Born, raised, educated and employed here, Dave O’Hora is as Limerick as it gets, “I grew up out the Ennis road. Southern’s been around for 40 years and I’ve been with it for nearly 30.”
As director of this multimedia marketing company, Dave has seen Limerick change and grow throughout the years.
“I think my favourite thing about Limerick city is there’s a natural wit that just sits under the skin. It can be spikey but there’s a good ability to be able to laugh at ourselves. There is a really great diversity of people that are learning, a latent passion for the place that has been ignited.”
According to Dave Limerick is a place finding its voice, “Munster gave Limerick a prolonged sense of stepping out and being really proud of who we are. Rugby and the mixture of people that are involved is a reflection of how Limerick’s diversity can come together with a common passion.” Moving on to today, Dave is quick to point out the success of Riverfest, “we have learned how to use the river; Riverfest is just over, it was an incredible success. People are relearning how to revalue an asset.”
In a similar manner, he notes how various cultural groups have come together under the bid, “Years and years back when I was leaving school there was a strong am-dram scene, maybe 4 or 5 active amateur theatrical groups, Tops of the Towns were at their height, you had opera, Limerick Opera Society. Culture didn’t have a central focus. There were lots of groups doing their own thing and what the Limerick 2020 bid did was to bring these groups together giving it a central focus, still allowing people to do what they want to.”
However, he warns that we should not take such variety for granted, “we are coming to the point where we are expecting lots of things to happen.
We shouldn’t become complacent in thinking that the arts and culture will always be there. We need to support it and keep it going.”
Looking to the future and to 2020 Dave is hopeful for a continuing legacy of cultural promotion in the city “we should stay in the game whether we win it or not. We have something to say, we have something to offer. If we make it now or if we don’t this is not the end.”