The unification of Limerick city and county is more than an administrative challenge, as we have noted here before. The question is how – other than being united in support on the days when the county hurlers do battle – can you bring people as far apart as Abbeyfeale and Caherdavin together under the Limerick banner?
It’s a question that the organisers of the upcoming Limerick Show are on a mission to answer. They are keen to sell the show as a city and county event, which is how it was perceived when Greenpark racecourse in the heart of the city used to stage it. We wish them well in attracting more city folk to Greenmount, out Patrickswell way, next month. And the encouraging news is that some progress is being made by the “one Limerick” advocates, even if some employees of the merged council do not feel that the unified authority is serving the people as effectively as before. That, though, is a debate for another day.
This week, we launch the 2015 Going for Gold Community Challenge, which will see 36 areas from across the city and county lining up to show the best of themselves. The latest staging of the JP McManus-backed annual competition, which the Leader is proud to partner, is something of a departure in that it embraces rural communities as well as suburban neighbourhoods. Along with the Pride of Place initiative, which we also feature this week, it’s a feelgood event which plays a part in continuing Limerick’s upward trajectory. Leader reporters spoke to members of six communities this week –with 30 more to follow over the next month or so – and their enthusiasm for the competition was palpable.
The idea of a long established community such as Athea in West Limerick going head to head with a more recently created neighbourhood in a city area such as Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, gives the “one Limerick” campaign legs. Hearts as well as minds will need to be won over if that campaign is to be successful and – in that context – initiatives such as Going for Gold and the highly successful Team Limerick Clean-up earlier this year can be key drivers. As the newspaper dedicated to covering every nook and cranny of our city and county, the Leader is delighted to play its part in shining a light on the commendable endeavours of these communities. We look forward to bringing readers more coverage over the coming weeks.
Good luck to all involved.