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University New Mexico students volunteer in Limerick



University New Mexico students on MIC programme volunteer in local Limerick community groups.

The Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon and the President of Mary Immaculate College, Prof. Michael A Hayes, recently welcomed 17 students from University New Mexico who were volunteering in community organizations across Limerick City.

The 16-day programme, which was organized by the International Office at Mary Immaculate College, offers participants opportunities to engage with communities in various settings around Limerick, while also studying the historical and social context of the city and neighbouring regions.

Director of the International Office at Mary Immaculate College, Holly Cowman said, “We have really enjoyed working with these students, who have engaged with each of their placements so admirably. It has made me even more proud of my city to see first-hand through their eyes how well serviced our communities are by people who really care about making Limerick a great place”.


Throughout their time here, the students worked in various locations and situations, such as serving the Sunday dinners in Mallow St. Gospel Hall, working on the garden at Our Lady of Lourdes crèche, assisting with the care of the animals at Limerick Animal Welfare in Kilfinane,  spending time with the Franciscan Friars at St Patrick’s Friary in Moyross among others.

The students, accompanied by two leaders, Professors Albrecht Classen and David Wright, were committed to serving the community while taking courses in Community Engagement and Medieval Life and Culture. They also played an active role in the Limerick 2020 bid and Limerick Tidy Towns.

Throughout the students time here, there was time for sightseeing.  The group travelled to Kilkenny and also visited Glenstal Abbey, enjoyed a cruise on the lake in Killaloe as well as the breath-taking scenery of the Cliffs of Moher and visited the Titanic Museum in Belfast during their trip.  Their last night was spent enjoying the ‘Irish Night’ at Bunratty Castle.

Director of Education Abroad at the University of New Mexico, Dr. David Wright explains his interest in the programme, “We are certainly excited to be in Limerick and to have this opportunity to connect with local service providers in the city.  It is through these connections that we learn, being side by side with the providers and the community.  Our students have benefitted tremendously from being here and we will share what we have learned with our colleagues back home.  Thank you, Mary Immaculate College, for all of your support and we hope to welcome you in Albuquerque someday!”.

Check out University New Mexico here

Read more about Mary Immaculate College here

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.