International Rugby Experience Museum to open in Limerick

An interactive rugby experience is on track to open in Limerick in 2022.

Earlier this week, it was announced that the highly anticipated International Rugby Experience Museum is expected to open in Limerick in August 2022.

The International Rugby Experience Museum was due to open in 2021. However, delays caused by COVID-19 meant that construction was delayed.

This €30 million interactive rugby experience is to open in the heart of Limerick City, a city where sports takes centre stage.

Charitable Entities group owned by billionaire and Limerick businessman JP McManus funded the museum.

About the building – the technical information

Níall McLaughlin Architects designed the building.
Credit: Níall McLaughlin Architects

The seven-storey brick-clad International Rugby Experience Museum is being built on Limerick’s O’Connell Street within the Georgian Quarter.

This 2,787 sq m (30,000 sq ft) building will be home to a state of the art rugby experience.

Having already created 100 construction jobs, the museum is expected to employ a further 50 people once opened.

What to expect – get stuck in

The International Rugby Experience Museum has been designed by Níall McLaughlin Architects.
Credit: Níall McLaughlin Architects

The International Rugby Experience Museum will have digital galleries displaying rugby history through both audio and visual presentations.

Rugby legend and former Ireland Lions and Munster captain Paul O’Connell is fronting the development on behalf of JP McManus.

He said, “It’s not a building full of artefacts, it’s a digitally interactive experience.

“You know, I suppose sports museums wouldn’t perform well historically, whereas a digitally interactive experience is what kids and families want, and it is how you can bring the sport to life.”

Paul O'Connell is fronting the opening of the International Rugby Experience Museum.
Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

There will be an entire floor dedicated to interactive experiences for young and old to enjoy.

Visitors will be able to score a try, kick a conversion at their favourite rugby ground, and pass the rugby ball to their rugby hero. You can also practice your sidestep tackles on the sequence of changing floor lights.

It is hoped the interactive experience will encourage children, especially young girls, into taking up the sport.

Why Limerick? – Limerick’s sporting background

The home of Munster Rugby.
Credit: Pixabay / MallorcaPlaneSpottingYT

Limerick is often regarded as being the sporting capital of Ireland. So, the building of the International Rugby Experience Museum is only fitting.

This interactive rugby experience is situated just 5 km (3.1 miles) away from Thomond Park, the home of two times Heineken Cup Champions, Munster.

Munster fans are world-famous for their support, creating an atmosphere unlike any other during a game.

Rugby isn’t the only sport Limerick is famous for. They have won nine All-Ireland senior hurling titles and two All-Ireland senior football titles.

What will this do for Limerick? – the benefits

It is hoped the International Rugby Experience Museum will bring more tourism to Limerick.
Credit: Tourism Ireland

Once completed, Limerick’s rugby museum is expected to attract 100,000 visitors annually.

Not only will it create employment opportunities, but the experience is also anticipated to bring newfound business to Limerick City.

By contributing to the local tourism industry, other local attractions will benefit.

Attractions such as Bunratty Castle, King John’s Castle, and the Hunt Museum are just a short distance away. So, it is hoped that Limerick will continue to attract thousands of visitors to the city every year.

“The more attractions you have in a city, the more chance you have of a family making a weekend journey of it,” said O’Connell.

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