Positive living: Limerick’s Lifelong Learning Festival returns

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Seamus Murnane as Gearoid Iarla takes time out to tell students of Lough Gur National School, Ali Carew and Cameron Mallory, the tale of Gearoid Iarla, the third Earl of Desmond. Picture: Alan Place
FROM lectures on Limerick lace to workshops on the benefits of fermented foods, Limerick’s Lifelong Learning Festival is back for the fifth year with a glut of events and activities to interest, entertain and engage people of all ages.

FROM lectures on Limerick lace to workshops on the benefits of fermented foods, Limerick’s Lifelong Learning Festival is back for the fifth year with a glut of events and activities to interest, entertain and engage people of all ages.

Taking place from March 23-29, it will feature 150 free events across numerous locations in Limerick city and country.

It has been launched at Lough Gur Heritage Centre, where some events will take place, by local actor and heritage centre patron, Jon Kenny, alongside the chair of the municipal district of Cappamore-Kilmallock, Cllr Eddie Ryan, and the chair of the Learning Limerick Steering Group, Deirdre Minogue.

The selection of events again this year is varied, spanning across areas including art and craft, music and dancing, sports and leisure, caring and health studies, gardening and horticulture, activities for children and young people as well as many events to support more traditional education and training areas.

Organised by the Learning Limerick Steering Group, the theme for this year’s festival is ‘Learning for Positive Living’. “This year’s theme provides us all with an opportunity to learn something new and make positive changes in our lives, and the lives of those around us,” said Ms Minogue.

As a learning element of the launch, local man John Carew told the folktale of Gearóid Iarla, the third Earl of Desmond, who as well as dabbling in magic composed verse in both Irish and French. As a punishment for his involvement in magic, he did not die but is said to live beneath the waters of Lough Gur. Every seven years he rides around the lake margin on his white horse.

Festival co-ordinator, Yvonne Lane, said this year they are involving primary schools across Limerick city and county in a schools competition, which is a new initiative to promote lifelong learning across schools.

Three prizes will be awarded to schools which best capture the theme and overall spirit of the festival. Photographs and descriptions of the wonderful activities taking place in primary schools during the festival will also be showcased on www.limerick.ie/lovelearning.

Free copies of the 2015 Festival Programme are now available throughout Limerick and on www.limerick.ie/LoveLearning with daily updates also on Facebook ‘Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival’ and on Twitter @LimerickLearningFest