She has helped the old and young; offered a helping hand to the sick and poor; and passed on words of wisdom to those who needed it. You could be forgiven for thinking the subject is a saint from days long gone — but Sister Emmanuel Leonard is very much alive and active.
Regarded as a pillar of society by the people in her community, Sr Emmanuel is set to be honoured at an inaugural hall of fame event in her adopted hometown of Cobh.
Organised by close friend, Eithne Cronin, the aim of the night is to commend Sr Emmanuel for her hard-work, dedication and enthusiasm in the community.
One of the founding members of the Cobh Youth Services and Cobh No Name Club, Sr Emmanuel is also responsible for the Prayer and Pastoral Centre, the Adult Faith Development and the local Community Employment Scheme.
Speaking ahead of the event Eithne Cronin praised Sr Emmanuel for her inspirational role in the community: “Sr Emmanuel broke the mould. She came out into the community, saw what needed to be done, and went and did it.”
She said the Sister of Mercy nun deserved to be commended for all her hard-work and a hall of fame night was the perfect opportunity to do so.
“Sr Emmanuel never looks for recognition for anything and I think she needs to be recognised for what she’s done. If you speak to anyone in Cobh they will tell you what a wonderful person she is. Now we need to show her what we think of her.”
Described as “The Rock of Cobh” Sr Emmanuel is modest in her acceptance of the award and credits those who work alongside her every day. She thanked the committee behind her special night and is confident the good work she has started will be continued.
“I’m hoping some people will take up what I have begun and carry on. I’ve no doubt about it and I feel very happy about that.
“We all work together for the benefit of the community.”
Sr Emmanuel’s hall of fame night will take place on October 23 in Cobh GAA Club at 8.15pm.
Tickets cost €7 and all proceeds will go to Cobh Youth Services.
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