Limerick GAA is on a roll and yesterday they announced a ten-year partnership with Limerick Institute of Technology which is billed as being ‘firmly aimed at generating benefit for Limerick communities.’
The first partnership of its kind in Ireland, it is being positioned as a legacy of Limerick’s historic 2018 All-Ireland Senior Hurling title.
It will include a range of elements the most obvious beyond the county being the renaming of the Gaelic Grounds to become the LIT Gaelic Grounds.
That will just be the above the line evidence of the partnership though, with deeper bonds being created by way of dedicated scholarships for Limerick GAA Club members to attend the Institute, the use of the LIT Gaelic Grounds as a ‘living lab’ for education, sports science and other initiatives and the use of the LIT Campus facilities by teams and administrators.
The 10-year partnership will cover a period which sees plans for Limerick GAA’s headquarters to be substantially redeveloped and opened up to the community, including a new plaza-type area and new stadium facilities.
The naming rights on the stadium will come into effect in time for the start of the 2019 All Ireland Championship season in May.
LIT’s commercial arm will invest €30,000 each year, using money derived exclusively from their own commercial activities, making it a €300,000 deal in terms of cash as well as the value in kind from the different partnership elements.
The two organisations have a historical link down the years but this step change in terms of visibility has come about to capitalise on the momentum from the 2017 All Ireland win.
It adds to the legacy nature of the victory that was first seen through the donation by JP McManus of €3.2 million across the GAA County Boards to be given to individual clubs.
“I am very excited about what we and LIT are doing together,” said Limerick GAA Chairman John Cregan.
“This partnership helps bring Limerick GAA to another level. We are on an exciting trajectory and this partnership reflects that new energy and vibrancy.”
“LIT and ourselves are close neighbours on the Northside of the city, and we are very much building on the shared history of our two bodies here. By partnering like this, we are reaching into each other’s communities, unlocking a range of benefits for Limerick, for our clubs and for students.”
“This is a far deeper relationship than a typical commercial one and brings with it huge benefits that a conventional commercial relationship simply could not deliver. It is a win for all concerned and we look forward to working together for the benefit of all.”
“We are delighted to be entering this partnership with Limerick GAA,” added LIT President Dr Vincent Cunnane.
“Our two organisations have a shared ethos, a shared set of beliefs and a common history, which makes this partnership a natural fit.”
“This agreement is unique in Ireland and reflects a new confidence here in Limerick that we can go our own way, find our own models and deliver benefits for the people of Limerick.”
“We have both been in the business of supporting our communities for a long time, and coming together to do this in a defined way now makes huge sense.”
“This partnership is a win-win-win for Limerick, for LIT students and for Limerick GAA. It’s a symbiotic relationship where, for example, our students will be able to get invaluable and relevant work experience around their chosen career area, with the benefit of their energy and education also being very much felt in the GAA.”
“At the same time, we will also be offering scholarships every year for Limerick GAA club members to come to college in LIT, and we will also be putting in place programmes drawn from specific LIT expertise to support smaller clubs.”
Image Credit: James Crombie, Inpho.ie