Limerick has been designated as the National City of Culture in 2014.
It is being seen as an opportunity to lead the area’s economic recovery and create a new positive image built on culture, sport and heritage.
Professor Don Barry, President of the University of Limerick has welcomed the announcement.
Professor Barry said: ''As an urban and chic location, Limerick is the perfect candidate to receive the inaugural award. Cultural development is integral to so much of the teaching, learning and research that take place on the University of Limerick campus and we are always conscious of our role in contributing to the cultural life of Limerick city. It is therefore very heartening to learn that Limerick has been chosen as the inaugural National City of Culture and that the fusion of the many influences, traditions and interests - both past and present - which build the fabric of culture in the City will now be recognised.
“UL is home to many centres of cultural excellence that contribute to Limerick’s cultural landscape. These include the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.”
The University also houses many national art collections, including the National Self Portrait Collection and the Irish Watercolour Society Collection.
Prof. Barry said: "The Special Collections section of UL’s Glucksman Library contains many rare books and family archives of considerable cultural significance, including the Kate O’Brien Papers, the papers of the Knights of Glin and the Leonard Collection, a collection of rare books and materials relating to Limerick City and County.
“And the paintings and sculptures in UL’s collections are openly available to the wider community to enhance the cultural experience that citizens and visitors can enjoy as part of the story of Limerick.”
A team of people is being put together to develop and market a programme of events and initiatives for the year.
It is hoped the experience will boost Limerick’s effort to become the European Capital of Culture in 2020.