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WATCH Southill Afterschool Club project brings a spellbinding exhibition of Lego displays to city centre for Christmas



Southill Afterschool Club Lego exhibition of Harry Potter-themed displays will spellbound on O’Connell Street from Friday, December 15, 2023. Picture: Olena Oleksienko/ilovelimerick

Southill Afterschool Club Lego display enchants Limerick this Christmas with Harry Potter-themed Lego display

Southill Afterschool Club Lego
Southill After School Club pictured above. Picture: Olena Oleksienko/ilovelimerick

The Limerick public will be enchanted this Christmas as the Southill Afterschool Club brings a spellbinding exhibition of Harry Potter-themed Lego displays to 34 O’Connell Street (corner of Roches Street) from Friday, December 15.

Children from the community have designed beautiful Christmas decorations and built Harry Potter Lego designs which will be showcased on the city’s main thoroughfare. The exhibition was made possible as the group applied for Creative Ireland funding earlier this year allowing them to build the themed Lego display.

This exhibition aims to inspire others to embrace their artistic side and jump into the world of Lego, bringing people together and promoting innovation within the community.




Southill Afterschool Club set up the first Brix Club in Limerick with support from the SIF in 2019, staff trained as brix facilitators and the club invested in Lego to develop more varied after-school activities for the children and invest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths) skills.

Tess Walsh, a key member of the project, thanked the community’s support in putting this project in motion, she told I Love Limerick, “It’s not just about building Lego; it’s about the joy of creating something meaningful and sharing it with others.”

“It will showcase what our children can do, what can be done with Lego, and how great and educational and imaginative you can be with Lego. The pieces we received during the Lego drive are especially important in free play where children can build their own inventions,” Tess told I Love Limerick.

“Hopefully it will bring a bit of magic to families visiting the city centre this Christmas and remind us of the joy and importance of play.”

The impact of this project goes beyond what will be displayed in a store window, as it helps instil a sense of pride in the young creators seeing their Lego designs on display.

One spirited builder, JJ, told I Love Limerick about his delight of having the chance to work with Lego, saying, “I Love Lego,” and saying he had a wonderful time with his friends, JJ gave a big “thank you” to everyone who helped make the Lego club possible.

Lego drives were accommodated by local businesses and facilities, with drop-off points at the local libraries, and Rooney’s Auctioneers identifying a window in the city centre where the work could be displayed. This was backed by Ciara Farrell of Limerick Enterprise Office (LEO Limerick) and Film in Limerick who agreed to move and dress the window displays. The project was fitted in the store window by Lisa McCarthy of Spectrum Display.

Ciara Farrell, Leo Limerick, Lisa McCarthy, Spectrum Display, and Richard Lynch, I Love Limerick. Picture: Olena Oleksienko/ilovelimerick

STEAM builders: Creative Ireland also supported the afterschool club with a grant to purchase 11 Harry Potter-themed sets to display and Lego Christmas decorations.

One of the donation drives was organised by Network Ireland Limerick, and Karen Ronan, Network Ireland Limerick President said, “Network Ireland was delighted to support this amazing initiative with many of our members donating Lego.  Visiting the Lego club this week was one of the highlights of my year, the children were so appreciative and excited.”

The pride of the young builders in the Afterschool Club was shining with the exhibition as they used their Lego bricks to build connections within the community. Looking ahead, Tess and the afterschool club hope for continued community support, with support through “donating more Lego so we can build important skills and potentially acquiring Lego walls through sponsorships would be incredible for our future projects”.

The project will be displayed from Friday, December 15 at 34 O’Connell Street (corner of Roches Street) for the Christmas period.

Project Partners:
Southill Afterschool Club
City Centre, Dooradoyle & Watchhouse Cross Libraries and Fablab as collection points
Creative Ireland Community, Rural and Cultural Directorate
Network Ireland Limerick
Film in Limerick
LEDP for Storage Space
LEO Limerick
Community, Rural and Cultural Directorate
Arup Engineers
Rooney Auctioneers
Lisa McCarthy, Spectrum Display
I Love Limerick

Find out more about Southill Afterschool Club
Read more Community Stories

Pictures: Olena Oleksienko/ilovelimerick

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.