Our Story

Cancer touches all our lives; it’s becoming the norm. In Ireland, 1 in 2 people will develop a cancer of some type in their lifetime. Alice O’ Farrell is someone who has lived through this statistic. In June 2010 Alice was diagnosed with cancer. She went through the normal channels, GP’s first then out to Suite 4 at UHL. Alice was diagnosed on the same day that she was seen, and had surgery a couple of weeks later, and then chemotherapy followed by radiation. The treatment finished in February 2011. “When I started the cancer journey I was blown away with the care I received from the staff in breast care and oncology”.There was talk of a new breast unit being built and I wanted to help” The breast care unit was fragmented at UHL and a new purpose built facility was badly needed

The Concept

Following the success of a fundraising masquerade ball organised by Alice’s daughter Louise Tsang and friend Barry Kiely, Alice decided to do a fundraiser in the shape of a calendar featuring well-known Limerick women and that was also a huge success. The calendar was entitled the Hope Calendar for 2011, It was launched at Halloween, 2010 while Alice was still in treatment. She finished her treatment in February and celebrated by handing over a cheque for €76,000 to the Mid West Development Trust, Who was responsible for building the new Symptomatic Breast Unit at UHL which has just opened (April 2016)

Alice then decided to organise another big project and The Cookbook came to life. It seemed like a natural progression, a book!! As always people are only delighted to help… we have a lot of people out there helping to reach the goal of €100,000.

Alice met Professor Gupta of the Mid-Western Cancer Foundation at last years Butterfly Ball, he encouraged the idea of The Cookbook. “Im only delighted to also support the foundation as well as the Breast Unit, Cancer of all types is a lot of the time spotted earlier, therefore survivable or treatable hence support services for patients are so important

The Cookbook

Limerick lady Alice O’ Farrell has created “The Cookbook” to raise funds for Midwest Cancer Foundation and Symptomatic Breast Unit in the University Hospital Limerick (UHL). The Cookbook features various recipes from a number of restaurants in the Midwest Region with accompanying photographs shot beautifully by some of our great talent here in Limerick.

Alice says the concept is simple but effective, “We chose a number of restaurants in the Midwest region and got the chef to cook their favourite dish and give us the recipe. We then did a photo shoot with either a patient/doctor or local celebrity and the chef with the finished dish for the book.” The outcome is an amazing cookbook with tasty recipes; fantastic photography and profiles of all the people involved who wanted to help raise funds for a very worthwhile cause.

Making it happen

This book would not have been possible or would never have been ready in time without graphic designer Bron O Loughlin. She got in touch, offered to help and brought the book to life. A huge thanks to all the restaurants, photographers and supporters! You know who you are!

Thanks to an amazing committee for the Ball: Roisin Deedigan, Kaitriona Dillon, Valerie Murphy, Louise Tsang, Clive Power and Fiona Doyle. 

This fantastic group are also selling the cookbook along with most of the restaurants in the book.

Our Facebook friends are great to promote it, supporters of Sparkle & Shine events have been outstanding in their support also

The Sparklers! Committee 2016

The Sparklers! Committee 2016 for Sparkle & Shine Ball



The Event

The Cookbook was launched at the Sparkle and Shine Easter Ball in association with the Keith Duffy Foundation, which took place on Easter Bank Holiday weekend, Saturday March 26, in the Limerick Strand Hotel, in aid of the Midwest Cancer Foundation, the Symptomatic Breast Unit in the University Hospital Limerick and Cliona’s Foundation. over €32,000 was raised on the night for the charities


You can purchase the COOKBOOK here!

the cookbook book