PREPARATIONS are underway in Martinstown this week to mark the 60th birthday of one of Limerickâ€™s most popular figures, JP McManus.
A party, described by a source as â€œa family affairâ€ is planned for the Limerick man at his home outside Kilmallock next Thursday evening, March 10 - the day of his birthday.
Mr McManusâ€™ wife Noreen, children John, Sue Ann and Kieran, along with their spouses and extended family, will all join the proud family man in celebrating his big day at home, where itâ€™s expected there will be lots of reminiscing on his past and toasting to his future.
Renowned for throwing lavish parties, the McManus family have opted for a low-key approach to mark the milestone birthday. â€œThey are going to keep this one a quiet, family affair,â€ said a source.
The following day Mr McManus will make the trip to the village of Murroe where he will officially open the new playground at 5.30pm.
It has already been a very successful year for Mr McManus and Cheltenham hasnâ€™t even happened yet. Last month he was named the Limerick Person of the Year for his immense dedication and commitment to charities in the Mid-West region. His dedication to the Invitational golf Pro-Am which bears his name has meant that local charities have benefited to the tune of â‚¬95 million since 1990.
While he spends much of his time abroad, Mr McManus said that he â€œcherishes every minuteâ€ he spends at home in Limerick with his family and friends. â€œMy roots are planted firmly in this great county,â€ he said. â€œAs we get older you come to appreciate the simple things in life like being with your dogs, spending time with your grandchildren, calling in on neighbours for a cup of tea. And for Noreen and myself it is a delight that our children feel as strongly about our home place as we do and I look forward to spending many years of happiness in Limerick,â€ he continued.
One of the most well-known figures in Limerick, Mr McManus has made millions from gambling and in later years from numerous business operations including currency trading. He is the official sponsor of Limerick GAA and his generosity sees students from his old school - the CBS on Sexton Street - receive third level scholarships on an annual basis as part of the JP McManus Scholarship Awards.
In April 2009, it was revealed that Mr McManus had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. In May of that year he encouraged people to get themselves checked out and revealed that he had received the â€˜all clearâ€™. â€œI hope for a long life,â€ he said.