John Moran, Patrick O'Donovan, Trish Long and Prof Desmond Fitzgerald at the Dublin event Picture: Sean Curtin
A PROPER commemoration to celebrate the centenary of the Limerick Soviet should be held in 2019, according to the head of the Walt Disney Company in Ireland.
Limerick born Trish Long, vice president and general manager of Disney in Ireland, has urged the powers that be to organise an event to mark the events of April 1919, when Limerick was a self declared soviet, when the city briefly printed its own money and organised its own food supply for the people.
This was just one of the many ideas highlighted when Capital Limerick was launched in Dublin last week at a sold out gathering, which brought together Limerick business people based in Dublin who want to promote and enhance Limerick’s profile and reputation in the capital.
The Soviet lasted just 12 days, but made headlines worldwide, coinciding with the beginning of the War of Independence, part of a general strike organised by the Limerick Trades and Labour Council.
Ms Long stressed that it was important for Limerick to “own its uniqueness and identity”; to be the best version of itself as opposed to a poor copy “and that we’ve successfully avoided our identity being caught up in ‘what we are not’ which is a syndrome common to some Irish cities.”
As an example of some of the unique elements, she said that Limerick was the only city in the country which could choose in two and a half years time to take the opportunity to celebrate its strong and independent spirit by finding an appropriate way to own it and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Limerick Soviet.
The main objective of Capital Limerick is to mobilise professionals and business people based in Dublin “to come together and to harness their drive and expertise to contribute to the forward momentum now underway around Limerick and to provide help in the social and economic development of Limerick”.
Importantly the new grouping intends to create an awareness of Limerick’s unique qualities and attractiveness amongst companies and organisations in the capital and in particular amongst Limerick people at decision making levels of those companies and organisations.
Speaking at the event, Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan recalled being first elected to Dail Eireann, and rushing home to tell his father, who was ill in bed.
“Never forget where you came from,” was his Dad’s advice .
“There can be a real tangible benefit to Limerick from this. Capital Limerick is about bringing Limerick professionals based in Dublin to network together and promote their home place,” he said.
“Today, we can see the emerging potential of what I am sure will be a very influential and successful group. Limerick can only benefit from such a unique endeavour. There is an opportunity here to sell and promote Limerick particularly with the recent prosperous changing circumstances,” he noted.
Welcoming the guests, Capital Limerick spokesperson and founder, Clair Hayes, said the group wants to promote and drive the commercial and socio-cultural profile of Limerick.
“Limerick’s greatest era is yet to come. Capital Limerick is about mobilising those of us based in Dublin who are united around that aim and seeing how we can help and get involved in the recovery and resurgence that is already visible,” she said.
John Moran said: “Limerick is on the move. It is now increasingly recognised as a fun ‘glocal’ city. ‘Glocal’ is the new description of desirable urban cities that have a global outlook and connections but yet a local feel. In that sense Limerick is offering a compelling alternative to Dublin for quality of life, opportunity and community.
“I congratulate the team for their idea to facilitate fans of Limerick to get together here in Dublin. It will help shine a light on the transformation of the region and harness goodwill and practical support for organisations working on the ground there to make life better for all of its inhabitants”.
All proceeds from the inaugural lunch and subsequent activities will be invested in Limerick-based community and charitable projects, the group said.