Massive congratulations to Tallaght mum Esther Kelly-Keating who was crowned Woman’s Way & Beko Mum of the Year 2017.
Local winner Esther, who picked up her award at a special lunch at the Thomas Prior Hall last week, was nominated by her daughter Charlotte and was ‘a little bit overwhelmed’ when told of her initial nomination.
The mum of four works as the nursing director in a nursing home and began her medical training aged just 17 in the UK.
She returned to Ireland after meeting her husband and continued to update her nursing qualification while working in a care centre.
In 2008, she returned to university to get her Higher Graduate Diploma in Gerontology from UCD.
“Once I knew that was the field I was going to specialise in I wanted to be best, I wanted to have so much knowledge so that I could deliver excellency in care and keep abreast of current and best practice,” Esther told Woman’s Way.
“Midwives have the pleasure of bringing people into the world. We in gerontology have the great privilege of being with people in their last days, their last hours… It’s not necessarily sad because people are living their last breath. It’s wonderful to help people to have fulfilled lives.”
After her marriage ended, Esther was in threat of losing the family home. She fought hard to keep her house and succeeded and has since moved into a new place.
It’s evident that challenges are something she relishes – learning to drive, going clubbing and ticking things off her bucket list. This included travelling to Borneo in 2016 to observe orangutans in their natural habitat. Esther hopes to go out to volunteer with the animals.
“I think having a challenge it keeps you young, it keeps your brain healthy, I think when we stop challenging ourselves or pushing ourselves to the limit I think we sort of get older.”
As well as the coveted Dublin Woman’s Way & Beko Mum of the Year crown, Esther won €3,000 worth of Beko appliances and prizes in excess of €2,500.
Each finalist walked away with a luxury goodie bag worth at least €500.
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 task of sifting through all 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 judges taking on this difficult task included Norah Casey, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, Alison Canavan, Mary Byrne and Pamela Flood. The 15 finalists and Celebrity Mum of the Year Lucy Kennedy attended the finals.