Festival of Kindness to shine on Limerick city

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Act of  kindness: Theresa Kiely, Dooradoyle gets a helping hand from Michael O'Mahony, Limerick Festival of Kindness. Picture: Sean Curtin.
A KIND light will shine on Limerick as a unique new festival gets underway in the city today.

A KIND light will shine on Limerick as a unique new festival gets underway in the city today.

The first of what it is hoped will be an annual event, the Limerick Festival of Kindness, centres around a free family fun day in Bedford Row this Saturday.

There, parents will be encouraged to bring their children into the city centre to get their faces painted, enjoy free arts and crafts, plus enjoying pet baby lambs and puppies.

More than 400 local scouts on Monday will carry out acts of kindness throughout the city, including shoe shining and delivering goods to unsung heroes like the emergency services.

And the 14-strong team behind the Kindness Festival will march in the city’s annual St Patrick’s Day parade on Tuesday. But the festival begins this Friday lunchtime with music in the Absolute and Clarion hotels.

The Festival of Kindness is an initiative of the Pay it Forward group, a team of local volunteers and businesses who are embracing the concept to carry out intentional acts of kindness.

The goal is to spread positivity throughout Limerick’s community by hosting various events.

It is hoped people as a result of these are so energised, they will do kind deeds in their daily life.

Companies across the city have volunteered their time and resources for the festival, including printing T-shirts, offering haircuts, and cooking biscuits and buns.

“We have no money, we have no resources. We just hoped that people would respond to it, and the response has been overwhelming. I think people are looking for the opportunity to kind,” said organiser Michael O’Mahony.

The Pay it Forward committee comprise of 14 people from in and around Limerick, all of whom come from different backgrounds.

On Sunday, March 15, a special Walking on Water day will take place at UL with free kayaking and a universal access excursion of wheelchair users and the visually impaired.

On Monday, March 16, a special event taking place at the former Mount Vincent Convent in O’Connell Avenue will help people get to know their neighbour.

Leaflets will be dropped along O’Connell Avenue inviting people to come and enjoy a coffee laid on by the Adult Counselling Service.

Michael’s own festival highlight involves a unique ‘pass the parcel’ type event involving schools, initially from the city’s northside.

Throughout the festival weekend, there will be free live music and ‘kindness zones’ throughout the city centre, plus surprise flash mobs from Limerick’s third level students.

Acts of kindness will also take place in Limerick’s schools throughout the four day celebration.

From humble beginnings, Michael hopes the festival will grow bigger next year.

For more information contact 085-9931929 or email info@pifl.ie.