What does it mean to be shaped by Limerick? The project celebrates individuals who, just like Limerick, have more to them than meets the eye. Some of the people featured champion Limerick’s sporting and creative edge, while others, through their professions and personal pastimes embody what it means to embrace – to nurture, support and care for. Although there is no denying that they all exemplify the duality of the Limerick experience – our Limerick Edge and Embrace.
That's what makes them shaped by Limerick.
Being shaped by Limerick is not something that happens at birth, it is the result of the lived experience of spending time in Limerick.
Being shaped by Limerick means you embrace those around you. Being shaped by Limerick means you are not afraid to show your edge.
Being shaped by Limerick makes you resilient. The individuals featured in this exhibition have been shaped by Limerick. Have you?
Farouk, a Graphic and Motion Designer, Model and Multidisciplinary Artist, was born in Lagos, raised in Dublin and made in Limerick. A graduate of Limerick School of Art and Design, Farouk creates art to better understand the world around him and help others understand their world better too. Farouk’s art-style is ever evolving, using multimedia to tell a diverse range of stories through his work.
Farouk is a proud Brand Limerick ambassador and worked with the team in the creation of Limerick’s brand identity as part of a creative collaboration with LIT LSAD. Constantly innovating, Farouk co-founded Somint, an NFT art marketplace for all, which uses blockchain tech to empower creatives to monetise their talent.
Ger, a 66 year-old dad of three and grandfather of seven from Corbally, is a member of the Limerick Narwhals Swimming Club. Ger epitomises our Limerick edge, indomitability and driven attitude, having recently become the oldest male athlete to complete an ice-mile, under International Swimming Association regulations. Ger swam, without stopping in temperatures of just 4.93 degrees Celsius!
Ger, an amateur swimmer, occupied himself during lockdown, by swimming in the River Shannon and training during the long, cold winter months within 5km of his home, in line with public health restrictions, before completing the challenge in freezing conditions. In a display of sheer determination and steeliness, Ger smashed the record in just over 43 minutes.
Dr. James Ryan
Originally from Bruff, now working as a medical consultant in the Mercy University and Mater Private hospitals in Cork, James is the Team Doctor with the Limerick Hurling teams since 2013. 2020 brought the unexpected Covid-19 pandemic, and a hugely stressful change to work and family life for everyone. In the face of the most challenging of conditions, James’s wife Maria and children James, Oisín and Grace dealt with lockdown, Daddy’s much longer working hours and increased trips to Limerick to look after the Limerick players.
Whilst the strict safety protocols around hurling training and games created additional challenges, the reward was getting to see this exceptional bunch of players achieve their potential. Showcasing real competitive edge, the entertainment they provided sustained many through the dark days of lockdown.
Mark is born and bred Limerick. He is passionate about skateboarding and has been honing his skills for the last 10 years. Mark believes, that like any sport, art, or form of self-expression, the process is so often rigorous and repetitive. Pushing past that struggle and achieving what he has spent hours trying to accomplish, is the bliss that he as a skateboarder, constantly chases. Skateboarding has instilled in Mark, resilience, confidence, grit and determination.
Mary, from Croom, has always had a passion for running, both as a competitor and a volunteer. One of Mary’s proudest moments was when, at 70 years of age, she represented Ireland at the 2016 European Road Masters Championships in the Algarve. Over the years, Mary has volunteered with many groups and organisations. In recent years, she became involved with Age Friendly Limerick, having just completed a two-year term as the National Chair of Older Peoples Councils of Ireland.
When Covid-19 hit, Mary wanted to contribute, and with the support of Age Friendly Limerick, she set up a friendly call service, “Reaching Out, Staying Connected”. Making more than fifty calls per week, Mary checks in on other older people, to have a chat and see how they are doing.
Michael is a Foreman with the Cleansing Department of Limerick City and County Council. His job affords him the opportunity to meet and engage with the people of Limerick when he and the team are keeping the city litter free. 2020 brought huge change where, overnight city streets got quieter as people stayed at home and non-essential retail outlets closed their doors. However, with more people out walking; more waste accumulated on the streets and dumping in urban areas increased. Each team member has worked hard through the lockdowns, ensuring the city remains clean and open spaces litter free.
Michael acknowledges the often forgotten members of our team - the many community groups who operate the cleaning of the city on a voluntary basis, which we are all hugely grateful for. Michael volunteers as an underage coach for his local GAA club and has seen first-hand, the important contribution that volunteers bring to our communities. Everyone has a part to play.
Dr. Naro Imcha
As a proud immigrant Irish citizen, Naro exemplifies a rapidly modernising Ireland. She loves Limerick and its people, who are friendly and welcoming. After training and working as an Obstetrics and Gynaecology Consultant in London, she chose to move back to Limerick to join the UL Hospitals Group.
Naro enjoys the opportunity to say hello to the newest members of Limerick, the children born at the maternity hospital. She works with expectant mothers so that they and their babies can be healthy. She is also rigorous in fulfilling her responsibilities as a trainer of medical students and junior doctors. Naro is always seeking knowledge, and keeps a regular routine of reading, studying and learning.
A student in Knockainey National School, 11 year old Pádraig O’Callaghan is probably best known for his role as the host of the Monday Motivation ‘Paudcast’. This 60 second motivational clip is released every Monday on www.Paudcast.ie. The idea was borne last year with the intention of helping people, young and old, by keeping them upbeat during the challenging Covid times. Since then, the ‘Paudcast’ has gone viral, with messages of support flowing in from around the world.
Pádraig is a proud Limerickman, and is also a proud supporter of Down Syndrome Limerick and Special Olympics Ireland. Another highlight of his public speaking career was when he addressed the Special Olympics World Forum, chaired by none other than Tim Shriver – a nephew of JFK!
Rachel, a mum to Fionn and wife to Niall, is a firefighter with Limerick City Fire and Rescue for the past 20 years. A profession, which is more frequently associated with males than females; each shift brings different challenges ensuring Rachel’s working life is varied and active, whether she is a part of the Swift Water Rescue Team or driving a fire engine (one of her favourite parts of the job!).
Rachel’s skills as a mother are invaluable at work, where empathy, warmth, openness and resilience are the order of the day, especially when meeting distressed people and responding to emergency calls. Although Rachel is very dedicated to her job, she also enjoys her time off, which she spends with her family, adventure racing, baking or hiking with the energetic family dog.
Dr. Sindy Joyce
Sindy is a Human Rights Defender and member of President Michael D. Higgins’ Council of State. Sindy’s pioneering attitude led to her being named as one of “50 Brilliant Irish Women” who inspired in 2018. Sindy’s ambition, drive and determination are evident in her outstanding academic achievements, including a B.A in English and History and a Masters in Sociology. Sindy is the first Mincéir in Ireland to graduate with a PhD (from the University of Limerick), the title of which was Mincéirs Siúladh: An ethnographic study of young Travellers’ experiences of racism in urban space.
A module co-ordinator and lecturer with UCD, Sindy was also successful in winning the prestigious Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship Scheme. Her research addresses the original and important question of how anti-Traveller racism shapes young people’s use of and movement through public space.
We would like to thank all those involved in bringing this exhibition to fruition. With special thanks to Laura Ryan and Aoife O’Shaughnessy of Limerick City and County Council, Stephen and Nick of Horizon Printing, Ken Coleman, Brian O’Carroll and especially the 10 participants who we couldn’t have done this project without. We look forward to seeing and hearing your reactions to this showcase.