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Recent News

AK Ilen Boat School participate in Battle of Clontarf Commemoration

Posted on April 28th, 2014

April 23rd 2014 Battle of Clontarf Gandelow Races, Dublin

Click on individual photos for enlarged view and captions

The Ilen school’s fleet of Gandelows, crews and builders gently entered the River Liffey on the morning of April 23rd. Their arrival was not a spontaneous one but one that emerged from a conglomeration of elements, some stretching back a thousand historical years.

The myth that is the Battle of Clontarf draws as much historical speculation as it does erudition, but for the Ilen School and its builders and boatmen it was a celebration of an every present past and the unchanging rhythms of our great rivers.

It was a joyous waterborne day, a day on which the Ilen School renewed old and made new friendships.


LEDP Takes To The Air With New Aerial Photography

Posted on April 22nd, 2014

LEDP today uploaded the latest stunning views of the 16 acre park filmed utilising technology supplied by Tony Grehan and the team at Press 22. For the technically minded it was filmed utilising a DJI Phantom 2, H3 2D Gimbol, Hero 3 + black Edition, essentially a quadcopter with HD Camera mounted and it provides a comprehensive view of the park filmed at low altitude.


For the full video Click 
Aerial view LEDP



Martin O’Neill, Irish Soccer Manager, Gives New Look Markets Field His Seal Of Approval

Posted on February 20th, 2014


Another chapter in the illustrious history of  The Markets Field began today as Irelands Soccer Manager Martin O’Neill visited the ground and gave the new playing surface a “run out”. Expressing his delight that the historic ground was soon to become active once again he was loud in his praise of everyone associated with the tremendous effort.

After being briefed on the development plan for the ground he presented match tickets to underage players and watched a skills demonstration.


AK Ilen Project @LEDP Rolls Out Sport and Legacy Project for Limerick 2014 City Of Culture Celebrations

Posted on February 14th, 2014

An international and local team of boat builders and naval architects have assembled at the Ilen School, LEDP, Roxboro, as part of the Limerick City of Culture 2014 celebrations. The school is well underway towards the rollout of its Limerick City of Culture Sport and Legacy Project, which involves the design and build of a new innovative sailing dinghy for Limerick City and a fleet of new 23′ rowing Gandelows. The school, which is devoted to excellence in teaching and learning through the medium of boat building and related crafts, offers to the local and wider community, direct involvement in boat building, rowing, sailing or visits to the school workshop, to see at first hand the ongoing work. .
Back row l-r. volunteers John Furlong and Liam O’Donoghue, Master Shipwright Patrick Beautement graduate Boatbuilding Academy, Lyme Regis UK, Master Shipwright Stephen Morris Auckland New Zealand
Front row l-r, Mike Grimes AK Ilen Instructor, James Madigan AK Ilen Instructor, Master Shipwright Matt Dirr graduate Apprentice Shop, Maine USA, Jim McInerney AK Ilen Instructor



AK Ilen pic

Markets Field project set for 2014 completion after €1.1m in funding through regeneration programme announced

Posted on December 23rd, 2013


3,000 plus capacity stadium will be jewel in the crown of inner city sporting facilities


  The redevelopment of the historic Markets Field sports ground is within touching distance thanks to the announcement of €1.1m in funding for the project by Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Community and local Government Jan O’Sullivan.

Together with €400,000 raised by the Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership, which is the driving the project to develop the Garryowen facility, the €1.1million announced by Minister O’Sullivan today will bridge the existing shortfall on the project and enable its completion by the end of 2014.  The project has also benefited from the generosity of the JP McManus Foundation to the tune €1.5million.

The 3,000 plus capacity stadium will provide for the return of Limerick FC to its spiritual home as well as becoming a centre for other sports and community organisations, in keeping with the objectives of the Limerick Regeneration Programme.  Work on re-laying the playing surface at the grounds, which has been unoccupied since 2009, has already been completed.

The facility, which will meet FAI standards, will come complete with a 124m X 80m playing field for use by a range of sporting organisations;  conversion of existing stand to 900 seats and 25 seat disabled viewing area; a 300 seat home supporters stand; 300 seat away supporter stand; floodlighting; renovation of Tote Building and other existing buildings to changing rooms, medical, testing, toilet blocks and media offices/classroom facilities; terracing;  associated ground-works; fenced playing area; new entrances; and tarmacadam concreted areas and hard standing areas for the pitch perimeter.

Announcing the funding, Minister O’Sullivan said:  “The Markets Field holds a special place in the hearts of all Limerick sporting interests. In recent decades it is most recognised for its association with Limerick FC and greyhound racing but when you dig deeper into its past you get a real sense as to why there has been such a collective effort to create a facility of real quality in the heart of the city here again.

“It was originally a Gaelic Games ground, also hosted athletics competitions in its early years, was a one-time home of one of Limerick’s most famous rugby clubs, Garryowen before its association with soccer and greyhound racing.  That’s a fantastic sporting heritage and it is only right that it would be redeveloped for use by a number of sports organisations and the community in addition to its anchor tenant Limerick FC.”

The funding was also welcomed by Finance Minister Michael Noonan.  “The Markets Field has an outstanding legacy in sport in this city, across many codes and the commitment of €1.1m in funding this week will ensure that this great legacy will continue.  The redevelopment of this facility will breathe new life back into this area of the city again,” he said.

Gerry Boland, a director of LEDP, said:  “The announcement of this funding by Minister O’Sullivan is a really exciting moment for all involved with the project. It brings the completion of this fantastic project for Limerick to within touching distance.  We are on track now for the Markets Field to reopen i next year when it will begin writing another proud chapter for itself in the proud annals of sport in Limerick.”

Brian Geaney, Senior Executive officer at the Office of Regeneration, said that the redevelopment of Markets Field is a key project for Limerick’s inner city.  “From the very outset of the Limerick Regeneration programme sport was identified as a facilitator for social change and we have invested heavily in sporting facilities across the city. The completed Markets Field will be a jewel in the crown of the inner city’s sporting facilities and will be for all the community to enjoy.”

Pride at Family Tree Creche @ LEDP as Staff Graduate in Inclusive Care and Education

Posted on November 11th, 2013

family tree

Family Tree Creche Staff Members on their Graduation Day at Mary Immaculate College 2013

Back Row: Leona ‘O Grady ,Lyndsey Nolan ,Lisa O’ Callaghan, Maria Patterson

Front Row: Yvonne Galvin, Jean Cleary (Manager), Debbie Benson

Missing from Photo: Caroline Copse, Hollie Clancy

The Family Tree Creche which has carved out an excellent reputation for itself since its foundation 8 years ago at LEDP had one of its proudest days recently when 9 of its staff graduated in Inclusive Care and Education from Mary Immaculate College of Education.