His Holiness the Dalai Lama will hold a public lecture for charity in Ireland in April.

The event – which is in support of the new POSSIBILITIES 2011 social change initiative – takes place at the University of Limerick on April 14.

“We are extremely honoured to host this address and to welcome the Dalai Lama on to our campus at UL,” said University president Don Barry. "His Holiness is respected all over the world as a truly inspirational spiritual teacher whose energy, compassion and wisdom touch everyone he meets.

“He has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the US Congressional Medal in recognition of his tireless efforts to promote the compassionate and peaceful resolution of human conflict and we very much look forward to hearing his message on the power of forgiveness when he speaks at UL.”

Entitled ‘The Power of Forgiveness’, this address will be part of a 2-hour event including ritual chant and music performances by students and faculty of the Irish World Academy at UL as well as performances by the Irish Chamber Orchestra and children of the ‘Music as an Instrument of Social Change’ programme involving primary and secondary schoolchildren from Limerick Regeneration areas.

The event is being organised in conjunction with Children in Crossfire established by Richard Moore, a long-time friend of the Dalai Lama.

Speaking in advance of his visit to Ireland, the Dalai Lama delivered a message to the people of Ireland in which he calls for people to demonstrate courage and hope.

"Our world is in turmoil but this also provides an opportunity for true transformation towards peace, justice and happiness if we show courage and hope," he said in the message.

The Dalai Lama’s message comes ahead of his April 13th – 14th visit, which is being launched by 3 non-profit organisations; Children in Crossfire, SpunOut.ie, and Afri. Children in Crossfire envisages the creation of a safe environment where every child can realise their rights, develop to the fullest and reach their potential.

“I am looking forward to visiting Ireland in April to participate in a range of events organized by Children in Crossfire, Afri and SpunOut.ie,” said the Nobel Peace Laureate. "I very much look forward to speaking in Dublin, Kildare and Limerick at events which I hope will help people realise their own potential, as well as the immense possibilities that exist for realising much needed personal, social and global change. It is my hope that POSSIBILITIES 2011 will open up a space of dialogue, action and reflection and strengthen the realization that vast possibilities are available to the people of Ireland at this time.

“As I have said before, I truly believe that individuals can make a difference in society and it is up to each of us to make the best use of our time to help create a happier and fairer world.
It will be especially important to visit at a time when Ireland is facing serious turmoil, as is the world as a whole, grappling as it is with economic upheaval, climate change, and great and growing chasms between rich and poor.

“I hope that my time in Ireland – in the company of my good friend and my hero Richard Moore – will contribute towards the building of a new civic and cultural force for change.”

During his visit the Dalai Lama will deliver a talk entitled ‘A Call For Universal Responsibility’ at a major national Social Forum at the Citywest Hotel, Dublin on April 13th, which also includes Mary Robinson, the popular Irish music group Kila and other yet to be announced very special guests. He will then visit Kildare, in partnership with the Solas Bhríde Centre, where he will speak on ‘The Spirituality of Compassion’, before concluding his visit on Thursday April 14th with a talk entitled ‘The Power of Forgiveness’ at the University of Limerick.

His visit, which is his 3rd to the Republic of Ireland (having visited in 1973 and 1991), follows a personal invitation from Derry man Richard Moore who the Dalai Lama describes as his personal hero. In 1972, aged 10, Richard was blinded by a rubber bullet and years later he befriended the soldier who shot him. He has gone on to become a leading advocate for children through his Children in Crossfire international development organisation, of which the Dalai Lama is patron.

According to Richard, the Dalai Lama represents the type of progressive leadership that is badly needed in Ireland right now: “The Dalai Lama offers a deep wisdom to help us better understand and address the urgent and interconnected range of economic, social, political and environmental problems facing us today. He is someone respected by people from all walks of life, someone who can help us realise the real possibilities for change that exist in amongst all the tough times.”

More information on POSSIBILITIES 2011 and the Dalai Lama’s visit to Dublin, Kildare and Limerick, including ticket information, is available from www.possibilities.ie.

Tickets for the University of Limerick event will be on sale at a cost of €25 and are subject to booking fees and online charges. All proceeds from the event will support a philanthropic initiative to be established at UL.

Find out more here.

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