BROADCASTER Vincent Browne and economist David McWilliams are among the speakers at Limerick’s first ever ‘political festival’, taking place this week.
There is a busy programme of events for the Limerick Spring, a Festival of Politics and Ideas, which is designed to spark people’s interests in politics and current affairs ahead of May’s local and European elections.
The City of Culture supported, Made in Limerick festival will feature a number of events taking place over until Sunday, including debate, film, protest music, food and creative discussion.
“Limerick has a long tradition of political activism and has played a leading role in the development of the Irish state,” explained Jennifer Moroney-Ward, who is co-ordinating the festival along with a large committee.
“However, many citizens feel disconnected from politics. This five day festival will invite citizens and guest speakers to delve deeper into the political structures and systems that influence our lives in 2014.”
As well as Messers Browne and McWilliams, Ear to the Ground presenter Ella Mc Sweeney and comedians Eleanor Tiernan and Paddy Cullivan will also make an appearance.
The Leviathan Political Cabaret returns to Limerick for what will likely be a lively debate – Constitution or Revolution: Towards 2016 on Friday night, while on Saturday Ella Mc Sweeney will lead an expert panel to look at the Politics of Food, taking place in the Milk Market.
On Saturday, Limerick’s own Vincent Browne will act as Speaker of the House at the first ever Limerick Spring Assembly at the Crescent Hall, while Tiernan and Cullivan launch the first ever Speakers Corner on Sunday.
Other events include film screenings, workshops, the conversational cafe Salon du Chat on Thursday night in Fitto Cafe.
Fifteen volunteers have played a key role in making the festival happen, logging an estimated total of over 1000 hours of work and Ms Moroney-Ward explained that she hoped it would help to provoke debate.
“I was thinking that I would love to run a festival in Limerick that was around the spoken word and was current affairs-based.
“We will be looking at some of the political issues facing us, but we will be coming at it from a different perspective,” she said.
“We are not coming from the perspective of politicians: it is from a citizen’s point of view,” she added.
See www.limerickspring.com for full details.