Turning over a new leaf for 2015

Milliner Aisling Maher hopes to give up crisps in 2015 [Picture: Michael Cowhey]
The excesses of Christmas are behind us – well, mostly – so it’s time to look ahead to those positive changes we intend to make in the new year. Áine Fitzgerald speaks to some well-known local faces about their New Year resolutions.

The excesses of Christmas are behind us – well, mostly – so it’s time to look ahead to those positive changes we intend to make in the new year. Áine Fitzgerald speaks to some well-known local faces about their New Year resolutions.

Aisling Maher


“We won quite a few awards last year so hopefully we will continue to win another few for the millinery and boutique side of the business. We are also looking forward to expanding the boutique in Adare in the next few months.

We are doing more fashion lines and expanding the Aisling Maher brand on the international stage. Personally, I’m hoping to visit the Philippines in the next year. I would also love to be more fit – I run a bit and do yoga so I will be focusing on doing more of those. I would always love to reduce my crisp intake - crisps are my downfall!”

Conor Murray

Munster & Ireland scrum-half

“I would simply love to win silverware with both Munster and Ireland in 2015. Obviously the World Cup is coming up too so to make the squad and for Ireland to do well in that would be a big aim. Food is a passion of mine so I am going to take up a cookery course to upskill in that area. In June, I would love to go on a nice sun holiday and I would also love to see either Ronaldo or Messi in the flesh this year!”

Michael Noonan

Minister for Finance

“My ambition politically is to ensure that the recovery in the economy continues – that’s its made stronger and puts down deeper roots and that it creates a lot of jobs so that some of our younger emigrants will be able to come back home because they will have jobs to go to. I would particularly like to apply that to Limerick. I think Limerick has had a good 12 months and I hope that now that the City of Culture is ending, that it continues to prosper with a strong tourist industry. Personally I would like to take a bit more exercise in 2015, I have found myself working very long hours and not getting much exercise in 2014. I like to swim and walk quite a bit so I hope to do more swimming.”

Helen O’Donnell

Proprietor of The Hunt Cafe

“My philosophy is that we survive in business and that we have a happy, healthy team on the work front and obviously a happy, healthy team on the home front. Health is at the top of my list. In the city we have had a tough year with the sad loss of Gretta (boutique owner Gretta Fitzgerald) and Nevil (retailer Nevil O’Sullivan). In terms of the bigger picture for Limerick, my wish would be that we could have a crane or two in the sky over the Opera Centre and over the Hanging Gardens. We have a lot of new businesses, particularly in terms of my own business – cafes and restaurants opening in the city in the recent past and we need more footfall to sustain that level of business. I hope for more optimism in terms of jobs because we need to increase the level of footfall in the city.”

Robbie McNamara


“I would like to ride a Grade One winner as a professional - I wouldn’t be fussy about what course I would do it at – any one will do! Outside of racing, I would like to get down close to scratch in golf. I would also like to give up the cigarettes.”

Celia Holman Lee

Model agent

“The past year has been very good both personally– we had the birth of our grandson Tommy Lee in June - and business-wise the highlight was starring in the Downton Abbey Oxendales ads. For 2015 I’m hoping that my luck stays intact and that things don’t go pear-shaped which, in the world we live, can happen very quickly. I’m not a great one for saying I’m going to do this or I’m going to do that. I just want everything to continue as it is – that the business keeps flourishing and that we all stay healthy and happy.”

Kevin Sheahan

Mayor of Limerick City and County

“I’m going to start the new year by making a special request of the people of Limerick to show a little more respect for our national flag. You see the national flag being used as a decoration or part of a bunting or on a flagpole day and night outside of a premises. I have formed a committee as Mayor of Limerick, an all-party committee, to prepare Limerick for its 1916 celebrations and I will of course be inviting submissions from members of the public.”

Grace Walsh

Miss Limerick

“I’m very bad at sticking to resolutions - I stick to them for about a week! I hope to get back into fitness and work off the Christmas dinner. I have let it slip a bit. I do step aerobics mostly and just go to the gym by myself. I would also love to go to Dubai next summer. I had planned on doing that in 2014 but I never got round to it. I would like to give up the greasy foods and take-aways, Chinese is my downfall.”

David Sheahan

Chief Superintendent

“I would love to see the city build on the back of the success of City of Culture and be free of the negative glare that has, more so in the past, been attached to what is a wonderful city. If we can keep the city moving from a cultural perspective, I think economically the city will follow.

Personally what I would love to do is sit down and read some of the many books I am after purchasing, both in the areas of business and sport.”

Michael Sheahan

Mayor of Limerick Metropolitan area

“I make promises to myself more than resolutions. On a public level I want to continue to give the service to the public that I have given in 2014 and on a personal level I want to get in more exercise. I want to get back cycling. I used to do a lot of cycling around Castleconnell and Annacotty but I let it go around the election. I have upgraded my bike so I want to get back cycling and I would encourage others to do more in terms of fitness also.”

Shane Dowling

All-Star Limerick hurler

“I know it’s getting almost boring to say it at this stage but it is what it is – we would love to bring the Liam MacCarthy back to Limerick. Along with that I’d love to win the county with the club as well. Personally, last year I made a resolution to start eating vegetables so I can put a tick beside that – I’m not eating them to the extent that I would hope to but I’ve started slowly and hope to keep it going.”

Willie O’Dea

Limerick TD

“Politically my ambition for 2015 would be to see a change of government. That will of course depend on a number of things, but we will work very hard to bring about a change of government in 2015. Personally, there are a couple of things I want to pursue in terms of reading and writing. Though we are very busy at constituency level, I want to take a bit more time to read. I like to read anything and everything ranging from true crime to historical biographies and general books on economics. I’m just reading Ivan Yates’ book here this minute – Full On. It’s excellent, outstanding – very well written!”