New book ‘Dreams’ launched in latest UL50 celebration

UL50 Dreams
Professor Sarah Moore, Professor Joseph O'Connor and Professor Eoin Devereux pictured at the launch. Photo by Alan Place.

The collection of essays celebrates people connected to the college since its establishment in 1972

By James Roulston Mooney and Ciara McKenna

Dreams, a new book documenting 50 years of creativity, culture and community at the University of Limerick, was launched on Wednesday, March 22.

It is the latest event in the UL50 calendar, which celebrates 50 years of the University’s existence.

The book features contributions from or about people associated with the University, including internationally acclaimed composer Bill Whelan, Noel Hogan of The Cranberries and Irish rugby legend Paul O’Connell.

Speaking to Limerick Voice at the launch in Plassey House, Lead Editor and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick, Joseph O’Connor, said that he was honoured to assemble the book.

“It means a lot,” Professor O’Connor noted. “I was asked to compile and edit this book two years ago and it was a challenge, but it’s been an honour. I was really delighted to receive so many fantastic contributions from my colleagues and other people to whom UL is important.”

UL50 Dreams
Professor Joseph O’Connor with ‘Dreams’. Photo by Alan Place.

Professor of Cultural Sociology, Eoin Devereux, and Professor of Teaching, Learning and Creative Practice at UL, Sarah Moore, co-edited the book.

The book features poetry, personal memoirs, scholarly essays, and students’ tweets among the rich contributions, celebrating the wide spectrum of members of the UL community – in line with other UL50 events.

Paul O’Connell notes in Dreams that UL was an important part of his life from going to the gym at 17 up to his retirement from rugby at 35.

“I always felt UL was open and it was the place you did your sports,” the Ireland forwards coach said. “It was brilliant. And until I retired as a professional rugby player, I would have been going in and out to UL all the time. So, it’s a second home in one way.”

In the book, readers will find an essay from Wafa Rougab, an Algerian PhD candidate at UL, a piece from Donna Sibandah Vuma, who was a mother in Direct Provision when she began her studies, and a tribute to Charlie Mullowney, who campaigns for people with disabilities.

Images of the UL campus from across its 50-year lifespan are also included in the book.

UL President Professor Kerstin Mey said at the launch of Dreams, “It is very difficult to capture the essence of a place at a moment in time, but this is precisely what Professor Joseph O’Connor and co-editors Professor Eoin Devereux and Professor Sarah Moore have achieved.”

Find out more about Dreams or purchase a copy.

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