As Vice President and General Manager of Disney Ireland, Trish Long might be forgiven for thinking that her journey from Limerick’s St Mary’s Park could be adapted into a successful film script.
Whoever would take on the starring role would have to possess an abiding love for Limerick and a passion for the city’s potential.
Those attributes were nowhere more evident than at a recent function in Dublin’s Marker Hotel to mark the establishment of the Capital Limerick project to build on the momentum that is gathering around Limerick’s resurgence.
Capital Limerick has been reaching out to the many Limerick people living, working and achieving at the highest levels in Dublin and among the first to answer the call was the high-flying Disney executive who proudly outlined her connections with St Mary’s Park.
It was clear that she wants to see her native city ‘front and centre’ of Ireland’s economic, social and cultural landscape.
She spoke of recent conversations she had with people in Chicago who spoke of how Limerick has now gained an international reputation for all the right reasons.
“We’ve begun to be seen almost like a model on how to deal with very difficult crime issues. We just need to look at that and realise that even some of the tough stuff actually can help advance that international reputation.”
The proud St. Mary’s park business woman told the 250 attendees what she thinks Limerick can do to improve its international reputation.
“Limerick can define itself as what it is – by defining the unique characteristics that we have, owning it, being proud of it, building on that I think that’s where the international reputation comes from.”
“Limerick is a truly wonderful city with incredible people and initiatives like this are vital as they further link us together. I look forward to seeing this leveraged further to the benefit of Limerick and all its people”.
She spoke passionately about the significant role that Limerick can play for itself on the international scale.
“I’ve spent a lot of time abroad and I’ve noticed when I was in Ireland I found myself defending limerick and when I was abroad I didn’t have to defend it and people just asked me to talk about it,” Ms Long explained.
“That freed me up to think about it in a very different way. One of the things I began to realise is that Limerick hasn’t been pushed into, or allowed itself to be pushed into, a particular corner of having to define itself of what it isn’t. Let’s own that!”
“That’s actually a great virtue because what it means is that we can, instead of being a poor photocopy of someone else, actually be the best version of ourselves.”
“Who are we? We are many things. We are a sporting city and we are a cultural city. For me, it’s about many things, it’s about home and it’s where my activism and feminism came from,” she said.