Limerick's King John's Castle to be transformed into 'giant tapestry' for New Year's Eve

Alan Owens


AS fireworks explode above Limerick on New Year's Eve, the walls of the medieval King John's Castle will be transformed into a giant tapestry.

A specially commissioned video projection will animate the facade of the Castle on December 31, it has been announced, with musical entertainment to take place ahead of Limerick lighting up for the first fireworks display to take place in the city in five years.

The New Year’s Eve at King John’s Castle event is a collaboration between Shannon Heritage and the LIT Limerick School of Art and Design, with grant funding from Limerick City and County Council.

Niall O’Callaghan, Managing Director, Shannon Heritage said: “We wanted to make it an extra special occasion for the people of Limerick and visitors from home and overseas to experience and enjoy. The video projection mapping event gives us the perfect way to do just that.

"We are fortunate to have a superb school of art and design in Limerick and exceptional students and staff at LIT who are using their considerable talents to make this a truly magical and memorable event at our iconic visitor attraction.”

The content for the video projection mapping is a closely guarded secret at present, but the organisers say it will combine the use of dramatic film footage and digital graphics.

It has been designed by a team lead by Limerick School of Art and Design’s Ken Coleman, based at Clonmel, and Art O’Laoire, from the faculty of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology.

Mike Fitzpatrick, head of school at LSAD, said the school was "very excited to take on this challenge of creating a video mapping project on this scale".

"What better way to showcase the wonderful talents of Limerick School of Art and Design lecturer Ken Coleman’s and LIT’s technical guru, Art O’Laoire, bringing their creativity together to turn the Castle into a dazzling high impact visual presentation.

"The setting of King John’s Castle on the banks of the Shannon makes the project all the more dramatic. To enhance the anticipation we are keeping the content a surprise, suffice to say it’s a fast paced journey across time and space, the struggle between good and evil…..all will be revealed.”

The spectacular event which takes place before the New Year’s Eve fireworks display will be visible from vantage points around the King John’s Castle area and is being managed by Grooveyard Event Management Company. It will start at 8.30pm before the fireworks take place at 9pm. 

People are being advised to arrive early to be assured of a good view.