'Limerick...where a Giant Granny captivates the hearts of more people than a Heineken Cup game in Thomond Park'
Well known personalities rally support for Limerick ahead of European Capital of Culture 2020
Ireland's National City of Culture has received overwhelming support from all quarters ahead of Limerick's bid for European Capital of Culture 2020.
Familiar faces from the world of sport, music and literature have voiced their backing as the deadline of November 13 looms.
Irish rugby legend Paul O'Connell believes there's a "huge wealth of cultural activity" to be found in his native Limerick.
"Sport is a huge part of our culture and in Limerick it’s in our blood; it crosses all cultures and boundaries, bringing people from all backgrounds, age groups and ethnicity together," the father-of-two said.
"It was fantastic to see the crowds of people at all the various cultural events that were put on across the city and county; who would have thought that in Limerick, a Giant Granny could captivate the hearts of more people than a Heineken Cup game in Thomond Park!"
Meanwhile, The Cranberries' Noel Hogan said that he has seen "so many changes since the heady days of the Cranberries of the 90s".
"It’s almost unrecognisable, physically and culturally since then and it’s still continuing to evolve on every level. Limerick has had a raw deal over the years in the press, every big city has had its share of crime but outsiders seem to the think we have more.
"A lot of outsiders generally don’t realise the wealth of culture and beauty in the city."
Booker Prize long list author Donal Ryan said he believes Limerick’s bid for European Capital of Culture is a "unique opportunity for the region".
"There is a performance in the everyday in Limerick. The smallest little thing can become a fascinating drama," he said.
"There is an addictive quality to the way Limerick people tell their stories, a sense of fearlessness that goes back almost a thousand years. Limerick stood against so many invaders and was never conquered. It says it all really”.
‘Limerick is on the cusp of profound transformation which is being driven by culture," said Mike Fitzpatrick, Director Limerick 2020.
"It’s great to have the support of great cultural figures like Paul O’Connell, Author Donal Ryan, Musician Noel Hogan of the Cranberries. It’s an honour, to be battling for this prize of European Capital of Culture 2020".