University of Limerick comes to Boston, makes music, offers some news

Ed Forry

A trio of Limerck alumni who reside in New England prepared to go on stage at the March 30 UofL concert at the Irish Cultural Centre NE

By Ed Forry
The month of March is always a busy one on the Boston Irish social scene, and the last week of the month featured a showcase of Irish traditional music, song, and dance highlighting the city of Limerick.
Our city was visited by representatives of the University of Limerick, which sponsored a free concert on Sat., March 30, at the Irish Cultural Centre (ICCNE) in Canton. A statement from UL said the performance was scheduled “to feature special guest appearances by world renowned musicians and professors from The Irish World Academy of Music & Dance, Dr. Sandra Joyce, Dr. Niall Keegan, and Dr. Orfhlaith Ni Bhriain.
The night will also feature performances by internationally recognized (sic) Irish World Academy of Music & Dance alumni.” Performers included, among others, the well-known Boston-based Irish harpist Áine Minogue, a native of Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary.
Also that week, at a reception at the Copley Square offices of the Irish Consulate General on Wednesday as part of UL’s Irish Cultural Week in Boston, the university announced the launch of a new academic program, a masters in Global Irish Studies.
A statement announcing the new degree program said: “The University of Limerick (UL) is delighted to announce the launch of their new Masters of Arts in Global Irish Studies at the Irish Consulate General, Boston.”
The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance (IWA) is the center of academic and performance excellence housed at the University of Limerick, Ireland, described by UL as “founded in 1994 by Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, the IWA is found on the beautiful banks of the River Shannon at the University of Limerick. The state of the art facilities, which include two theatres, a recording studio, individual practice rooms and dance studios, provides and inspiring creative space for all those who study there.
“The Academy has a strong international presence with students from over 40 countries. With a faculty of excellent performers, academics, and industry professionals, the experience of studying at the Irish World Academy second to none. The IWA offers a suite of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in music and dance related subject areas and its research is at the forefront of these fields of enquiry worldwide.”
The University of Limerick was awarded the Sunday Times University of the Year for 2019, a salute reflecting “the university’s commitment to graduate employability, dedication to the student experience and industry-relevant programmes. UL, moreover, places more than 2,000 students in paid and semi-paid work placements annually with 30 percent of these placements based internationally. This work experience has contributed to ensuring UL is Ireland’s leading university on employability.” 
The school said that “the aims of this interdisciplinary programme are: To broaden and deepen the students’ knowledge of Ireland and the Irish from a global and transnational perspective; to foster student awareness of Irish local, national, and transnational identities and to encourage lively intellectual and practical work in re-imagining the ‘nation’ and its role in the world;  to enable students to engage knowledgeably with current critical debates in the areas of Irish literature, history, and culture; to support and facilitate opportunities for independent research and self-directed learning; to develop students’ analytical and critical thinking skills in preparation for future academic study or careers outside of academia; and to assist students in the identification and development of future employment or study plans.”