What has Michelin Star Chef JP McMahon got in common with best-selling author Cathy Kelly, broadcaster Joe Duffy, musician Tommy Fleming, and Defence Forces Chief of Staff, General Sean Clancy?
The answer is that they are amongst the fifty-nine people who have donated their time and their talent to provide a story of hope and resilience for a new book, Stories from the Heart of Ireland, which will raise funds for Make-A-Wish Ireland, and help them make dreams come true for young children with life-threatening conditions.
Speaking about his involvement with the book, JP said, “I think Make-A-Wish Ireland is really important as it helps people with life-threatening conditions to realise their dreams. It makes the impossible possible, it brings hope where there might be none, a little joy to brighten up the world, and makes someone feel like they are the centre of the world for a day”.
From household names to housewives, the endearing, and sometimes heart-wrenching, stories published in this beautiful book are from the very hearts of our people, and whether funny or sad, small precious moments or big celebrations, they all have one thing in common – they offer hope.
Out now, the book contains sixty-one inspirational stories from people all over the country and has been compiled by former broadcaster and journalist Brendan Power in memory of his granddaughter, Niamh, who was a beneficiary of Make-A-Wish when, before her untimely passing in 2012, aged only nine, they made her dream come true by taking her to Lapland to meet Father Christmas – the real one, as she later told everybody.
“Every year this wonderful charity – which relies entirely on donations – makes wishes come true for dozens of children with life-threatening illnesses, but they can’t do it without our help”, said Brendan, “and this book is one way of helping, as the money raised from sales will go directly to Make-A-Wish”.
JP McMahon tells a story which will come as a surprise to everybody. Before becoming one of Ireland’s leading chefs he had what he describes as a difficult relationship with food, and which others might describe as an eating disorder. He stresses the importance of speaking to people when you need to, and shares the advice he gives his young daughter when she asks what you can do for free – ‘Smile and talk to someone’.
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