Limerick traders show their art is in the right place

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

A UNIQUE art festival which will benefit Milford Hospice and brain injury charity Headway has opened in Roches Street. Richard Lynch, of ‘I Love Limerick’ cut the ribbon at the annual ‘Roches Street Traders Art Festival’, which took place at Condell’s Office Supplies in the street.

A UNIQUE art festival which will benefit Milford Hospice and brain injury charity Headway has opened in Roches Street.

Richard Lynch, of ‘I Love Limerick’ cut the ribbon at the annual ‘Roches Street Traders Art Festival’, which took place at Condell’s Office Supplies in the street.

The 12-day festival will see traders put works by new as well as renowned artists on display in their windows.

While shopping, people on the street will see a piece of at alongside the other products each trader sells.

If interested, they can go in and bid for the artwork, with 25% of the proceeds split between the two charities, and the remainder going to he artists.

It is the 11th year the exhibition has taken place, with more than €60,000 raised for Milford Hospice and various other charities in that time.

This year, artists who have put their work on display include Roger McCarthy, Sinead McHale and Jean English.

Artists Tom Greaney and Paul Weeraskera have agreed to donate their fee to the two charities.

Chairperson of the Roches Street traders association Fiona Ryan said they chose to raise money for Headway this year, following the sad death of fellow trader Betty McDonagh.

“She was an avid fan of the arts. There have been other cases, obviously, and we have all been touched by people with a stroke. It is a nice thing to do,” she said.

Addressing the audience, Richard said: “Roches Street is my favourite in Limerick, because it is the only street which gangs together like a family and supports one another. This art is amazing and so worthwhile. This kind of thing defines Limerick - the community spirit. I think it is the combination of bringing charity, art and business together. It is like 2+2=7. It is just amazing.”

Headway client Catherine Keane has also contributed to the 100-strong collection of paintings, as have students from the Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD).

“In all my years, I had never tried art. But since I got my stroke, some part of my brain has come alive again, and got me doing art,” she said.

Art works will be on display until close of trading on September 22.

Every shop in the street takes part in the event.