Ryan Tubridy with students and the cake on the UL campus
Pictured celebrating with Ryan Tubridy were students L-R Jim Fehily, Beth Behan, Madeline Quinn, Orla Canny and Rebecca Fox Picture: Arthur Ellis
Monday, May 29, 2023

RTÉ broadcaster Ryan Tubridy praised the ‘humbling and gorgeous’ gifts of song and poetry he received from University of Limerick students on his visit to campus.

His visit to UL in the week of his last Late Late Show and days ahead of his fiftieth birthday, which was fitting as the institution celebrates its own fiftieth anniversary UL50 this year and he was presented with a cake and a number of gifts during his visit.

Ryan spoke to staff and students and heard performances by students and faculty at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance - one of whom Sarbik Guha composed a song for Ryan called Beacon of Light.

A student on the MA Creative Writing programme Elaine Kiely also composed three Limericks for Ryan for the occasion.

Ryan said on his show the following day that Sarbik “stood up and sang Beacon of Light, a song that he was commissioned to write for me and for us I suppose.

“It was all very humbling and gorgeous. It was an original guitar composition and they presented me with the cords and the music and suggested I go and learn it which probably won't happen today or tomorrow, but it was really nice and thank you.”

The event took place at the Glucksman Library and Ryan also visited Special Collections where he viewed some of the unique material that is kept in the archive.

Attending were faculty and students from across Arts, Humanities and Social Studies, including Dean Sandra Joyce and students from European Studies, Journalism, History, Creative Writing, the Irish World Academy, History of Family, International Structured PhD programme and others, including artist residence at the IWA Rhiannon Giddens.

The event was hosted by Marketing and Communications Director Laura Ryan, who was the MC, The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance performances were introduced by Professor Helen Phelan, Director of the IWA and were:

Dr Triona McCaffery and Pui Sze Cheung discussing the use of Music Therapy to support wellbeing during pregnancy, followed by performance, accompanied by Tommy Hayes.

Live performance from Tommy Hayes and Mattu Noone - composer and performer of the 25 stringed Indian lute, called sarode, who directs the BA World Music programme at the Irish World Academy.

Presentation of original guitar composition by Irish World Academy MA Songwriting student Sarbik Guha, who wrote the song Beacon of Light for Ryan.

Eoin Devereux, Professor of Cultural Sociology, presented Ryan with a copy of ‘DREAMS – 50 years of creativity, culture and community at University of Limerick’, of which he was a co-editor along with Sarah Moore, Professor of Teaching, Learning and Creative Practice at UL and Frank McCourt Chair of Creative Writing, Professor Joseph O’Connor.

Ryan broadcast his show live from the UL campus the following day, where guests included Donal Ryan, Professor Orla Muldoon, Professor Amanda Haynes and Professor Jennifer Schweppe.

RTE also broadcast the Louise Duffy Show from the roadcaster on campus and a number of musicians from the Irish World Academy also performed on the show.