Learning Limerick hosted a ‘Shared Island’ learning city exchange programme from Monday 15th – Wednesday 17th May for the Irish Network of Learning Cities (INLC). The INLC includes Limerick, Dublin, Cork, Derry Strabane, and Belfast. The three-day programme included a welcome reception in Shannon Rowing Club, a conference and site visits to centres of learning in Limerick.
The Shared Island Programme funded this visit, and this is supported by the Government of Ireland through the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, as well as the INLC. The programme supports projects and initiatives between Local Government partners North and South. Working with the support of all INLC partners, it involves a series of exchanges and consultation workshops in all five cities, culminating in a Learning City Conference in Derry in June. The project’s main goal is to support opportunities for cross-city learning exchange between the five INLC learning cities.
There was a conference held on the morning of Tuesday 16th May as the main part of the Limerick programme. The morning was an opportunity for the Irish Network and Learning Limerick members to interact with colleagues and the visiting speakers, to renew links with partners and colleagues, and forge some new ones.
Speaking at the opening of the seminar event, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Francis Foley, said: “Limerick City and County Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the other four cities in the Irish Network in May 2022. This is an important agreement to commit each city to work together and provide mutual support to help deliver on the vision of a Learning City for all. Peer support and empathy are key drivers of our partnership. We are delighted to be committed to being close working partners with our Learning City friends in the Irish Network of Learning Cities.”
Eimear Brophy, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board and Chair of the Learning Limerick Steering Group said: “The annual Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival celebrates Limerick as an UNESCO Learning City-Region. The Learning Limerick Steering Group is a proud member and award winner of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC). Learning Limerick also enjoys this close collaboration with the Irish Network of Learning Cities and we support each other’s festivals and key learning events. We welcome our Learning City partners to Limerick. This is a wonderful opportunity to network and showcase what Limerick has to offer and its commitment to lifelong learning.”