WATCH - 'A huge honour': Children's grief centre founder 'humbled' by Limerick Person of Year win

Alan Owens


Alan Owens

CHILDREN'S Grief Centre founder Sr Helen Culhane has said winning Limerick Person of the Year for 2017 is a "huge honour", one she is "very humbled" by.

The Croom native, founder of the Limerick support service which has helped over 1,000 children affected by loss through death, separation or divorce, was honoured at a gala function in the Clayton Hotel this Thursday attended by over 150 people.

Now in its 17th year and sponsored by The Limerick Leader, Southern Marketing Design & Media and the Clayton Hotel, the Limerick Person of the Year Award was set up to honour the achievements and success of local people.

Sr Culhane said: "I’m shocked to be quite honest and very humbled to receive this award. Thanks to everyone of you and to all those who organised the event today.

“The work that I’m involved with, we see it as very important work as we are supporting children who are impacted by loss due to bereavement, separation and divorce, and if by winning this award it draws attention to that [work] it will be a goal achieved.

"It's a huge honour, I love Limerick, as a lot of you know I played camogie in my young days. One of dreams really is some day to attend the All-Ireland and see Limerick bringing home the McCarthy Cup, so thank you very much," she laughed.

Former finance minister Michael Noonan was also honoured with a lifetime achievement award for his decades of service to politics and local life.

He said he was "emotional" after the award.

"This is a great honour, I would like to thank all the sponsors in conferring this honour on me today. You can get honoured in many parts of the world on occasions, but to be honoured in one's home city is very important," he said.

Dolores O'Riordan, frontwoman with The Cranberries who died a month ago this Thursday, was also remembered, with musician Emma Langford performing a beautiful take on the group's When You're Gone to a spellbound room. Ms Langford was recently named as the person of the month for January.