Giant Granny left a rich cultural legacy in Limerick

Pic Sean Curtin

LIMERICK’s year as Capital of Culture left a legacy that includes Troy Studios, a local authority cultural committee and a strategy to support artists and bring out Limerick’s talents.

That was the message from Council Arts Officer, Sheila Deegan in a presentation to the members of Limerick City and County Council this week.

Recalling the highlights of the four-month celebration, Ms Deegan pointed to the Giant Granny’s Journey through the city and events in the Culture Factory such the Fuerza Bruta performances.

“In 2014, we saw a confidence shift in our culture,” she said.

Some of the legacies of 2014 could be seen in a concrete way, with the Culture Factory becoming Troy Studios and  a €44 milion net benefit for the local economy.

“We are now recognising that culture and commerce are easy bedfellows.”

Most importantly,  Limerick has now developed a cultural strategy which provides a 15 year plan for development of events, festivals and attracting greater tourism spend.

City North councillor, John Costello (SF) said he would like to see more efforts to bring schools into the cultural arena and to find funding for their events.

“The Corpus Christi national school in Moyroos stages the most fantastic events and they have an amazing choir. They really deserve to be supported.”

Annacotty councillor Marian Hurley (FG) said that the bursaries being offered under the strategy are “encouraging people to come out and show their talent and she added that she would “like to see a lot more street entertainment at the weekends, and coming into the school holidays.”

Another city north councillor Mary Cahillane (Solidarity) said she was “very impressed with the Giant Granny – it was an event that was accessible and free, open to everybody.

“One thing could be improved is culture night. A lot of events are indoors”.

Cllr Richard O’Donoghue (Ind) suggested some funding be found to support the seven vintage car clubs in the county.

“We had a 1950’s fire engine in the St Patrick’s Day parade. Those clubs spent money restoring it and bringing it out for public events. They bring their vehicles to a lot of events and raise money for charity and they go to a lot of expense promoting that culture,” he explained.