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International Rugby Experience on O’Connell St., Limerick city held a media tour on Thursday, October 13, 2022. Picture: Krzysztof Luszczki/ilovelimerick International Rugby Experience on O’Connell St., Limerick city held a media tour on Thursday, October 13, 2022. Picture: Krzysztof Luszczki/ilovelimerick

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International Rugby Experience shortlisted for national award

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The International Rugby Experience has been shortlisted for the 2023 Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland Public Choice Award. Picture: Krzysztof Luszczki/ilovelimerick

The International Rugby Experience has been shortlisted for the 2023 Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland Public Choice Award

The International Rugby Experience has been shortlisted for the 2023 Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland Public Choice Award

The International Rugby Experience (IRE) has been shortlisted for the 2023 Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) Public Choice Award, which looks to find Ireland’s favourite building or public space of 2023.

The International Rugby Experience is the only Limerick-based entry in the public vote, which is open until midnight, Tuesday, 20 June, and the winner will be announced on 22 June by RIAI President, Charlotte Sheridan.

The Public Choice Award marks the launch of the annual RIAI Architecture Awards, now in their 34th year, which celebrate excellence in the design and delivery of buildings.


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IRE board advisor, Keith Wood, called on Limerick to vote for the new building, “This is Limerick’s only entry this year and it would be great to do what Limerick does best – come together and show pride in the county. We’ve received widespread support for the project over the last number of years, and to win this respected award would be a great bonus for the IRE. I’ll be the first to put this weekend’s fierce rivalry aside – let’s make it happen and get voting before the deadline passes.”

The IRE was designed by renowned architect Níall McLaughlin; the six-storey, fully interactive Experience launched last month and is inspired by World Rugby’s values of Passion, Discipline, Integrity, Solidarity and Respect. Visitors hear the stories, feel the passion and test their skills as they move through six, awe-inspiring stages inside the state-of-the-art building. 

With unrivalled views of Limerick, the sixth floor Legends Gallery is a jaw-dropping end to this unique, immersive Experience.

Níall McLaughlin Architects (NMLA) commented, “The new building sits on the edge of a conservation area within Limerick’s Georgian Quarter. On such a tight urban site, the challenge lay in creating a building with capacity for the intended use but that sits comfortably in the context of the finer grain of the Georgian Quarter. The design approach was to consider this as a special civic building rather than a townhouse and the architectural proposals were developed through research into historic civic buildings set in Georgian streetscapes, referencing the scale of churches and civic halls. The completed structure and brick expression provide a tangible link to the building’s function and are key to the visitor experience.”

This year’s RIAI Awards received a record number of 187 entries, with 53 projects now in the running for the Public Choice Award.

Anybody wishing to visit the IRE can pre-book tickets for their chosen day and time here. Tickets are priced at just €10 for children (under 18) and €15 for adults; individuals and families can discover what it takes to Become a Legend – following the game from grass roots right up to the players, clubs and nations that have reached epic status.

The International Rugby Experience tours, retail and cafe is open seven days a week from 9.30am to 6pm with the last tour starting at 4.30pm.

Anybody wishing to cast a vote can do so here.
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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 ilovelimerick.com 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.