Two amazing Donegal mammies were among the guests of honour at the Woman’s Way & Beko Mum of the Year awards yesterday.

A special lunch was held at the Thomas Prior Hall in Dublin to celebrate some of the most remarkable women in Ireland, with two local mothers in attendance.

Rosemary Doherty from Carrowkeel and Lena McNulty from Donegal Town were selected as Ulster finalists in the awards.

The two mammies did not take the overall title but were treated to a  pride-filled glamorous day out and a chance to mingle with celebrities.

Dublin mum Esther Kelly-Keating was crowned Woman’s Way & Beko Mum of the Year 2017.

As well as the coveted Dublin Woman’s Way & Beko Mum of the Year crown, Esther won €3,000 worth of Beko home appliances and prizes in excess of €2,500. Each finalist walked away with a luxury goodie bag worth at least €500.

Donegal mothers Lena and Rosemary were selected by a judging panel of well-known Irish personalities including Norah Casey, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, Alison Canavan, Mary Byrne and Pamela Flood. Hundreds of nominations were submitted by spouses, children, siblings and relatives from all over Ireland.

Mum of five Rosemary Doherty, aged 52, was nominated by her daughter Áine, who was quick to extol her mother’s qualities, ‘her outgoing, fun and loving character and utterly selfless nature.’

Rosemary has helped others, family and community alike, as far as possible. Ten years ago, she started a bi-weekly youth club and from there came summer and Easter camps which she runs with her daughter. She also works to put money into the local community centre which includes discos and a ladies club.

The mother of five and grandmother of three says her house is always full: “It’s the kind of house where someone’s coming in the back door and someone’s coming out the front door. Between young and old, there’s always a full house.”

Rosemary Doherty

Lena McNulty, aged 69, was nominated by a former next-door neighbour Irene whose mother was Lena’s best friend. Lena stayed with Renee during her battle with pancreatic cancer until she passed.

“I’m shocked really and truly, this is overwhelming that this family would really think this much about me,” Lena told Woman’s Way.

Lena looked after Irene’s son and many other children in the area. With six in her family, 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, it’s not surprising that she loves company. In the late 1980s, Lena worked in a nursing home, extending her level of care beyond her family and community.

Five years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer but has fortunately since got the all clear.

Lena McNulty

Celebrating their 14th year, the Woman’s Way & Beko Mum of the Year Awards give children, spouses and family members the opportunity to recognise and reward the fantastic work mums do for their families and communities.

The 2017 Woman’s Way Celebrity Mum of the Year was also announced yesterday as Lucy Kennedy.

Woman’s Way editor Áine Toner paid tribute to the qualities of this year’s finalists: “Congratulations to all our finalists for their extraordinary actions and commitment to helping their families and communities. It’s been another emotional year but one that highlights the dedication and courage of women across Ireland,” Aine said.