Inside story to Limerick Spring Festival

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David McWilliams, returns for Leviathan session, Dolan's, Friday 11
David McWilliams, returns for Leviathan session, Dolan’s, Friday 11

ALREADY in train April 8 to Sunday 13, Limerick Spring Festival is a roll out of ideas, discussion, politics and opposition. This is Limerick’s first festival of politics and is platform to debate, film, protest music, food and ‘creative discussion’.

Confirmed speakers number broadcaster Vincent Browne, economist David McWilliams, Ear to the Ground Presenter Ella Mc Sweeney and comedians Eleanor Tiernan and Paddy Cullivan.

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Limerick Spring also welcomes filmmakers Lelia Doolan and  Donnacha O Briain to present their work this week at two film screenings.

This festival is a Made in Limerick project supported by National City of Culture.

Festival Coordinator Jennifer Moroney-Ward says, “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.”

Today Thursday 10, there are two events, the first of which begins at 2.30pm in the Exhibition Hall of City Hall and will engage a group of citizens of all ages and backgrounds in a workshop on representation and democracy.

On Thursday night you are invited to Salon Du Chat, hosted by Roisin Buckley in Fitto Cafe. This is a conversational cafe where your menu is filled with sumptuous morsels of conversation.

Friday night April 11 sees the return of David Mc Williams and Leviathan Political Cabaret back to Limerick for what will be a lively debate – Constitution or Revolution: Towards 2016. It takes place in Dolan’s, Dock Road.

Mc Williams will host a panel including Dr Peadar Kirby, Marie Louise O’Donnell, Liadh Ni Riada, Deirdre O’Shaughnessy of the Cork Independent  and Diarmuid O’Flynn of Ballyhea Says No, among others. There will also be some comedy from Abie Philbin Bowman and some satirical music from White Cholera.

Saturday 12 moves to Limerick Milk Market where Ella Mc Sweeney will lead an expert panel to look at the Politics of Food. This event is organised in collaboration with the Limerick Community Grocery.

IFTA winning film maker Leila Doolan
IFTA winning film maker Leila Doolan

Saturday afternoon sees a film premiere of Donncha O’Briain’s new film ‘Peripheral Vision’ with a Q& A with the director and panel of experts following the screening. This film follows a number of protest movements in Ireland over the last two years including Ballyhea Says No, Anglo Not Our Debt Campaign and the Occupy movement.

In what is sure to be highlight of the festival, Limerick’s own Vincent Browne will act as  Speaker of the House at the first ever Limerick Spring Assembly at the Crescent Hall, aptly situated beside the statue of Daniel O’Connell, on Saturday 10 from 6pm to 8.30pm.

This event invites 11 citizens of Limerick to put a motion to the House and the audience will decide whether it gets passed and therefore included in The Limerick Spring Assembly Manifesto.

On to Sunday 13 when comedians Eleanor Tiernan and Paddy Cullivan launch the first ever Speakers Corner in Limerick.This event takes place on the corner of Thomas and Ann Street and will be followed by a comedy gig at 8pm in Dr Johns/ Blind Pig on Thomas Street.

Over 15 volunteers are involved in making Limerick Spring Festival; work began a good four months ago.