Limerick will be the place to be this autumn as a series of festivals will take place aimed at attracting our diaspora home for visits. The Global Irish Festival Series is a joint initiative between Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Limerick City and County Council to encourage diaspora to return home to visit Ireland by providing funding and support, through Local Authorities, for events that tap into international diaspora networks encouraging them to return home for the events.
Limerick was one of only four counties chosen to take part in the Global Irish Festival Series – the others being Donegal, Mayo and Kerry.
Limerick will play host to a number of unique festivals and events that will be of particular interest to friends and family who have a connection with or an interest in Ireland.
The four festivals are:
|Ashford Festival||25-28 August|
|Pigtown Culture & Food Series||16 Sept to 03 Oct|
|Richard Harris International Film Festival||26-31 October|
|Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Autumn School||28-31 October|
Taking place on various dates in September and October, it will feature the world-famous Richard Harris International Film Festival, which celebrates the life and works of Limerick’s most famous actor.
Meanwhile, Pigtown’s Food and Culture Series will celebrate Limerick’s authentic yet multicultural food and drink offering from 16 September until early October.
Local communities in Ashford and Killeedy kicked off the festival series over the past weekend with a number of events in the West Limerick parish as part of the Ashford Festival. The highlight was linking up with diaspora around the world and sharing their experiences and their memories of the Home Place. Bruff will welcome back their diaspora and other visitors as part of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Autumn School.
Speaking at the Limerick launch Deputy Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon said: “The Global Irish Festival Series offers all of you the perfect reason to come home and visit Limerick this Autumn with a fantastic line-up of events for September and October showcasing the culture and heritage of Limerick.
The Limerick diaspora may extend up to 6m people worldwide and we’re extending a warm céad míle fáilte to people across the world to come home, enjoy the festivities and experience Limerick which is still on a high after our All Ireland Hurling 3-in-a-row.”
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, said: “The Global Irish Festival Series is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the culture and heritage of Limerick, connecting with the diaspora network and providing visitors with a new and unique reason to visit. The series will enable local communities to deepen their connections with visitors from around the world, increasing footfall for local businesses, supporting jobs and generating revenue.”
Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy, said: “I warmly welcome the members of our Diaspora with a connection to Limerick who will be returning for the Global Irish Festival Series. The events planned throughout the county will present a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with Limerick and to rediscover the vibrancy of the Wild Atlantic Way. The Global Irish Festival Series will allow local communities to celebrate our shared culture, identity and history and strengthen connections with visitors from around the world.”
Speaking about the Global Irish Festival Series, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Festivals, Ciara Sugrue, said: “We are pleased to work with the Department of Foreign Affairs once again on the annual Global Irish Festival Series after a two-year hiatus. The festivals and events supported through the series will help drive tourism to specific locations, including regional areas outside of current hotspots, creating new economic benefits for local communities. This will be hugely important as we drive recovery across the tourism sector.”
Eileen Coleman, Head of Tourism for Limerick City and County Council said: “It is fantastic to be part of the Global Irish Festival Series once again this year. We look forward to welcoming the Limerick diaspora back to enjoy the programme of events planned for the autumn.”
The Global Irish Festival Series is one of a number of initiatives being undertaken by the Global Limerick strategy which aim is to connect Limerick with its diaspora no matter where they are living to build new relationships that will help local and regional development.
Further details on the events can be found on Limerick.ie.
Photo: Pictured at the launch of the Global Irish Festival Series at King Johns Castle Limerick were, Aoife Danagher, RHIFF, Rory Corbett, Limerick City and County Council, Shauna Cunningham, Failte Ireland, Cllr. Olivia O’Sullivan, Pigtown, Cllr. Kieran O’Hanlon, Deputy Mayor Limerick City and County, Steve Cunneen, Pigtown and Eileen Coleman. Limerick City and County Council. Picture: Alan Place