Christopher Dunne 2018-11-07

UL alumnus and recipient of a UL honorary Doctorate, Dr Vicky Phelan, will switch on Limerick’s Christmas lights this year.

Dr Phelan and her family have been selected as the guests of honour for this year’s Light Up Limerick festival.

The festival begins on Sunday 18 November with the annual switching-on of the city’s Christmas lights marking the start of the festive season.

“I am honoured that my family have been asked to turn on the Christmas lights in Limerick this year,” Dr Phelan said.

“My children absolutely love everything to do with Christmas so to be chosen to get Christmas started for such a special event will get them in the Christmas spirit very early,” she said.

Thousands of people are expected to line O’Connell Street from 4:30pm on the day of the event.

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr James Collins highlighted its importance: “Christmas is a wonderful time of year, and it is magical in Limerick, with the lights turned on the atmosphere is amazing.

“It is always a fantastic occasion and shows Limerick at its very best.”

Dr Phelan helped bring the national cervical smear test scandal to public attention earlier this year following her refusal to sign a non-disclosure agreement after receiving a late inaccurate result.

The UL graduate and former staff member is now actively campaigning for the women and families of those affected by the scandal.

Her contribution to the lives of others undoubtedly made her a worthy choice to commence the festive season in Limerick.

Dr Phelan looks back at her time spent in UL with fondness: “I loved my time as a student in UL and that is where I began my professional career.”

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