March 2, 2020

A Day in the Life of Rathkeale

Our Rathkeale Junior Girls Group

A photographic exhibition by a girls group at Limerick Youth Service’s Rathkeale Youth Space was launched by Dr. Sindy Joyce at the Rathkeale Arts Centre this past week.

Titled, A Day in the Life of Rathkeale, the photographs captured the sights and personalities of the West Limerick town as seen through the eyes of teenage girls on an Autumn Day in 2019.

The photographs show many facets of Rathkeale with shots as diverse as peering through the window of a barber shop to two elderly gentlemen sharing a yarn or two and young people enjoying themselves in the autumnal sun.

Welcoming visitors to a packed Arts Centre at Rathkeale Public Library, Monica Spencer, Limerick & Clare Education Training Board (LCETB) spoke about the extraordinary journey the girls have taken a short space of time.

‘When I met you (the girls) at Rathkeale Youth Space six months ago we spoke about a project that would interest you and taking photographs was your reply. Well, here we see the end results!’ said Monica as she motioned to the framed photos that proudly adorned the walls of the Arts Centre.

‘In a short space of time you have learned about the many facets to the art of photography and now have your very own exhibition that illustrates the pride of your hometown,’ said Monica.

The guest at the Arts Centre also heard from well-known academic, sociologist and human rights campaigners Dr. Sindy Joyce who is a member of indigenous Mincéir (Travelling) Community.

‘The photos are fantastic!’ said Dr. Sindy as she congratulated the girls on their outstanding work on the project.

‘the emotion in the photos really hit me’

‘I am very proud to be home in my local area to open this exhibition and I must say the emotion in the photos really hit me,’ said Dr. Joyce, a native of the neighbouring town of Newcastlewest.

‘What the girls have done is really important as it shows what girls can achieve when supported and encouraged,’ said Dr. Joyce adding that ‘I would like to see more projects like this that in the community.’

Lisa Quirke, LYS’ Rathkeale Youth Space further congratulated the young girls on their success while she also thanked the staff at Rathkeale Youth Space, Monica Spencer and the community for their ongoing support of young people and LYS.

(from left) Lisa Quire, LYS, John Ryan, Dr, Sindy Joyce, Monica Spencer, LCETB & Fiona O’Grady, LYS

There was a special mention for photographer Stephen Lappin who facilitated the programme, shared his expertise with and guided the Rathkeale Junior Girls Group on this project.

‘I’ve been a photographer for twenty years and have never had my own exhibition!’ laughed Stephen as he thanked the

A Day in the Life of Rathkeale was a collaboration between LYS the Local Creative Youth Partnership (LCYP) which is run by the LCETB and is one of three pilot programmes initiated by Creative Ireland, as part of their national Creative Youth programme.

Rathkeale Youth Space is a part of Limerick Youth Service and is a hub for the delivery of youth work programmes and activities in the West Limerick.

A member of Youth Work Ireland, Limerick Youth Service remains committed to connecting with young people and supporting to reach their full potential.