Limerick Street Ambassadors unveiled

Limerick Street Ambassadors unveiled


LIMERICK STREET AMBASSADORS UNVEILED

Press Release
Tuesday, June 29th 2010

Limerick’s new team of enthusiastic Street Ambassadors have just been unveiled at King John’s Castle in the heart of the city’s medieval district.

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 primarily by Shannon Development, have helped 63,000 visitors to Limerick.

The Limerick Co-ordination Office (LCO) spearheads the scheme which runs from June 28th-September 5th. It is also being partly funded in 2010 by Limerick city hotels.  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 the age group of Limerick’s 2010 Street Ambassadors ranges from 18-65 years. All are experienced in the role having worked in the position in previous summers and during festival times and big rugby weekends in the city. (Profiles attached)

LC0 Chairperson Sean Lally said all the Street Ambassadors have proven they have a great love of Limerick and good outgoing personalities to engage with tourists and local people.

“This is a unique project that Limerick can be proud of and I’m delighted that the hoteliers in the city have come on board with Shannon Development to support the programme,” he said. “It is such a great asset to our city and I’m sure that the thousands of tourists who will visit Limerick this summer will benefit from the expert local knowledge that our friendly Street Ambassadors possess.”

The 11 local hotels who have supported the programme include: The Absolute Hotel, The Carlton Castletroy Park, The Clarion Hotel and Suites, The George Boutique Hotel, The Greenhills Hotel, The Maldron Hotel, The Best Western Perys Hotel, The Savoy Hotel, The South Court Hotel, The Limerick Strand Hotel and the Radisson SAS Limerick.

The 2010 Street Ambassadors have undergone an intensive course in local history, first aid, communications skills and basic foreign language training.
They will walk two different routes every day covering Medieval Limerick and Limerick city centre.
 
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 13,000 tourists and encountered sightseers from more countries than ever before. Visitors from 66 different countries including Brazil, New Zealand, Russia and Dubai enjoyed a trip to Limerick.

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

The 2010 street ambassadors include local artist and photographer Eithne deLoughry O’Byrne who has a particular interest in the arts and history buff, Declan Hassett who are looking forward to their third and fourth years as ambassadors for Limerick.
Venues wishing to be included in “What’s on” guide should contact ambassadors@limerickoffice.ie.

ENDS
Notes to editor: Profiles attached

PROFILES OF 2010 STREET AMBASSADORS

1. Oliver Hayes, Woodview Park
About Me: Retired. Local soccer referee, Voices of Limerick member, McCormick singers, Amateur Dramatics, Local Citizens Information Centre volunteer
“I’m thrilled to be back for my second year as a Street Ambassador! I love meeting all the different visitors to Limerick and telling them what I love about my home city. I was amazed last year at the numbers of local people who asked us for information so I’m looking forward to helping lots of Limerick people as well this year.”

2. Darragh Lyons, Moyross
About Me: Just finished Leaving Cert 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.
“I’m really enjoying the World Cup at the moment, so I’m looking forward to meeting as many people as possible from all the countries taking part! I’m very proud to be from Limerick, the people here are helpful and courteous, in any other city I’ve never found as many people who smile and say hello.”

3. Jennifer O’Brien, Meelick, now living in Hyde Road
About Me: Loves walking, music and chatting to Limerick visitors
“I love Limerick, I take great pride telling people where I’m from and I hope to give a good image of my home city to visitors which I think is a very friendly and welcoming place.”

4. 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.
“I love being a Street Ambassador, I have good local knowledge of the city and I love Limerick’s history, buildings and streets…mostly, I like making visitors feel like they’re at home.”

5. Albert Cullen, Ballysimon Road
About Me: Retired Traffic Warden who loves music. Limerick’s most  experienced Street Ambassador!
"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 five years ago and I've been happy to be able to provide a warm welcome and give advice to tourists.  I say this every year, but hopefully the weather will be a bit sunnier than last year!"

6. Declan Hassett, Shelbourne Road
About Me: Part-time employee in the Hunt Museum
“I’ve just completed a local history course where I enhanced my knowledge of Limerick city so I’m looking forward to putting it to good use this summer! What I really enjoy, is meeting people from so many different countries. Last year I met tourists from Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia and they were so interested in Limerick’s history, it really was a pleasure to talk to them.”

7. Magda Sodul, Dooradoyle, originally from Poland
About Me: Correspondent for Polish newspapers in Ireland and Poland, member of Irish Polish Culture and Business Association Limerick who loves her adopted city.  “I love Limerick and I really wanted to give something back to the city that I have now adopted as my own!  I think it will be good for tourists to hear about all that the city has to offer from someone who can speak their own language or who has experienced it as an outsider.”

8. Eithne Deloughry O'Byrne, Mayorstone
About Me: Local Artist and Photographer who 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 particular interest in the arts and I love being able to share the rich cultural offerings that Limerick has with the tourists I meet."
 
ENDS
For further information please contact Orla O’Connor/Laura Ryan, Limerick Co-Ordination Office, 50 O’Connell Street, Limerick 061-400010/086-6042544    

Last update:01/07/2010

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