Luke Culhane with his award for Person of the Year Picture: Sean Curtin
THE Limerick Person of the Year awards took place last week – with teen Luke Culhane the big winner on the day for his powerful message against cyber-bullying.
The 14 year old budding filmmaker and blogger was motivated to make the video ‘Create No Hate’ after being a victim of cyberbullying himself and, with over 500,000 views, its success was such that the story was picked up by Sky News, BBC, MTV, Fox, RTE and UTV, among others.
Anthony Foley was also awarded a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award, accepted at the high profile event in the Clayton Hotel by his wife, Olive.
She said: “We know that everyone here misses him and it goes without saying that we do. But we really appreciate the fact that he is thought of and remembered so fondly, including with this Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Rugby legend Tony Ward praised Olive for her "faith, the integrity, the sincerity, the courage - everything that Anthony showed as a player on the field, she demonstrated that day in that church. I certainly couldn’t have done that. It will stay with me forever."
The awards, which are proudly sponsored by the Limerick Leader, Southern and the Clayton, were compered by RTE’s Petula Martyn and Lorcan Murray.
Each year the Limerick Person of the Year Awards honour the achievements of local people. This was the 16th year for them to take place.
Speaking at the event, Limerick Leader managing editor Eugene Phelan said both recipients were “utterly inspirational in very different ways”.
Past winners of the title include philanthropist JP McManus, world champion boxer Andy Lee, rugby stars Paul O'Connell and Tony Ward, author Donal Ryan, transatlantic rower Paul Gleeson and Thomond Park developer Pat Whelan.
This year's Limerick Person of the Year judging panel consisted of Eugene Phelan, Conn Murray, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council and Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick.