Dalai Lama visit in April will put city ‘on the map’

THE Dalai Lama is set to make a historic visit to Limerick in April, where he will make a public address at the University of Limerick that will put the city “on the map”, the organiser has said.

THE Dalai Lama is set to make a historic visit to Limerick in April, where he will make a public address at the University of Limerick that will put the city “on the map”, the organiser has said.

The Buddhist leader will come to Limerick as part of a visit organised by the Derry-based charity Children in Crossfire, established by Richard Moore, a long-time friend of the Dalai Lama, and two non profit organisations, Spunout.ie and Afri.

The Nobel Peace laureate will speak at the University Concert Hall on April 14 at an event open to the public, where he will give a speech entitled ‘The Power of Forgiveness’. Mr Moore told the Limerick Leader that the visit by the spiritual leader will be “immensely positive” for Limerick.

“The whole world will be watching because the Dalai Lama is a global figure and the event will be streamed live on the internet from Limerick,” said Mr Moore. “The University itself is fabulous, second to none, so I think he will help put Limerick on the map,” he added.

The theme of the exiled Tibetan leader’s trip to Ireland is being organised under the ‘Possibilities 2011’ social change initiative, being run by the three charities.

Speaking in advance of the visit, the Dalai Lama said he was “looking forward to speaking in Dublin, Kildare and Limerick at events which I hope will help people realise their own potential, as well as the immense possibilities that exist for realising much needed personal, social and global change”.

Mr Moore explained that he hoped the positivity generated by the visit would “bring about the beginning of a change in Limerick for people”.

“Limerick, like everywhere else, has had its problems and people have been hurt by various situations that have happened there and I hope the Dalai Lama can bring about some change in the way people think and feel about themselves,” he said.

The visit has been in planning since June of last year, but was only confirmed this Tuesday, due to the enormous logistics involved in the two-day visit to Ireland. Despite reports, the planned itinerary for the Dalai Lama’s visit only ever included a visit to UL, and not Southill, as was claimed in a national newspaper.

A letter has been sent inviting the Dalai Lama to a reception in City Hall and Mayor Maria Byrne said she was “delighted that His Holiness The Dalai Lama will visit Limerick”.

“I expect there will be huge interest among Limerick people to hear him speak in UL,” she said.

Tickets for the event will be made available to the public at a cost of €25, but all proceeds from the event will support a Dalai Lama initiative to be established at UL. Professor Don Barry, president, said the college was “extremely honoured to host this address and to welcome the Dalai Lama onto our campus”. Registration for tickets is available at www.ul.ie/dalailama.