Southside International Women’s Day will see many of the area’s groups come together including Southside Women’s Sheds (pictured above), Southside Women’s Group, Southill Women’s Group and other groups within the community. Picture: Krzysztof Luszczki/ilovelimerick
The Southside International Women’s Day event will bring together the wider Southill community on March 8
By I Love Limerick correspondent Cian Reinhardt
The Southside International Women’s Day aims to be an inclusive event bringing different groups from Limerick’s southside together, celebrating the area’s diversity and local pride on Wednesday, March 8.
Southill resident Catherine McSweeney said, “We’ve got different groups within the community, like the Southside Women’s Group, Southill Women’s Group, and Women’s Shed, but it’s also about the wider community, we have it open for men too, the Men’s Sheds and everything. It’s nice to see them attending on the day.”
People attending the celebration in the Southill Hub will have a “day of fun” with music, food, conversation and dance at the inclusive event from 12-3 PM.
The 2023 event aims to be a “multicultural celebration” of Limerick’s southside, bringing the area’s diverse groups together in an exchange of culture, with Geraldine Minogue noting “we’re changing and we have to adapt, it’s nice to see people doing their thing from their country, and seeing a bit of their culture”.
“We hope to have people from different countries come up and sing a song or tell a poem in their own language. So we will have people from many backgrounds, and we will also have somebody to sing Limerick You’re a Lady in Irish on the day, it will be great. It will be a day full of fun, dancing and singing.”
The group believe it is important to celebrate events like this to show the pride locals have in the area, with Catherine McSweeney noting “these events are usually celebrated in the north side of the city”.
“We started this almost eight years ago, my friend Anne Kinsella helped organise ‘Leave Your Bra at the Door’, we had 100 bras hung across a washing line, it was to highlight breast cancer.
“We noticed then over the years, people would prefer entertainment because you can bring in speakers, but this can trigger people, we don’t want to trigger people, we want it to be a celebration of women,” said Catherine.
She continued, “It’s great having speakers come in to highlight the problems, but we didn’t want it to be a happy day and a celebratory day for them. There’s still the opportunity for them to speak to other people, and we do give handouts with information and highlight everything that is going on in the community.”
Geraldine and Catherine both pointed out how the event had changed over the years and in particular, since the Covid pandemic, events like the Southside International Women’s Day have helped people, “especially the older ladies to get out”.
“Geraldine and I volunteer every Monday with seniors in Colbert Court, it was great to see them hugging one another after the last few years. People don’t realise some people are in their homes all week due to mobility issues or they have health problems and it’s lovely to see them get out and about,” said Catherine.
Highlighting the wider groups involved in the day, the two Limerick ladies mentioned support from Tait House in helping transport people to the event who might find it difficult in getting there.
“This International Women’s Day is great for them, they can get up and do a bit of dancing, sing along, and the volunteers on the day make that happen. It’s hard to get volunteers to come in and give up their time, so it’s great when they can.”
Seeing groups such as The Hub, Tait House, FRC, DDP, and Regeneration support the event is “brilliant” with the women being thankful for “any support, with funding or any donation at all”, thanking St Vincent de Paul for helping with food and a raffle on the day.
“We can only depend on volunteers so much, so support in funding is very helpful, but in the end, it’s a great day,” said Geraldine.
The Southside International Women’s Day event will take place on Wednesday, March 8, between 12 and 3 PM at Southill Hub.