Limerick City Unveils its 2009 Street Ambassadors

Monday, June 22nd 2009


Limerick Ambassadors 2009


Limerick’s new team of enthusiastic Street Ambassadors was unveiled this afternoon, Monday, June 22nd at Clancy’s Strand, the city’s newly renovated riverside area on the banks of the Shannon.Dressed in Munster red, the Street Ambassadors will be a familiar and welcome sight on the streets of Limerick during the summer season.

They will provide a friendly first impression to tourists visiting Limerick and will advise them on the best places to visit, eat and shop. They will also supply local hotels with a weekly events guide on what’s happening in Limerick city and keep an environmental watch, reporting litter offences, graffiti and infrastructural defects to Limerick City Council.

Since 2006, the Street Ambassadors, funded by Shannon Development, have helped almost 50,000 visitors to Limerick.

The Limerick Co-ordination Office (LCO) spearheads the scheme which is also being partly funded by the private sector.

Eoghan Prendergast, Limerick Development Division Manager, Shannon Development, said: “Shannon Development is delighted to support the Street Ambassadors to ensure that they will again be a feature on the streets of Limerick this summer. In these difficult economic times, we must make every effort to market and promote the city as an attractive tourism destination, and the Ambassadors play an important role in promoting the city and ensuring that our visitors enjoy their time here”.

This year sees the return of five former Ambassadors plus seven new recruits.

The age group ranges from 17-65 years (See profiles below).

LC0 Chairperson Kay McGuinness said there was a huge response to the advertisement for the 2009 programme. She said the main yardstick for the successful candidates was that they would have a love of Limerick and a good outgoing personality to engage with tourists and local people.


“This is a unique project that Limerick can be proud of and we have had excellent teams of Street Ambassadors in the past four years,” she said.

“I am delighted to see that five of our experienced Street Ambassadors are returning to work with us again this summer – it will be of great benefit to our seven new recruits. We would like to thank Shannon Development for supporting the Street Ambassador programme this year which is such a great asset to our city.”

The 12 roving tourist guides have undergone an intensive course in local history, first aid, communications skills and basic foreign language training.

They will walk three different routes every day and at the end of each work shift each pair of ambassadors will fill out a report form covering key issues such as the number of visitors encountered, questions asked, as well as environmental issues.


Last year the roving tourist guides helped 15,000 tourists and encountered sightseers from more countries than ever before. Visitors from as far away as Brazil, New Zealand and Japan enjoyed a trip to Limerick.

The majority of tourists came from the USA and France with a sizeable number from Spain, the UK and Germany.


The 2009 street ambassadors include retired traffic warden Albert Cullen and Polish newspaper correspondent Magda Sudol, who are looking forward to their fourth and third years respectively as ambassadors for Limerick.


They’ll be on hand to offer advice to first time recruit, Oliver Hayes from Woodview Park, a retired local soccer referee.

Oliver said: “I’m hugely excited about the prospect of becoming a Street Ambassador! I feel I have the energy, enthusiasm and appetite for the job. As a local referee, I’m used to being out in the rain so I’ve no problem with the weather! But hopefully we’ll get a good summer this year.”


Seventeen year old Kieran Sparling was born and reared in King’s Island, the heart of historic Limerick and is the grandson of well known Limerick author Maureen Sparling.

Kieran said: “Ever since I heard about the Street Ambassadors, I thought it was a great idea. I have a good local knowledge of the city and I love Limerick’s history, its buildings and streets.”


Another young Ambassador, 17 year old Darragh Lyons from Moyross, an amateur moviemaker and musician is excited at the summer ahead.

“It’s very easy to immerse yourself in the history of Limerick and to get lost in stories of sieges, heroes and villains. Limerick people are helpful and courteous, in any other city I’ve never found as many people who smile and say hello,” Darragh said.


Profiles of 2009 Street Ambassadors

New Street Ambassadors:

  1. Oliver Hayes, Woodview Park

About Me: Retired. Local soccer referee, Voices of Limerick member, Amateur Dramatics, Local Citizens Information Centre volunteer

“I’m hugely excited about the prospect of becoming a Street Ambassador! I feel I have the energy, enthusiasm and appetite for the job. As a local referee, I’m used to being out in the rain so I’ve no problem with the weather but hopefully we’ll get a good summer this year.”

  1. Darragh Lyons, Moyross

About Me: Student in Ard Scoil Ris. Loves playing pool and is very active in the Northside Youth Café. Amateur Filmmaker who entered a movie in the Fresh Film Festival. Big supporter of Limerick FC and is a snare drummer with Corpus Christi pipe and drum band.

“It’s very easy to immerse yourself in the history of Limerick and to get lost in stories of sieges, heroes and villains-Limerick people are helpful and courteous, in any other city I’ve never found as many people who smile and say hello.”

  1. Jennifer O’Brien, Meelick, now living in Hyde Road

About Me: Loves walking, music and is very proud of her uncle Martin O’Brien who set up the website www.limerickpride.com

“I love Limerick, I take great pride telling people where I’m from and I hope to give a good image of my home town to visitors.”

  1. Suzanne O’Brien, Adare, Co Limerick

About Me:UL New Media and English graduate hoping to become a journalist. Accomplished horsewoman who enjoys wakeboarding and drama. “Limerick has loads to offer and I’m looking forward to telling visitors all about them! I think we have a wonderful arts scene here, which contributes to a unique and culturally rich city.”

  1. Edel Ryan, South Circular Road

About Me: UL Law Graduate and current MA Student in Mediation and Conflict Intervention,NUI Maynooth

Edel loves Salsa Dancing, is a qualified First Aid Officer and plays the violin, viola and piano.

“I feel I would bring great energy, enthusiasm and a will to assist, presenting a positive and vibrant image of the city.”

  1. Jean Ryan, Castletroy

            About Me: LIT Real Estate graduate

Sporty Jean enjoys swimming, running, basketball and camogie and is a shopping fanatic so is looking forward to helping tourists get some good Limerick retail therapy!

“I’m honoured to be given the chance to represent Limerick in all its glory. I believe the city has an ample range of extraordinary tourist attractions as well as great shopping and lots of lovely restaurants.”

  1. Kieran Sparling, King’s Island

About Me: Kieran is the grandson of well know Limerick author Maureen Sparling and grew up in King’s Island so it’s only natural he’s interested in history! Loves foreign countries, cultures and languages and is a huge classical and church music fan.

“Ever since I heard about the Street Ambassadors, I thought it was a great idea. I have good local knowledge of the city and I love Limerick’s history, buildings and streets.”



Returning Street Ambassadors

  1. Albert Cullen, Ballysimon Road

About Me: Retired Traffic Warden who loves music.

"As part of my former job as a traffic warden I was used to giving directions and dealing with visitors to our city on a regular basis. I've been a Street Ambassador since the programme first came to Limerick and I've been happy to be able to provide a warm welcome and give advice to tourists, I just hope that the weather will be a bit sunnier than last year!"

  1. Declan Hassett, Shelbourne Road

About Me: Part-time employee in the Hunt Museum

 “When my family had a guesthouse in North Clare I really enjoyed helping tourists and giving people something memorable to remember about the place and now I would now like to do the same for my native city as a proud Limerick man.”

  1. Magda Sodul, Dooradoyle, originally from Poland

About Me: Correspondent for Polish newspapers in Ireland and Poland who loves her adopted city.

“I have discovered the history and culture of Limerick for myself over the past year and I think it will be good for tourists to hear this from someone who can speak their own language or who has experienced it as an outsider.”

  1. Cathal O'Connor, Crecora

About Me: - Plays rugby with Young Munster RFC and Crescent College Comprehensive.

"I love sports and I'm proud to be from such a sporting rich city. One of the best things about being a Street Ambassador last year was being able to share my pride with the people I met. It's a job where you get to work outdoors and meet lots of new people."

  1. Eithne Deloughry O'Byrne, Mayorstone

About Me: Fine Art printmaking graduate who last year published 'Art in the Street' a photographic booklet showing street maps, photographs and information on public art on the streets of Limerick

"Being a Street Ambassador gives me the opportunity to show visitors the most positive aspects of my native city. I have a good knowledge of the history of Limerick and I love being able to share my knowledge with the tourists I meet."


For further information please contact


Laura Ryan
Communications Officer
Limerick City and County Council
Phone: 061-407100
email: laura.ryan@limerick.ie


Last update:19/02/2014

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