media, animals and environment, campaigning and awareness raising, children and young people, community, education and training, health and disability, international development, social work and sports and recreation. Nominations close on Friday, 24th October. “Volunteer of the Year” and the ten overall category winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony on Thursday 4th December in City Hall, Dublin.

Out of the Wind Charity Concert

A charity concert will take place in Hall Naofa Ide, Raheenagh, on Saturday night September 20th starting at 8pm. The concert will include top Irish traditional artists including Sean O’Sé, Alice Fitzgerald, Nora Butler, Alisha McMahon, Christine Mulcahy, Clare Heffernan, Gary Lynch, Rebecca McCarthy-Kent, Ned Kelly and the Mannion family from Dungarvan plus many more. All profits on the night will go towards the charity Out of the Wind to provide a home for a family in Lahore, Pakistan. Tickets available from Margaret Mulcahy on 087-77591155 or Bernard O’Sullivan on 086-3571398

Ladies Camogie Finals

Congratulations and best wishes to the Limerick Intermediate ladies camogie team who won the All Ireland Intermediate final on Sunday. Great credit must be given to them after losing out last year to Galway by one point. They showed great determination to come back again this year and win out the competition. Also well done to Joe Quaid (manager) and all his backroom team. Well done also to the Cork Senior camogie team who beat Kilkenny. They were 5 points down at half time but really lifted their game in the second half. Their captain Anna Geary is a daughter of Ellen Ann Danaher, formerly of Templeathea and niece of Teresa Culhane, Glin. Anna was the Cork Rose in this year’s Rose of Tralee Festival. A wonderful year for her and her family.