The Death Cafe comes to Limerick, Ireland
On 11th November 2015, in the traditional month of the dead, over 130 people attended Limerick’s first Death Café - an evening of tea, coffee, cake and discussion of mortality and end of life experiences. Organised by art collective Gothicise and funded by Limerick Grants Under The Arts, our event took place at Hook & Ladder (also known ironically as The Living Cafe in the Corbally section of Limerick City).
This night featured – among other events – a range of commemoration cards designed by artist Philip Desmond to celebrate life, conversation topics designed by thanatologist and researcher Jennifer Moran Stritch, and a special art workshop by visual artist Sinead Dinneen, which aimed at articulating unspoken emotions and feelings about loss. Dr. Tracy Fahey, director of art collective Gothicise says ‘We were worried about whether or not people would turn up on the night but I’m delighted that Jennifer, Sinead and I took the plunge and brought this Death Cafe event to LImerick. This is just the beginning of many such conversations.’ Jennifer Moran Stritch agrees. "Given the huge interest expressed by those attending, we’ll certainly be organising more such cafes. It was great to create a space for sharing about death and the energy and openness in the room tonight was amazing. There's clearly a hunger out there for a place to talk about our mortality without it being a formal instructional event or bereavement support. I think it's a place for people to explore."
The night itself was documented by artist and photographer Deirdre Power, whose images capture the vivacity, intimacy and warmth of the night. Andrew Moloney, manager of Hook & Ladder, Corbally said: ‘Hosting Limerick’s first Death Café was wonderful, and I hope it has showcased Hook & Ladder's commitment to providing a place for the community to get together."
Feedback from those who attended was excellent and there is certainly a desire for future events. The only constructive criticism we received was to try to organise a larger space for our next event as the cafe is really only meant to hold about 60 people. We're looking forward to hosting our next Death Cafe in Limerick and to enjoying more cake, coffee, and DMCs (deep mortality conversations)!
All photography by Deirdre Power Photography.
For more information on Death Café Limerick please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter at @stritchj.