Limerick should utilise links with New York and become the ‘Little Apple’

Eugene Phelan

Reporter:

Eugene Phelan

LIMERICK’S strong links throughout the world were emphasised at the latest brainstorming session held by the Limerick Local Heroes group, which has developed the idea of Limerick becoming “the Little Apple.”

LIMERICK’S strong links throughout the world were emphasised at the latest brainstorming session held by the Limerick Local Heroes group, which has developed the idea of Limerick becoming “the Little Apple.”

The Limerick Local Heroes Ideas Summit had close to 400 people at its second meeting in Thomond Park recently, and developed the idea of planning a vision for the future of the city.

One idea which met approval was that of local musician Mark O’Connor and landscape architect Dave Ryan who urged increased links with New York. Under the moniker ‘the Little Apple’ the idea is focused on utilising the many links between the two cities, namely the historical link between Limerick’s ‘grid planning’ that was replicated in New York’s city planning, as well as the links created by the McCourt family and Angela’s Ashes, for example.

The speakers also highlighted the fact that Limerick man George Heslin is involved in the First Irish Theatre Festival - a four week theatre festival that takes place in Manhattan each year.

The next step is to put together working action groups for a number of core ideas that they believe are actionable and achievable within the coming months.

“To that extent I am delighted that we are going to set up for individual pillars or action groups, namely tourism, retail, community and enterprise, employment and education. An individual project manager for each of these four groups will be appointed in the coming weeks and the public will be invited to get involved with the group they believe most suits their interests and expertise,” explained Tony Frawley, spokesperson for the Limerick Local Heroes group.

But it was not all New York, New York. The idea of forging further links with other international cities was a theme visited throughout the night with other ideas featuring the possibility of an official ‘Georgian City triangle’ along with Bath and Edinburgh, and hosting regular showcases for visiting rugby playing cities such as Treviso and Cardiff was another thought provoking idea.

The latest public meeting held in Thomond Park was facilitated by communications trainer and motivational speaker Orlaith Carmody. Other ideas varied from increasing street theatre at weekends, new social enterprise schemes and city educational tours for local schoolchildren, just a tiny sample of the exciting ideas that came out of the two hour public meeting.

Those interested in finding out more can visit the Limerick Local Heroes on Facebook at , Twitter @LmkLocalHeroes or at Limerick Local Heroes.