Croí Glas launch

At the official Croí Glas launch at the Hunt Museum – Colman Byrne, Limerick Open Navigation, Helen O Donnell, Limerick Tidy Towns, filmmaker Namu Desai, musician Moley O Súilleabháin, Richard Lynch and Anna Gibson Steel, Croí Glas, publicist Niamh O’Carroll, Nóirín Ní Riain, Croí Glas, Marian Hurley, Deputy Mayor Limerick City and County, Rugby legend Peter Clohessy (front) and Elisa O’Donovan of Swimable Limerick (back). Picture: Dolf Patijn/ilovelimerick.

Croí Glas launch celebrates the River Shannon in all her glory!

Croí Glas is a new Limerick-based initiative that celebrates and creates positive energy around the River Shannon and invites everyone to get involved. The Croí Glas launch and first official Croí Glas event, ‘Listen to the River’ was held over St. Patrick’s weekend.

The project first came about when Irish sacred singer, Dr. Nóirín Ní Riain and Holistic Practitioner, Anna Gibson Steel decided they wanted to do something positive around the river and approached Richard Lynch to help them develop their idea. Richard agreed that the project would greatly benefit and change people’s perception of the River Shannon, and suggested that the team use aspects such as arts and culture as a way of encouraging people to express their love of the Shannon.

This past weekend Croí Glas held their official launch at the Hunt Museum on St. Patricks Day with guest of honour composer Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin followed by musical performances by Moley Ó Súilleabháin, Owen Ó Súilleabháin and Dr. Nóirín Ní Riain. Their float at the parade featured Elisa O’Donovan of Swimable Limerick on a Salmon Boat playing the Goddess Sionna, who gave her name to the River Shannon.

Croí Glas launch

At the Croí Glas launch at the Hunt Museum – Nóirín Ní Riain, Richard Lynch and Anna Gibson Steel of Croí Glas with Irish composer Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin (second from right) who was the guest of honour at the event. Picture: Dolf Patijn/ilovelimerick.

Speaking at the official press launch on Saturday, guest speaker, and musician Micheál Ó Súilleaháin shared his own wisdom of the River Shannon and described the river as Ireland’s “cultural spine” which touches all four provinces. He reflected on the thousands of years of stories the river held before us and spoke of the first stories of the Shannon dating back to around 800 years ago, noting the “powerfulness” of people referencing the poem named ‘How the River Shannon got its name’.

Micheál also paid homage to Fionn MacCumhaill and the salmon of knowledge, and spoke of how “the river Shannon is a majestic river full of fish and wise salmon.”

On Sunday, Croí Glas held their first official event ‘Listen to the River’. The concept for this event was the brainchild of Ray O’Halloran of Limerick City Build to “bring together arts, culture, mythology, music, social inclusion, boating and water-sports to the general public.”

Theatre practitioner Ann Blake produced an event where the Goddess Sionna was returned to the River Shannon surrounded by three watercrafts created by Limerick City Build especially for the event, with one of the craft transporting the famous uilleann pipe player, Mickey Dunne.

On the opposite banks of the Shannon, the event was celebrated musically with Dr Noírín Ní Riain on one side and Owen and Moley Ó Súilleabháin on the other. The Croí Glas logo was unveiled in spectacular fashion by fly-boarders flying above the river.

Croí Glas launch

At the official launch of Croí Glas at the Hunt Museum – Richard Lynch and Anna Gibson Steel of Croí Glas with Rugby legend Peter Clohessy and Nóirín Ní Riain, Croí Glas (front) and Elisa O’Donovan of Swimable Limerick (back). Picture: Dolf Patijn/ilovelimerick.

The public is invited to create their own events inspired by the Shannon and register them on the Croi Glas website so they can be shared with the wider community. In this way, all of us will be on the same page and work together in celebration of the Shannon.

Croí Glas ambassadors include composer and musician Míchéal Ó Súilleabháin, comedian Jimmy Carr, singer and poet Moley Ó Súilleabháin, Lough Gur Centre Manager Kate Harrold, Colman Byrne of Limerick Open Navigation, Ireland rugby star Peter Clohessy and Niamh O’ Carroll who won the UL Outstanding Contribution to Society/Humanitarian Award in 2009.

For more stories on Croí Glas go here.

For more information on Croí Glas go here.



Limerick 2020 bid

Announcing details of the event at upper O’Connell Street, Limerick were, Catherine Ryan and Laura Malone of Fidget Feet with Limerick localTom Muldowney, Henry Street. Picture: Alan Place/ilovelimerick.

The excitement is building up as the countdown for the ECOC jury panel’s review of Limerick on Tuesday, July 12 starts coming closer. Limerick has got one last chance to push the city’s European Capital of Culture Limerick 2020 bid with a spectacular street party to celebrate the magical journey of the campaign.

While the ECOC jury panel reviews the city and the cultural institutions, thousands of the city’s citizens will get to indulge themselves in culinary delicacies, art and musical culture. The event will start up around midday and finish in the evening.

The public will be treated to various events including the Culture and Chips food carnival on O Connell Ave from noon onwards, a taste of international cuisine with the World Recipe Exchange, and lots of gatherings at venues such as the Hunt Museum, Howley’s Quay and O’Connell Street’s urban garden.

Daniel O’Connell’s whole block on upper O’Connell Street between Hartstonge Street and Barrington Street (the area known as The Crescent in the Georgian Quarter) will become party central as Culture & Chips Takes To The Streets from noon until evening.

If Limerick succeeds, it will indeed be historic. It’ll also be – according to estimates – worth around €170m to the city. Limerick won’t get to enter the European Capital of Culture again for another 15 years so that’s also why there is such a huge push to try and succeed.

The Limerick 2020 bid team makes its final presentation to the panel at the National Concert Hall in Dublin on July 14 and the winner being announced the following day. It’s a tough competition as Limerick competes against Galway, Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny for the title.

Bid director Mike Fitzpatrick said that now is “the right time” for Limerick to earn the prestigious title. “Limerick is aware that the jury is in town, but it’s not about the jury; it is about having a moment to say, ‘Look how far we have come’ in terms of how culture has formed part of everyday life in Limerick. Whatever happens on July 15, whatever the decision is, culture will remain at the centre of what we do. It has given us so much confidence and belief in ourselves.”

Bid deputy director, Sheila Deegan, said the festive day “may go down as one of the most important days for the city.”

“Win or lose with the Limerick 2020 bid, we have achieved an awful lot and it is time to celebrate so we are asking that as many people as possible to turn out and enjoy this party with us. The journey has awakened a real sense of cultural identity in Limerick and a wider awareness of just how rich, diverse and talented our cultural heritage is. We were Ireland’s first City of Culture and we certainly showed over the course of that magical year just how much Limerick has found its cultural voice and it is now singing from the rooftops.”


  • Limerick Street Food, run with Limerick Council: this weekly pretty market of tents will deck out on Harvey’s Quay on Tuesday 12, 11am to 4pm.
  • For a serving of culture with a side of chips, Culture & Chips Takes To The Streets in conjunction with Limerick 2020 are throwing a street party of food, culture, performance on Tuesday 12, 12.30pm-7pm at The Crescent, O Connell Ave.
  • The new Urban Garden on O’Connell Street will host the Gig in the Garden from 2.30pm: “an eclectic mix of home-grown talent” led by The Harmony in Hands Deaf Community Choir.
  • Hunt Museum Garden Party begins at 2.30pm with face painting and artists creating new works, all to a jazz accompaniment.
  • Children head to Ormston House for the Science Magic Show, 3pm, which promises “an explosive time with chemistry and magic to enthrall”.
  • International class pipe organist David Casson plays in concert free at Sacred Heart Church, The Crescent at 8pm. Part of Limerick Pipe Organ Festival.

Read more about Limerick 2020 here

Follow Limerick 2020 on Twitter  here

PHOTOS & VIDEO Keith Duffy visits St Munchins Community Centre

Keith Duffy visits St Munchins Community Centre – Richard with Marie Galligan Stokes and her son Adam, Santa, Keith Duffy and Linda Ledger, Manager St. Munchin’s Community Centre at the launch of the St Munchins Community Centre Children with Autism Santa Grotto 2015 in honour of the Keith Duffy Foundation. Picture: Leon Ledger.

Keith Duffy visits St Munchins Community Centre as part of his work with The Keith Duffy Foundation. The community centre is holding a Children with Autism Christmas Grotto 2015 with Santa Claus himself meeting and greeting children.

Keith, who is appearing in this year’s UCH Pantomime Sleeping Beauty until January 3 will be visiting the centre from 5pm alongside myself and fellow panto co-stars George McMahon and Leanne Moore.

Speaking at the launch of the event, the Boyzone star expressed his excitement to be helping out on the day, “I was in Limerick all last Christmas and I’m back again this Christmas. It’s important for me to make sure that people realise that I’m supporting whatever they’re doing involving autism and to get an opportunity to go meet all the kids and say hello is great.”

Manager of St Munchin’s Community Centre, Linda Ledger, decided to organise the Christmas grotto with her sister Marie for two very simple reasons, “my nephew Adam was diagnosed with Autism and we didn’t realise that there was no Santa in Limerick for children with autism”.

Marie Gilligan Stokes, whose son Adam (4) was diagnosed with autism is actively involved in collecting unused mobile phones as part of an Irish Autism Action appeal. The appeal grants iPads to children with autism to help with communication.

When Marie first began the appeal she never expected the kind generosity that she received, “A gentleman from America who heard of our appeal sent over a cheque anonymously to pay for the iPad. Before we knew it within 13 days we had nearly 800 odd phones so we had enough to get two more iPads. We got one for Adam and donated the other two to local intervention centres in Limerick. The phones just kept coming so as long as they keep coming we’ll keep donating them. So far now we’ve donated 5 iPads.” Unused mobile phones can be dropped into the collection point at St Munchin’s Community Centre.

The Keith Duffy Foundation is working to raise funds for a number of children’s charities throughout Ireland and charities in Limerick will not be forgotten. Keith tells me,  “I’m going to come back next year to hopefully be involved in a black tie fundraising ball and I want to find out what’s going and in Limerick and find out how I can help.”

While the Christmas grotto is being held specifically for children with autism, St. Munchin’s Community Centre would like to welcome everyone to come and meet Keith from 5pm.

To find out about Keith’s Foundation visit
You can also read more about St Munchins Community Centre right here!

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Photos by Jonathan Baynes for I Love Limerick. All rights reserved.


Limerick Pride 2015 launch at Dolan's Warehouse

Pictured: Mrs Elsie Cox, Myles Breen, Richard Lynch, Mayor Jerry O’Dea and Aladdin Kishk. Picture by: Jonathan Baynes.

The countdown to Limerick Pride  2015 officially began with the press launch at Dolan’s in Limerick City on Mon, June 29.

At the Limerick Pride 2015 launch Patrick McElligott, Chairperson of Limerick Pride said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer a fantastic line up for Limerick Pride 2015, running from Tues, July 14 until Sun, July 19. There is something for everyone culminating in the annual Pride Parade on Saturday July 18 and the PrideFest party directly after the Parade.  We want to welcome everyone to join us in celebrating LGBT culture in Limerick and show Limerick for the truly open and accepting city that she is. It is set to build on the success and positive energy of previous years festivals, promoting community spirit, community engagement and celebration. This past year the Irish LGBT community has received resounding support from the wider Irish community in their support of equal rights and marriage equality so this will be reflected in this year’s Pride Parade. We will celebrate our freedom and the opportunity we have been given as a community to develop the concept of the family unit within our community.”

Jerry O’Dea, newly appointed Mayor of Metropolitan District of Limerick, showed his support for the LGBT movement at the launch, adding: “In previous years, people who have participated in Pride have felt that this annual event was their only time to be truly express themselves. Since the passing of the marriage referendum, Ireland’s LGBT population has been joined by the wider population in celebration.”

The Limerick Pride Festival 2015 will be taking place starting on Tues, July 14 with events each day until Sunday July 19 and will feature a multitude of events, from educational workshops and discussions to evenings of music and club nights, to cater to the Pride needs of everyone.

This year’s Pride will have an educational aspect. Workshops will be held during the week covering topics such as a Coming Out, Sexual Empowerment and social groups for people of all ages, orientations and genders. All will be welcome to the workshops regardless of their sexual orientation giving the people of Limerick City an opportunity to get to know the Limerick LGBT community more and everyone is encouraged to get involved.

For the first time ever, The Mr and Ms Gay Limerick competition on Sat, July 11 will be held before the Limerick Pride festival at the Best Western Pery Hotel at 9pm, hosted by Paul Ryder with Regina George taking to the decks once the winners have been crowned to entertain us with the best party music around. Tickets are priced at €10.

Limerick Pride’s official Launch night on Tues, July 14 will be in “Stroker’s Gay Bar” on William Street with champagne, finger food and dance floor musical treats.

The ‘Pride Wedding Show’, a wedding fair established in 2014 as part of Limerick Pride Festival, will take place on Wed July 15 at the Limerick Strand Hotel. Sharon McMeel, an award winning wedding planner, said about the fair: “We’ll have different suppliers and vendors there, so all couples regardless of their sexual orientation will have a good opportunity to get answers to their important questions if they are considering getting married. With the historic ‘Yes’ vote this year for the marriage referendum, we actually had many engagements on the day of the referendum. It’s great to be able to look out for all the people who have gotten newly engaged.”

The annual Pride Parade on Sat, July 18, bring some extra colour and music to Limerick City Centre, gathering at City Hall at 2pm, the Parade will make its way at 3pm up O’Connell Street, across Mallow Street to Henry Street, past Arthurs Quay Park and returning to the Potato Market for PrideFest 2015 – a showcase of LGBT Culture in Limerick that you will not want to miss!

This years Grand Marshall will be none other than Limerick legend, actor, director and playwright, Myles Breen. Myles has been a stanch advocate of LGBT rights for decades and in 2009 as part of Limerick Pride, staged his play “Language UnBecoming a Lady”, telling the story of one gay man’s life in Limerick and it left a profound effect on audiences in Limerick. Now as Myles is about to take the play to New York in Sept, it is fitting that he leads the community in their walk through the streets of Limerick celebrating their freedom and new-found equal rights. Myles said: “I am beyond honoured to be asked to be the Grand Marshall of this years Parade. Growing up in Limerick in the 70’s and 80’s, I never dreamed of one day leading a Parade through the streets of my beloved hometown in celebration of equal human rights for the LGBT community. It’s a dream come through and I feel my life has come full circle. I hope everyone comes out to help me celebrate!”

That night after Pridefest, the main “Climax Party” at Dolan’s Warehouse, will feature “Dragged Up” star Paul Ryder and guests Pixie Woo and Victoria Secret performing their colorful show full of energy and movement, followed by DJ Ruth on the main floor and a “Saved by the 90’s” party upstairs.

A full line-up for Pride week can be found at the Limerick Pride website, with updates on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Tag your photos and comments about this years Pride with #ExpressYourselfLimerick.

For media inquires email the Chair of Limerick Pride at [email protected]

For more information on Limerick Pride, click here

Check out the Limerick LGBTQ Facebook here

Check out the Limerick Pride Twitter here

To read more about Limerick Pride, click here

Limerick Says Yes to Marriage Equality

Limerick Says Yes. Last Saturday, The Yes Equality campaign team was out in force at the count in the UL Arena, conducting tallies as boxes were opened and votes were counted. I spent the day with my crew filming and photographing a very emotional day that will be remembered forever in Irish history as Irish voters decisively voted in favour of marriage equality, making Ireland the first country to do so through the ballot box.

The people of Ireland backed same-sex marriage by a landslide in a referendum that marked a dramatic social shift in a traditionally Catholic country that only decriminalized homosexuality two decades ago. After one of the largest turnouts in a referendum there, 62 percent of voters said ‘Yes’, making Ireland the first country to adopt same-sex marriage via a popular vote. It is a social revolution and it’s very clear that this referendum is an affirmation of the views of young people.

One member of the Yes Equality team, who goes by the name of Billie, got down on one knee to propose to her long-term girlfriend Kate Stoica after the result became clear. “Kate we make a great team. I love you inside and out, head to toe, I don’t want to waste another minute of my life without you as my wife,” said Billie. “I’m very overwhelmed right now,” said Katie, who was surrounded by friends and well-wishers including her mum Jacinta.

Afterwards, we all went to the Kasbah Club at Dolans for the announcement of the National vote. It was like New Years Eve in 1999 as people cried, laughed and held each other. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it was happening and I burst into tears at the final announcement. I am so incredibly proud of Limerick, of Ireland and of all the people involved in the campaign. What is more important is the key message of equality and inclusion for the LGBT section of our community in Limerick and Ireland, who have gained equality, inclusion and respect. In that regard we all have won as it has brought us forward on a global platform in the fight for equal human rights for all. This campaign energised and brought a whole new generation of our young people onto the electoral register and into politics and voting for the first time. It’s proof that we can change things. Here is to a brighter future and a new vision of love. One huge step for Ireland, another small step for the world. 

Read more about equality here.