WITH learners from over 50 different countries enrolled in its courses, Limerick College of Further Education has celebrated this diversity with a feast of food, music and dance on Mulgrave Street.
Part of the college’s 50th anniversary celebrations, its fourth annual intercultural day was attended by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald.
Around 800 people crowded in for the event at LCFE, formerly known as Limerick Senior College.
They got to choose from a delicious range of ethnic cuisines while they browsed cultural displays from around the world.
A number of live performances included magicians, beat-boxers, fire-throwers, stilt-walkers, pipers, break-dancers and ukulele players.
Hanora Hartnett, deputy director and chair of LCFE’s equality committee said that “by holding an intercultural day, learners at the college get to actively meet other cultures; mix; taste exotic foods; hear different languages and, most importantly, have lots of fun. I want to congratulate all those involved in making today such a huge success and to acknowledge the minister’s support in helping to mark 50 years of education here in the college”.
Minister Fitzgerald, meanwhile, said courses such as those being offered at LCFE would continue to be crucial as she sets about reforming Ireland’s childcare sector.
She addressed a large group of participants on childcare and applied social studies programmes in LCFE, speaking about the necessity for formal training and qualifications to work within a childcare setting.
“I wish to congratulate and acknowledge LCFE for its contribution to education in Limerick over the past 50 years. I look forward to the college continuing to make an important contribution to educating and training child practitioners in the future, including to support upskilling in the early years and pre-school sector, which is an objective I have prioritised as minister.”
Minister Fitzgerald answered a number of questions from people studying for childcare qualifications before unveiling an artwork marking 50 years of LCFE.
Learners involved in producing this piece of art were Michael Collins, Tony Cremins, Ciara Finnan, Rachel Fleming, Natascha Hayes, Áine Henebry, Irene Joe, Maria Little, Barry Looney, Aileen Madden, Ellen Madden, Christian Malone and Roisín O’Keefe.
All are taught by LCFE tutor Pat Normoyle and are participating in the advanced art level 6 class. This group was specially commissioned to come up with the lino print artwork to mark the half-century.