March 28: Katie, 18, makes a real difference

How many people can say that they have made a real difference to life in their community? This week, at what is sure to be a memorable occasion in the Clarion Hotel, we celebrate the contributions of the 12 monthly recipients of the Limerick Person of the Month Award. Already, though, the judges are considering who to honour in 2015 and one person who made a persuasive case for inclusion this week was 18-year-old Katie Whelan, from the Dublin Road.

How many people can say that they have made a real difference to life in their community? This week, at what is sure to be a memorable occasion in the Clarion Hotel, we celebrate the contributions of the 12 monthly recipients of the Limerick Person of the Month Award. Already, though, the judges are considering who to honour in 2015 and one person who made a persuasive case for inclusion this week was 18-year-old Katie Whelan, from the Dublin Road.

After tragically losing her much loved cousin Lisa to suicide, she set about trying to honour her memory, in the fervent hope that she might also do something to prevent others following the same, awful course. The result, unveiled on Thomond Bridge, is Lisa’s Lights – attractive LED signs sending a message to vulnerable people who may be standing over the Shannon waters contemplating ending their lives. With simple but striking messages such as ‘Tomorrow is a new day’, Katie hopes to get through to those who have lost their way in life, at a time when they are at their most fragile.

What a wonderful thing for a teenager – or indeed for anyone – to conceive and then execute. We congratulate Katie. Truly, she is a Limerick person making a difference.