‘Selfless’ Carmel in top mum final

Carmel Comaskey, Woman's Way Mum of the Year finalist. �Edward Byrne Photography
Carmel Comaskey, Woman's Way Mum of the Year finalist. �Edward Byrne Photography

A Tandragee nurse, described by her daughter as “the most inspirational woman I know”, has made it through final of an Ireland-wide Mum of the Year competition.

Carmel Comaskey (58) is one of three Ulster finalists chosen from hundreds of entries.

She was nominated by her daughter Rhionna (21) who described her as a really “selfless person” and a naturally caring woman who is an exceptional mother.

Carmel has been a nurse for more than three decades, training in Belfast before travelling and working in the Australian outback with the Aborigines and also with sick and starving people in Sudan.

She was based in the north of Sudan from 1984-1985, when the civil war was raging in the south of the country, and was responsible for caring for people suffering from diseases including cholera, typhoid, and tuberculosis.

After working in London, Carmel returned to Northern Ireland and has been working in a medical practice for the last 11 years.

She said, “It certainly was a surprise to find out Rhionna had nominated me, but it was very thoughtful and kind of her.”

Mother and daughter are looking forward to the award finals in July where a total of 15 mums will be competing for the overall title.

The winner will receive €3,000 worth of Beko home appliances and each finalist will receive prizes of upwards of €250.

The awards are organised by Woman’s Way magazine in association with Beko.

“I feel I just do whatever every mother does, do as much for them as I possibly can,” Carmel, who also has two sons, told Woman’s Way.

The entries were judged by a panel of Irish personalities including Norah Casey, Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, Mary Byrne and Alison Canavan.