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Michelle Daly-Hayes (AFL Treasurer), Jill Cousins (AFL President), Mayor Gerald Mitchell, Denny Hourigan (attendee) and Lorna Hodkinson (AFL Board Member alliance francaise limerick 80th Michelle Daly-Hayes (AFL Treasurer), Jill Cousins (AFL President), Mayor Gerald Mitchell, Denny Hourigan (attendee) and Lorna Hodkinson (AFL Board Member alliance francaise limerick 80th


Alliance Francaise Limerick celebrates 80 years



Alliance Francaise Limerick celebrates its 80th anniversary. Michelle Daly-Hayes, AFL Treasurer, Jill Cousins, AFL President, Mayor of Limerick City and County Gerald Mitchell, Denny Hourigan and Lorna Hodkinson, AFL Board Member.

Alliance Francaise Limerick celebrates its 80th anniversary with special event in The Commercial on Thursday, February 29

Mayor Gerald Mitchell with Dr Loïc Guyon, Honorary Consul of France and AFL Board Member

Founded in 1944 under the name “Le Cercle français” (“The French Circle”), the not-for-profit organisation became Alliance Française Limerick a few years later when it joined a network of similar organisations promoting French language and culture across all five continents.

Today Alliance Française Limerick is one of 843 Alliances Françaises present in 137 countries around the globe. Alliance Française Limerick is the oldest of the five Alliances Françaises in Ireland (the others are based in Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny, Waterford/Wexford). It is a registered charity and is one of the longest running not-for-profit organisations in Limerick. It currently offers high-quality French language classes at competitive rates to approximately 120 students of all ages and all levels thanks to a dedicated team of teachers, all of whom are native speakers. Corporate classes are also on offer and Irish Aid employees have been taking classes with Alliance Française Limerick for many years.

Thanks to a partnership with “Les Enfants Francophones de Limerick”, another not-for-profit association based in Limerick and Ennis belonging to the French-government-approved FLAM network, Alliance Française Limerick also hosts activities for children of different nationalities whose mother tongue is French. These take place every Saturday morning at the Alliance HQ at No. 7 Pery Square. As part of the Department of Education & Skills’ Primary Sampler Module, French language introductory courses are currently being offered in addition to extra-curricular activities for primary schools in and around Limerick.




Alliance Française Limerick is run by a committee of volunteers currently including Jill Cousins (President), Paul O’Brien (Secretary), Michelle Daly-Hayes (Treasurer), Ruth Bracken (Pedagogical Coordinator), Loïc Guyon (Cultural Coordinator) and Lorna and Randel Hodkinsons (board members). On top of its language classes, Alliance also offers a range of cultural activities such as the annual Limerick Wild Geese Festival and the Très Court International Film Festival.

Anniversary cake sponsored by La Patisserie Limerick

A year-long French book club and an annual Beaujolais nouveau evening are also part of its rich cultural programme. More recently, Alliance Française Limerick formed a partnership with Loïc Guyon (Honorary Consul of France and Head of the Department of French Studies at MIC) to manage the funding raised for the Sarsfield Homecoming Project, a project aimed at locating and repatriating to Limerick the remains of Irish national hero Patrick Sarsfield.

On 29 February, to celebrate its 80th anniversary, Alliance Française Limerick organised a concert of French songs by international singer and composer Eva Cendors. During the evening, a superb birthday cake was presented by La Patisserie (The French Table), another French institution of the Treaty City. In a speech delivered for the occasion, Mayor of Limerick Cllr Gerald Mitchell congratulated the current and past boards of volunteers at the helm of the organisation and reminded the gathering that, since Brexit, France had become Ireland’s closest EU neighbour.

Ms Fabienne Clérot, the Dublin-based National Coordinator of the Alliance Française Network of Ireland, who travelled to Limerick for the occasion, said: “Alliance Française Limerick is part of a network of 845 similar Alliances Françaises across all five continents forming the largest cultural and educational NGO in the world. I am delighted to have celebrated this milestone with board members, patrons, teachers, students and friends of Alliance Française Limerick.”

Read more about Alliance Francaise Limerick
Read more stories about Alliance Francaise

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.