Limerickwoman turns her home into cat haven

A WOMAN who turned her own home into a sanctuary for wild and abandoned cats is one of four Limerick people shortlisted for a national volunteer award.

A WOMAN who turned her own home into a sanctuary for wild and abandoned cats is one of four Limerick people shortlisted for a national volunteer award.

Jacqueline O’Driscoll co-founded Limerick Feral Cats a decade ago, and spends her days off raising money to keep the charitable organisation going. When fundraising falls short, Jackie subsidises it with her own money.

“I am in awe of the love that Jacqueline has for animals that need help. I am in awe of her commitment to these animals to sacrifice so much for them. That she allows her home to be a sanctuary for abandoned and helpless animals, that she spends so much time helping these animals and also fund raising for them. She is a true volunteer,” said her friend James Cottam who nominated her.

Sr. Helen Culhane and Sinead Carey, also based in Limerick city, and Seamus Stack in Dromcollogher, county Limerick, are among the 31 volunteers shortlisted for the annual awards which celebrate and recognise volunteers across Ireland.

Sr. Helen Culhane supports children aged four to 18 who have gone through a tragic time such as death, divorce or separation.

Sinead Carey, who appeared earlier this year in The Secret Millionaire programme on RTE, has been shortlisted in the social work category. She has been coordinating the Novas Initiatives Street-Outreach since late 2009 which includes a soup run for homeless people. Seamus Stack has been shortlisted in the community category for his work to support elder people, particularly in spearheading a 20 bed respite care ventre for the elderly.

An overall winner and category winners in the Panadol supported initiative will be announced on Wednesday, December 5 at an event in Dublin hosted by RTE Presenter Claire Byrne.

Limerick volunteer centre support worker Paul Moriarty congratulated all four people on making the shortlist and said this year Volunteer Ireland had received the largest number of nominations ever. In the last two and a half years volunteer centres have registered 34,107 volunteers, 4,173 volunteer-involving organisations and 15,343 vacancies. These volunteers have contributed over one million hours of their time, a value to the economy of €22.7m.