SLIDESHOW: Bastions of Limerick sport and culture honoured by mayor

DOZENS of deserving people from across Limerick have been honoured with a special recognition as Mayor Michael Sheahan signed off in style.
Stars of hurling, football and field hockey were given civic honours by the outgoing first citizen of Limerick, who made up for lost time, with the last three months of his year in office interrupted by the Covid-19 lockdown.
Over three consecutive nights last week, the mayor bestowed the honour on UL Sport's Dave Mahedy, auctioneer Pat Kearney and Dr Angela Collins O’Mahony, a trailblazing female steeplejack.
The mayor has also given the nod to members of the Irish hockey fraternity, Noel O’Dwyer, Marie Bartlett, Lillian Moran Sullivan and former Limerick Leader advertising executive Marie Crawford, who played for Ireland between 1979 and 1984.
A night was dedicated to the GAA, with one of Limerick’s greatest ever hurlers Eamonn Cregan honoured alongside local stalwarts Billy Ahern, Tom Madigan and John Quane.
Mayor Sheahan said: “These people were on my radar for a long time. All of them have made a massive contribution to the life of Limerick from the community to the sporting.”
It is events like these which Cllr Sheahan says he’s enjoyed most during his year in office.
“I’ve wonderful memories. I never would have met them otherwise. The absolute library of people I’ve met over the last year. It’s only when you’re sitting among them that you realise how Limerick is so strong whether it be sport or community, Limerick is the tops,” he said.
Mayor Sheahan – who handed the chain of office over this Tuesday also praised the city for the way its responded to the Covid-19 lockdown, and the restrictions placed upon people.
Jack O’Sullivan was honoured for his valued contributions to parish, sporting and school life in Monaleen, while Dave Mahedy, of the UL Arena, was recognised for his efforts towards sports and recreation at the University of Limerick. 
Pat Kearney got the nod for his commitment to the development and growth of business and business, as well as his support for charities across Limerick for half a century.
Dr. Angela Collins O’Mahony, who founded Collins Steeplejacks, has previously been awarded businesswoman of the year, and given an honorary doctorate for her commitment to serving the needs of rural Ireland.
Noel O’Dwyer was recognised for his decade-long international hockey career, alongside Marie Bartlett, who played for her country between 1969 and 1982. While Lillian Moran Sullivan was recognised for her involvement in Irish ladies hockey.
Billy Ahern was honoured for his decades of voluntary work in the promotion, preservation and fostering of Gaelic culture and especially for his devotion to the GAA in Abbeyfeale, the county and province.
Tom Madigan was recognised as one of the founders of Limerick ladies Gaelic football, and also recognised for contribution to Shanagolden Community Council and St Senans GAA Club.
John Quane was recognised for his contribution to both club and county football as a player and coach over a number of years. And arguably Limerick’s greatest player ​Eamonn Cregan was afforded a special reception.
Sadly plans for one final reception, for the Kilcornan Gaelic football marathon teams, as well as Terence Madigan and Donny Maher from the village’s table tennis set-up, had to be cancelled due to the sad and premature death of Cllr Sheahan’s brother Francis, aged just 64.

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