Thursday, January 12, 2012

Limerick Local Heroes | Be the change

I've always thought it was important for local citizens to support their city - take pride, responsibility and get involved in whatever they can. Limerick has been an employment black spot for a very long time. In fact, it seems like it's been that way forever. But something is afoot to change it - Limerick Local Heroes

It struggled to get a University - and only when an American entrepreneur philanthropist decided to back (read: fund, pay, do it) and it struggles to get other things - like developing citizens who can believe in themselves, their city and their county. Limerick is the underdog of the underdogs. The National media pour scorn on Limerick - as if to point out that living in the overpriced, traffic choked capital isn't so bad because it could be worse - you could live in Limerick, where presumably people are shot dead just for trying to go outside to find water or charcoal.

Its a city that struggles with itself. When your own government tells you can't then you begin to believe it. The best leave. And then come back and find that the people who stayed behind now demonstrate a feeling of collective abandonment.

But those are just feelings. The thing is that Limerick is a terrific place in my opinion. And I grew up in the place that was just voted as the top destination on the planet: Cape Town.

There are fantastic things happening in Limerick. And Limerick is made up of lots of really smart, interesting, talented and lovable people and includes people from all over the world who now call it home.

So lets highlight this a bit by supporting the Limerick Local Heroes Initiative, based on the incredible success of "Can Do" recently exhibited by Dundalk on the RTE show, "Local Heroes - a town fights back".

Great to see many of the faces from Limerick Open Coffee and Bizcamp Limerick there (mainly Gabriela Avram, to whom this city owes a huge debt of gratitude and high praise for her tireless efforts in promoting the city, educating the city and creating so many positive events that include the very successful 3D Camp amongst many more).

The problem with blaming the government for the lack of progress in dealing with job creation and economic success is that holding them responsible for something that they know nothing about is frankly, absurd. The government needs to create the right conditions for economic activity to take place: Infrastructure, Education, Security, Enabling Trade. There are some interventions that are super necessary - enterprise ireland, the IDA, regulators. But frankly, entrepreneurs have to be the small in SME. Nobody is going to do it for us.

What makes America great, in my opinion, is Americans. They take pride and responsibility. They've believed in the unbelievable and made it happen. Now its our turn: after all, where did most Americans come from?

Some of the many success stories in Limerick include: Analog Devices, Dell, Vistakon, Cook Medical, LIT, The LIT LEAP Programme, The University of Limerick - which includes Leroy, Aughnish Alumna, Wyatt and so many more.

Follow the Local Heroes Limerick campaign on Twitter via the hashtag #limerickurmylady and on Facebook:!/localheroeslimerick

1 comment:

  1. Nice David. These are principals that we can all take to heart for our communities.