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Lifelong Learning Festival Celebrates Learning for All in Limerick

Young girl sitting at table

The Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival returns for its 10th edition this month with the festival taking place online for the very first time due to current COVID-19 restrictions. The festival will run from Monday 28 September to Sunday 4 October with the theme for this year’s festival being Celebrating and Building Learning Communities’. As one of the key festival partners, Mary Immaculate College (MIC) will host a number of events during the week-long festival, which celebrates lifelong learning and Limerick as a UNESCO Learning City-Region.

On Wednesday 30 September at 6pm MIC will host a panel discussion via Zoom, which will explore diversity in Limerick and the impact of COVID-19. Speakers who represent diversity and minority groups in Limerick will discuss Limerick as a city, their place in it and the diversity of the city.

Panellists will include Shay Moloney from Limerick Youth Service, Ann Piercy and Patrick McElligott from GOSHH (Gender, Orientation, Sexual Health, HIV), Ahmed Hassan Mohammed from Doras, Mamobo-Oghene Ogoro who is the first Sanctuary PhD Fellow at University of Limerick, and Tyrone Guillen who is a member of the Limerick Youth Service Diversity and Youth (DAY) group.

This timely discussion aims to raise awareness of the work of these community groups and each speaker will reflect on the impact COVID-19 is having on diverse and minority groups in Limerick.

Edel Foster, Athena SWAN Project Manager, who is organising this event with MIC lecturer, Santhi Corcoran, says “Now more than ever it is important to hear the issues and challenges being faced by minority and diversity groups in Limerick. We need to raise awareness but also celebrate the diversity of Limerick and the wider community. We have an opportunity to share experiences, as well as learn and support one another. This event aims to connect different communities and create learning opportunities for all involved.”

MIC has also created a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) Activity Pack for primary children as part of the Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival. Designed by Dr Maeve Liston, Director of Enterprise and Community Engagement and senior lecturer in STEM at MIC, this activity pack aims to engage children in STEM by setting a number of challenges, which can be completed at home using materials sourced from around the house.

According to Patricia O’Sullivan, Enterprise and Community Engagement Manager at MIC, “By taking part in these STEM challenges children will learn how to think and act like an engineer. Through using the Engineering Design Process – a series of steps which engineers use to investigate and design solutions to problems – these challenges will encourage children to be innovative and to think creatively.”

She added, “Now more than ever we need to embrace the online world as a mechanism for the delivery of our teaching and learning. This STEM activity pack fits this as it is accessible on the MIC website. Parents/guardians, teachers and children can engage with the activity pack and undertake the challenges at a time and pace that suits them.”

Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is a key partner within the Learning Limerick network and has been part of the Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival since 2016. Patricia said,At MIC, lifelong learning opportunities for all and influencing lifelong learning policy practice are key strategic priorities for the College. Collaborating with Learning Limerick and the Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival presents excellent opportunities for MIC to influence and engage in these areas.”

Register for the panel discussion on diversity in Limerick here.

Access the STEM Activity Pack here.

Read about the full schedule of events at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival here.


Mayor of Limerick City & County, Cllr Michael Collins, pictured with Santhi Corcoran (middle) at the launch of the festival
Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Michael Collins, pictured with Santhi Corcoran (middle) at the launch
Ann Piercy from GOSHH (Gender, Orientation, Sexual Health, HIV) pictured in front of the GOSHH logo
Ann Piercy from GOSHH
Shay Moloney from Limerick Youth Service pictured by a river
Shay Moloney from Limerick Youth Service
Ahmed Hassan Mohammed from Doras
Ahmed Hassan Mohammed from Doras
Patrick McElligott from GOSHH (Gender, Orientation, Sexual Health, HIV) standing in front of the GOSHH logo
Patrick McElligott from GOSHH