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 85-year-old Kathleen Kelleher from Aghabullogue, at the start of the Echo Women's Mini Marathon.Picture: David Keane.
85-year-old Kathleen Kelleher from Aghabullogue, at the start of the Echo Women's Mini Marathon.Picture: David Keane.
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

As the curtain falls on 2019 we salute some amazing Cork women

ELAINE DUGGAN

2019 has been another amazing year for the women of Cork.

Week after week in Women on Wednesday (WoW!) we’ve highlighted their achievements, celebrated their successes and enjoyed their triumphs.

We’ve also tried to support their causes, give a voice to those who want to share their stories and shone a light on the different issues affecting them.

Every week we’ve been amazed by their bravery, their tenacity, their creativity, their energy, their enthusiasm.

Each story more deserving than the next, to be told. But there are some stories which linger on way past their print date. These stories are the ones who have not just grabbed our attention, but also our readers.

Today we’re sharing some of our favorite stories from 2019.

Spioraid na Saoirse being launched.
Spioraid na Saoirse being launched.

A STORY OF FRIENDSHIP

We carried a story about two sisters who live on Cork’s northside, and their best friend who were taking part in the Ocean to City—An RásMór, in a boat they built themselves, in memory of a very special person.

Pictured at Sandycove CoCork with their curragh was Sinead and Elaine Moynihan with Katie MacShane. Picture Denis Boyle
Pictured at Sandycove CoCork with their curragh was Sinead and Elaine Moynihan with Katie MacShane. Picture Denis Boyle

Elaine Moynihan, her sister Sinéad and friend Katie took part in the rowing event in a Dunfanaghy currach which they made. The currach, was named Spioraid na Saoirse, it built in celebration of the life of their close friend, and Katie’s sister, Saoirse Mc Shane, who passed away in 2011.

The Murphy quads from left, Shauna, Kellie, Amy and Katie Picture: Eddie O'Hare
The Murphy quads from left, Shauna, Kellie, Amy and Katie
Picture: Eddie O'Hare

LOOK AT THEM NOW!

We caught up with the The Murphy quads who live in Riverstick. It’s been a number of years since we spoke to the girls, now young women.

In the early days, those interviews were all talk about the 45 experts who delivered them at the Erinville hospital, born 13 weeks premature and collectively weighing just eight and a half pounds. We marvelled at mum and dad’s marathon 36 nappy changes a day and 24 feeds, or the four hours it took to get them ready for their Holy Communion day, as they shared details of their busy family life over the years.

This year when we met them, Shauna, Kellie, Amy and Katie were now old enough to talk for themselves. We chatted to them to study in college, the career paths they want to follow, as well as their current part-time jobs and hobbies — from dancing to reading, social media and camogie.

 85-year-old Kathleen Kelleher from Aghabullogue, at the start of the Echo Women's Mini Marathon.Picture: David Keane.
85-year-old Kathleen Kelleher from Aghabullogue, at the start of the Echo Women's Mini Marathon.
Picture: David Keane.

OUR 85 YEAR OLD MARATHON RUNNER

This year Kathleen Kelleher completed her fifth mini marathon, aged 85.

“And I’ll do it again next year if I am still in the land of the living” - so Kathleen told us.

the words with an infectious giggle. She was among the 7,000 strong crowd who took part in The Echo Women’s Mini Marathon in September. This was the fifth year the Aghabullogue woman had signed up to the event — having first participated when she turned 80. And she’s getting quicker at it! “You know what was great, we did it in a faster time this year than last year!” she said excitedly.

An inside shot of Deirdre O'Sullivan's €10K home.
An inside shot of Deirdre O'Sullivan's €10K home.

MY TINY LITTLE HOME

 Another of our favourite stories this year focussed on housing crisis. One young Cork woman got fed up with spiraling rents that pushed her house-owning dream ever further away... so she decided to create her own ‘tiny home’ for around €10,000. The pictures of Deirdre’s rennovated mobile home, left us all wanting to move in. See the full story over on EchoLive.ie 

Fiona Foley, who took part in the Kona Ironman Hawaii October 2019. Picture: Siobhán Russell
Fiona Foley, who took part in the Kona Ironman Hawaii October 2019. Picture: Siobhán Russell

CORK’S IRONWOMAN

A Cork woman was among 2,500 athletes who took part in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. Fiona Foley from Crosshaven, mum of four spoke to us having arrived back after completing the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

The fitness instructor, aged 47, who teaches HIIT, spin and bootcamp classes in Crosshaven and Carrigaline, took on the challenge of completing her first Ironman in Youghal on June 23 — and to her surprise, she qualified for Kona— the holy grail of Ironman athletes across the globe.

Originally from Glanmire, Fiona lives in Crosshaven with her husband Sean and their three children, Ritchie, Ben and Katie.

The former hairdresser, who has a second brown belt in Karate, started doing triathlons about eight years ago, after her younger brother Nigel and her husband Sean took up the trendy sport of swim, bike, run.

Members of the UCC Environmental Society (from left) Caoimhe Flynn, Síofra Richardson, Niamh Guiry, Isobel O'Connor Sealy, Rebecca Doocey, Asha Woodhouse and Nevena Kukova.Picture Denis Minihane.
Members of the UCC Environmental Society (from left) Caoimhe Flynn, Síofra Richardson, Niamh Guiry, Isobel O'Connor Sealy, Rebecca Doocey, Asha Woodhouse and Nevena Kukova.
Picture Denis Minihane.

SAYING ‘NO’ TO FAST FASHION

Climate action was grabbing headlines this year. So it was fitting that we shine a light on the seven young Cork students who are giving up fast-fashion for 12 months, vowing to buy only from charity shops, swapping or borrowing from friends. They feel so strongly about both working conditions for people in the garment industry; and the fact 60% of all clothing ends up in incinerators or landfills within a year of being produced. We’ll be checking in with the ladies during 2020 to see how they are getting on.

 Brand ambassador Trisha Lewis, crosses the finish line in the Echo Women's Mini Marathon.Picture: David Keane.
Brand ambassador Trisha Lewis, crosses the finish line in the Echo Women's Mini Marathon.
Picture: David Keane.

OUR AMBASSADOR

Trisha Marathon Cork chef Trisha Lewis , who is on an amazing weight loss journey, took on the role as brand ambassador for The Echo Women’s Mini Marathon this year.

What an ambassador! At the start of her journey with the paper she said: “CROSSING a marathon line, when I could hardly reach down to tie my shoe laces because my stomach was in the way, was the stuff my wildest dreams were made of — and now it’s happening.” And she did it!

Trisha has struck a chord with thousands of women everywhere since she started sharing her epic weight loss journey on Instagram.

The 31-year-old’s online musings even caught the interest of The Late Late Show and she appeared as a guest in May — something she said was a “huge turning point” in her life.

‘Trisha’s Transformation’ (that’s her Instagram name) began when she joined a gym in February, 2018, with a starting weight of 26 stone and one pound. Her goal was to lose 13 stone and one pound — half her body weight.

Special guest Miriam O'Callaghan, centre, with Cork Pink Week orgainsing committee members from left, Eileen Keys, Paula Raftery, Sylvia McHenry, Miriam Healy, Eimear Coughlan and Comdt Denise Burke, at the Cork Pink Week lunch at Collins Barracks, Cork, in aid of equipment for the Breast Care Unit in CUH.Picture: David Keane. 13.10.2019
Special guest Miriam O'Callaghan, centre, with Cork Pink Week orgainsing committee members from left, Eileen Keys, Paula Raftery, Sylvia McHenry, Miriam Healy, Eimear Coughlan and Comdt Denise Burke, at the Cork Pink Week lunch at Collins Barracks, Cork, in aid of equipment for the Breast Care Unit in CUH.
Picture: David Keane.

13.10.2019

CORK PINK WEEK

This was the second year of Cork Pink Week, in aid of raising funds for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment at Cork University Hospital. We dedicated an edition of WoW! To the cause in October. Well done to Miriam Healy and Sylvia McHenry, organisers of the event.

There will be no WoW! On December 25 or January 1. The next edition will be on Wednesday January 8.

We want to wish all our readers a very Happy Christmas and New Year.