Olive Tumulty was nominated by a friend who admired her strength and positivity in the midst of such great personal tragedy.
Olive’s daughter Katie was diagnosed with mitochondrial disorder and required round the clock care for the chronic illness which causes debilitating physical, developmental and cognitive disabilities and passed away in 2014.
Friend Christine Harmes met Olive when her own child was given the same diagnosis. She praised Olive for remaining positive for both of them following her own bereavement, saying, “She overcame that terrible illness that took her daughter with dignity and strength that I admire in her as a person.”
Christine was inspired by how Olive always ensured that Katie and her older sister Lily were both treated normally even leading to Lily winning a Lidl Champion of the Year award for her commitment as a young carer – a testimony to her mother’s upbringing of her.
“They talk about Katie and she will not be forgotten and I think this is down to the personality and strength of character that my friend Olive has,” Christine added.
Olive now raises funds for the Jack and Jill and LauraLynn foundations on a regular basis, always making sure to keep Katie included in the lives of daughter Lily and son Ronan, who was born five weeks after Katie passed away.
Speaking about her new found title as Woman’s Way & Lidl Mum of the Year Olive said, “I was shocked but it was a nice phone call to get. I don’t feel I did anything in particular.”
Hundreds of nominations were submitted by spouses, children, siblings and relatives from all over Ireland. The judging panel of well-known Irish personalities had the daunting tasking of sifting through all of the entries to whittle them down to just one mum to be crowned Ireland’s Overall No.1 mum. One regional winner was also chosen from each province.
The fifteen finalists and celebrity mum of the year Amelda Maguire all attended the finals at a gala luncheon in The Intercontinental, Dublin on July 6th.
Commenting on the competition, Áine Toner, editor of Woman’s Way said; “The Woman’s Way Mum of the Year Awards have been running for 12 years and they continue to showcase the resilience, determination and strength of character demonstrated by mums throughout Ireland. It never gets easier in selecting our regional finalists, regional winners and overall winner but I am heartened that we have a wealth of wonderful women from which to choose.”