OVER 2,100 tickets to see the Dalai Lama give a public address in Limerick next month are sold out.
The University of Limerick has confirmed that there has been “a phenomenal response” to see the spiritual leader of Tibet when he visits the campus on April 14.
Such has been the demand that the venue has been changed from the University Concert Hall, which can hold 1,000 people, to the University Arena, which can accommodate upwards of 3,000 people.
Another 850 VIP passes to notable religious and political figures across the country are also being issued by the university.
A ‘register of interest’ was initially opened to determine the scale of demand in his visit, and they quickly realised a much larger venue would be required.
“We had a civic duty to bring it to the largest possible audience we could,” said a spokesperson.
Tickets were priced at €25 for the non-profit event, however much of the financial dividends are likely to be spent on the logistical operations of organising the visit.
Remaining proceeds from the event will support a Dalai Lama initiative to be established at UL.
The 76 year-old exiled Buddhist leader, who has announced he is to step down as political leader, will speak in Limerick on “The Power of Forgiveness”.
The event is being organised by the charity Children in Crossfire and two non-profit organisations, Spunout.ie and Afri.
The Dalai Lama is a patron of Children in Crossfire, which works to protect and promote the rights of some of the world’s most vulnerable children.
UL president Prof Don Barry said they “are extremely honoured to host this address and to welcome the Dalai Lama on to our campus at UL.”
The UL address will be the final engagement for the Dalai Lama, who will be in Ireland for just two days.
He will also give addresses in Dublin and Kildare during his third visit to the Republic.
The event in the UL Arena will include ritual chant and music performances by students and faculty members of the Irish World Academy at the university as well as musical performances by the Irish Chamber Orchestra. Primary and secondary school children involved in a music programme in the regeneration areas will also perform.
The event is ticket-only event, and will take place from 9am to 11.30am.