29 May 2022

A great day out at 4th Annual Leitrim Ladies Lunch

Lough Rynn Castle Hotel

Every year it’s a hit and 2018 was no different, with over 350 attendees at the fourth Leitrim Ladies Lunch in aid of Leitrim-West Cavan Branch of Down Syndrome this event is clearly going from strength to strength.

Lough Rynn Castle Hotel was in splendid sunshine on the March 25 and there was even the opportunity to sip prosecco (kindly sponsored by Ashwood Veterinary Centre) on the lawn!

World Down Syndrome Day falls every year on this week in March and so Leitrim Ladies Lunch is a fitting awareness and fundraising opportunity, this event is one of the biggest in the country. And while it’s obviously a women’s event, there were some brief and light contributions from men on the day, an acknowledgement by both Michael Harding and Neven Maguire humoured the audience.

Each year the Ladies Lunch committee make efforts to involve the children with Down Syndrome in the event and so this year personalised artwork from the committee of mothers was exhibited on the day as a dedication to the precious things learned from their children. Additionally there was a large piece of art made by the children themselves, a tree symbolising the Leitrim West Cavan DS Branch and a wholesome contribution of the newly setup ‘Friendship Club.’

The singing performance by Noah and Leah Kirwin, a brother and sister duo from Co. Louth also set the tone of pride in our people with Down Syndrome, their siblings and the joyful contribution they bring to any occasion. Leah and Noah are confident performers and the bond of their relationship was very evident. The pair came to fame through a performance on the Late Late Toy Show with a beautiful version of ‘Titanium’ but the Leitrim audience were also treated to Leah’s own song ‘I’m Always Here For You’ written about her little brother, Noah. Keeping it local again, Shannon Healy, a Bornacoola talent also entertained with some country music.

And later the audience leaned in for an engaging and at times, poignant and impassioned account of the real need for our wider community to help eliminate disability inequality.

Tom Clonan, guest speaker on the day, is probably best known as a security analyst, Irish Times columnist and media contributor, however the invitation to the Ladies Lunch event was extended in the context of his advocacy work and campaigning for people with disabilities and carers and simply for his perspective as a father.

Becoming an advocate often evolves from a personal need (Tom’s son Eoghan has a disability) and so he, like many parents, was plunged into this role inadvertently. Through his recollections on the day, it was clear that he has found his natural position as campaigner and much of his influences were attributed to the long line of courageous and brave women within his family, all campaigners in their own right. Tom himself has been pushing an agenda of equality and justice within his work and academic research for many years. And his role has led to seminal changes within the Irish Defence Forces.

On the disability front, he believes passionately that a united campaign of solidarity is required to better the lot of Irish citizens who are unashamedly and outwardly marginalised by their disability; in fact it seems that the world of disability is one of the last places of inequality, and his rallying call on the day was for the wider community to push to address this.

Advocacy within the disability world is fractured and disjointed, we need the wider community to support positive changes. We can start by rigorously petitioning elected representatives regarding the ‘Optional Protocol’ for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

This is the last jigsaw piece in the process of securing rights for people with disabilities. And not having this element included renders the CRPD toothless. If you want to support a campaign, this is a good place to start, and it is the right thing to do.

There is no doubt that the community of parents of kids with extra needs have an ally in the brave and honest voice of Tom Clonan.

With the full force of the Northwest business and retail community behind Ladies Lunch over two thirds of the audience bagged a give-away. And the prizes are at this stage renowned as impressive. The support for the cause, coupled with impeccable style, the plush surrounds of Lough Rynn Castle Hotel and the entertainment line-up demonstrated that the organisers behind the event are determined to give their supporters something special in return for their generous donations and financial contributions on the day. Back Water Jack (BWJ) a Sligo based band were a fitting end to the day after a compelling and rousing call for support by the key note speaker.

This 7 piece band sponsored by Cora Systems, Carrick-on-Shannon had everyone talking and dancing. Fronted by Jane Tansey, Maev Gallagher and Anne Brennan they were a musical sensation. From the 2018 Ladies Lunch committee heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to the success of this year’s event.

Thank you to our very generous sponsors and donors:



Absolute Safety & Eniroment Services - Carrick
Clairin Molloy - Carrick
McMahon Opticians - Carrick
Archway Products Ltd - Jamestown
EPA Staff - Castlebar
Vobe Interiors - Carrick
Ashwood Veterinary Centre Ltd - Mohill
Galway Tool & Mould Ltd - Galway
West Pharma Ireland - Dublin
Lough Rynn Castle Estate

Absolute Safety & Enviroment Services - Carrick
JDK Design - Sligo
North West Dive Service - Manorhamilton
ATCAM Ltd - Ballinamore
Karen Murtagh - Carrick
O'Boyle & Co Chartered Accountants - Longford
Bloomfield House Hotel - Mullingar
Kieran Total Healthcare - Carrick
Rachel Murray - Sligo
Bradley Clinic - Carrick
Kilronan Castle Estate
Supermacs - Carrick
Casting Emporium
Lakelands Town & Country Store - Longford
Supervalu - Carrick
Core Print - Sligo
Lock Up Alarms - Manorhamilton
The Cottage Restaurant - Jamestown
Corrib Oil - Carrick
LotusWorks - Sligo
The Oarsman - Carrick
Drumkeeran I.F.A.
Lunneys Service Station - Carrick
Therapie - Sligo
De Vinos Restaurant - Carrick
Lyric Ireland Ltd - Ballinamore
Tullamore Court Hotel
Eurofin Agroscience Services - UK
MacNean House & Restaurant - Blacklion
Viewmount House & Restaurant - Longford
Focal Point Opticians - Carrick
Masonite Ireland - Drumsna
West Lift Safety Services - Sligo
Gerry Reynolds - Carrick
McHughs Bar - Glenfarne
Westport Hotel Group
Hats by Cora Byrne - Carrick
Molloy Booksellers Ltd - Carrick
J.J. Rhattigan & Co
Murtaghs Bar - Carrick
A & D Selections - Mohill
Fordes Inn - Drumkeeran
McMorrow Butchers - Manorhamilton
AC Motors - Jamestown
Fuschia Interiors - Longford
MAcManus Pharmacy - Manorhamilton
A Cut Above Hair Salon - Dromahair
Gannons - Mohill
Merenda - Manorhamilton
Adeline O'Brien - Dublin
Garden Centre - Drumsna
Michael Crossan & Sons - Mohill
Aideen Gilroy
Gartlans Print - Carrick
Michael Scollan Meats - Ballinamore
Alma Cs Beauty - Drumsna
Gilbert Pharmacy - Manorhamilton
Michelle Fanning Assorted Fitness - Ballinamore
Anchorage Bar - Carrick
Gills Feeds Ltd - Drumsna
Miranda Moran Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation
B&M DIY Store - Manorhamilton
Gourmet Parlour - Sligo
Mulveys House of Gifts - Carrick
Backstage Theatre - Longford
Grafters Hair Salon - Carrick
Nevin Maguire - Blackloin
Barry Brothers Plant Hire - Gowel
Hair & Beauty by the Shannon - Dromod
New Image Hair - Manorhamilton
Beauty on your Doorstep - Dromahair
Hair & Beauty Quarter - Sligo
Nicolas Hairdressers - Sligo
Bits 'n Bites - Carrick
Hair Affair - Ballinamore
Nina's Pizzeria - Ballinamore
Blakes Aways Organic - Drumshanbo
Higgins Pharmacy - Sligo
Noeleen Din
Breege Cunnea
Irene & Paddy Gilroy - Sligo
Nuala Ginnelly
C & D Medical Hall - Mohill
JanieMac Accessories - Roscommon
Orthopaedic Unit Sligo General Hospital
Call of the Wild - Sligo
Jennifer Wrynn
O'Shea Family - Annaduff
Cannaboe Confectionary - Ballinamore
Joan McGirl - Aughavas
PJ Rigney, The Shed Distillery
Cara Pharmacy - Drumshanbo
John King Angel Card & Tarot Readings
Posh Paws - Carrick
Cathal L. Flynn & Co Solicitors - Carrick
John Russell Physiotherapy - Dromod
Rainbow Ballroom
Caz Cards - Manorhamilton
Josie Dorrigan
RAVAL @ Bonnie B Boutique - Carrick
Chris Boyle
Judge Family - Bunniconlon
Reflections Health & Wellbeing - Mohill
Clancy's - Glenfarne
Kates Kitchens - Sligo
Reynolds Topline Providers - Mohill
Clarkes Butchers - Drumkeeran
Keenan's Butchers - Manorhamilton
Rinn Neimhe Beauty Salon - Carrick
CMCS Security - Drumkeeran
Kellys Centra - Carrick
Scented Meadows - Carrick
Crescendo - Carrick
Kennedys Service Station - Carrick
Smiths Monumentals Ltd - Ballinamore
Crossan School of Irish Dancing - Carrick
Kerrigans Quarry - Kilargue
Smyths Pub - Ballinamore
D&B Hair Salon - Carrick
Kierans Centra - Drumlish
Super Valu - Ballinamore
Dalys Supermarket - Drumsna
Killassnette Co-Op - Manorhamilton
Sweet Geranium Café - Drumshanbo
Dangan National School
Kilmore Signs - Carrick
Sweets by Gartlans - Carrick
Deirdre Cooke Opticians - Sligo
Kim's Beauty - Manorhamilton
Taylors Bar - Drumsna
Dkfit - Drumsna
King & Moffat - Carrick
Tesco - Ballinamore
Dolls Boutique
Laila Valentino Hairdressing - Carrick
The Arch Bar - Jamestown
Drumkeeran Stone
Le Femme - Sligo
The Barbershop - Manorhamilton
Duignans Supermarket - Drumsna
Lia Hairdressers - Drumshanbo
The Barrel Store - Carrick
Eamonn Devaney Butcher - Dromahair
Linda Mannion Smith
The Brandywell - Dromod
Eclipse Hair Salon - Carrick
Lough Key Forest Park - Boyle
The Cutting Edge Hair - Drumkeeran
Elaines Hair Salon - Ballinamore
Lougherys Careplus Pharmacy
The Forge - Ballinamore
Enhance Health & Beauty - Carrick
Magiflow Gutters Ltd - Jamestown
The Hair Trapp - Longford
Esquires - Longford
Majella Helay Physio - Manorhamilton
The Landmark Hotel - Carrick
Evelyn Coleman
Manor Boutique - Manorhamilton
The Magnet - Carrick
Farnham Estate - Cavan
Marie O'Rourke
Thinking Toys - Clare
Feehily Family - Dromahair
Margaret Doherty
Tropical World - Letterkenny
Ffrench Family - Jamestown
Market House - Blacklion
Una & Noel McKearney
Fidelma Martyn
Mary Beirne
Voya Seaweed Baths - Sligo
Fiona McCarty
Mary Rooney
Wards Urban Day Spa
Four Seasons Florists - Ballinamore
Marys Hair Salon - Manorhamilton
Wisley Ecclesiastical Supplies Ltd.
Francis Molloy Physio - Carrick
McDevitts Pharmacy - Ballinamore
Zipit - Roscommon
Fresh Today Fruit & Veg - Ballinamore
MCI - Manorhamilton

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