Mary Dundon, Director Graduate Diploma/MA in Journalism Course, Fr Pat Hogan, Parish Priest of Southill, Professor Pat O'Connor, Dean Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
The University of Limerick journalism students produced a local newspaper for Southill - one of Limerick's most disadvantaged areas.
The Southill Voice reveals that there has been a dramatic 160% rise in the numbers of students from Southill attending the University of Limerick over the past decade.
And the paper also reveals that 13 elderly families in Southill who are victims of anti-social behaviour have applied for alternative accommodation in a residential village in Castletroy, beside the university.
Margaret Gillick of the Southill Resident's Association and University of Limerick President Professor Don Barry,
Speaking at the launch of the Southill Voice, University of Limerick President Professor Don Barry said; "This project is one of many UL is undertaking in its efforts to reach out to disadvantaged communities in Limerick. We hope the community of Southill will benefit from its production and I hope our students have gained real life experience of producing an accurate and relevant publication that gives fair and balanced coverage of the main issues concerning the residents of Southill."
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Head Professor Pat O'Connor said; "In partnership with the people of Southill, these journalism students from the University of Limerick are giving a voice to this marginalised community, and that community is helping them to develop their journalistic skills. It would be great if the Minister for Education recognised that Universities like UL are not ivory towers but very much committed to creating knowledge and a better world".
The Southill Voice was produced by the Graduate Diploma/MA in Journalism students at the University of Limerick as part of their team project.
The 16-page newspaper was produced under the same strict editorial guidelines of all local newspapers - a fair and balanced coverage of the main issues concerning the people.
The UL journalism students had to source and write all the news, sports and feature stories. They also wrote the editorials and analysis pieces and designed the pages in the college's Newsroom.
Graduate Diploma/MA in Journalism Course Director Mary Dundon said that the aim of the project was to give the students hands-on experience of writing and producing a local newspaper.
"The editors of local and national media told us that they need graduates with good analytical skills who can write sharp concise news copy under strict deadlines and also design pages - we are producing those graduate at UL," Ms Dundon added.
Southill Resident's Association spokesperson Margaret Gillick said; "The Southill Voice has helped to give a more balanced view of life in the area. We hope that this publication will help educate people to the fact that there are good things and good people living in Southill.
The Southill Voice newspaper will be distributed free to every house in the locality and also with the City Edition of the Limerick Leader newspaper.
This is the third newspaper that UL journalism students have produced for disadvantage areas in Limerick.