Born and raised on Joseph’s Street, there are few people in Limerick who do not know the name Richard Lynch.
Founder and managing director of ILoveLimerick.ie, Richard Lynch is a proud Limerick City man who works hard to promote Limerick’s true positive image.
ILoveLimerick.ie originally started as the Limerick Pride Festival. “When the festival was over I had this ILoveLimerick.ie website that I redirected into a YouTube channel and I started making positive videos about Limerick because at the time Limerick was getting quite a negative depiction in the media. So I started with videos and it just grew from there into our website.”
The website has also crossed over into print with a double page spread in the Limerick Chronicle and all the work Richard does for ILoveLimerick.ie is voluntary. “I get a chance to write about minorities, the LGBT community, charities, community groups, people that wouldn’t have access to media groups. On ILoveLimerick.ie we run a free service for charities and community groups, we write press releases and we do news stories and we give them access to media and marketing that they wouldn’t have otherwise. I’ve worked with everyone in Limerick, well mostly everyone. We don’t say no to anybody. It’s not political and it’s not segregative. It’s all inclusive and it’s all about love and pride and positivity and light. You get it right most of the time, it’s an organic learning curve, I mean, I never thought I was going to be writing a newspaper column or designing WordPress sites or writing press releases. It all just happened organically.”
Richard’s favourite thing about Limerick has to be the people. “You can put any structure you like in any town but without people it doesn’t mean anything. What I love about the people of Limerick is their incredible sense of humour and the camaraderie and that everyone stands together. I know people say that a lot but I’ve been working in charity and the community for over eight years and I can see first-hand. Limerick is its people.”
Richard sees the Limerick2020 bid as part of a process of growth among the people of Limerick.
“I have seen a lot of growth over the years, and the bid process gave us a sense of belief in ourselves and a sense of confidence. What needs to be encouraged is that people are allowed to be creative. There’s always been an amazing sense of culture in Limerick. Music and art is universal to all of us, it’s a means of exercising the spirit and of dealing with life and whatever is making you feel less than beautiful. I love being creative, I love acting, I love writing pop songs, I’ve written three horror movies; I do the panto every year. I think that creativity and art is one of the only things worth living for. Creativity is there to be embraced and to be loved.”
“I am so thrilled about Limerick2020. Anything that encourages us to develop our culture is a win-win. I really hope to god that we get it. It’s going to generate so much for the people of Limerick. It’s going to further enhance our reputation and increase our self-confidence or self-esteem and more importantly even if we don’t get it, it’s bringing the city together and there won’t be any going back now from what we’ve created. We have laid the foundation for a future.”
Culture has shone a new positive light on Limerick for Richard. “I’m thrilled that Sheila Deegan and Mike Fitzpatrick have taken it upon themselves to work so hard to push it through for the rest of us because it’s opening a window on Limerick. I don’t think people outside Limerick really know Limerick. We have opened a new window to culture. We are already winners.”
The importance of the Limerick2020 campaign is in boosting the morale and pride of Limerick’s citizens in their city, not just selling the city to others. “This is why this campaign is so vitally important because it is all about perception, creating content so people in Limerick can see how amazing we are and actually changing the mind-set of people about their own city and this is what Limerick2020 is doing; that’s why I’m 300% behind it. It’s not about selling us to the outside world, it’s about raising our own self-esteem and self-confidence. Regardless of what happens what we have achieved is incredible and it will stand to us; we are creating history.”
To learn more about ILoveLimerick.ie follow the link to the website. Richard also runs a PR and marketing company RichardKnows.com; the list of client testimonials on his website are both impressive and heart-warming. Limerick’s LGBT Pride Parade takes place Saturday July 16th. For more information on Limerick Pride Festival visit LimerickPride.ie.