Limerick

Limerick (Irish: Luimneach) is a city in Ireland's Shannon Region.

Understand

King John's Castle on the River Shannon

Riverside City

Limerick is a riverside city of modest size, and is Ireland's third most populated city. Limerick is situated in the heart of Ireland's beautiful Shannon Region. The city overlooks the majestic and historic King John's Castle which is perched on its Shannon river bank. A city of many contrasts, it has managed to successfully blend the modern with the historic. It offers many cultural attractions, including cinema, theatre, museums, concerts, walking tours, boat rides and a wide variety of sports amenities. There is the lively atmosphere in traditional pubs, discos and restaurants. Being centrally located between the major attractions of Cork and Galway it is not as popular with tourists in the region.

History

A Viking town

The city was founded by the Vikings in 922 AD. The Vikings thrived in the village but they were overthrown in 968 AD. The Vikings fought the city back again in 969 AD. It wasn't until the 1020 AD, that native Limerick folk again recaptured and claimed their town. From that time period, the Vikings became part of the fabric of the town and integrated into the Irish society. Limerick of today benefits from their artistry, technological skills and seamanship.

Through the Middle Ages

The English (Anglo-Normans) colonised the city in 1172 AD and changed everything. St Mary's Cathedral was built in 1194 AD. Limerick's architecture boomed, King John ordered the construction of his fortress King John's Castle in 1205 AD, a fine specimen of fortified Norman architecture and Thomond Bridge which was for centuries the only bridge crossing the River Shannon.

The Treaty Stone perched on Thomond Bridge

The English settled in King's Island, called "Englishtown". The Irish were moved to "Irishtown", located on the other side of the Abbey River. A huge stonewall was erected around "Englishtown" in this period, known as "the walls of Limerick" and now is a famous traditional Irish dance. Limerick developed and became a very prosperous port and trading center exporting and importing all around Europe. 1171 AD a nunnery was founded. The Trinitarian Abbey was built in 1230 AD, this was the Trinitarian order's only established monastery in Ireland. The Scottish clans in 1315 AD attempted to invade Limerick and around 1320 AD Edward Bruce took Limerick once again. This occupation was defeated by the English in 1318 AD. A few hundred years later another historic moment occurred in Limerick, The Treaty of Limerick was signed to end the Irish war between the Jacobites and the supporters of William of Orange and it also ended the Siege of Limerick. They were signed on the Treaty Stone, which is perched now on a pedestal at the foot of Thomond Bridge.

Modern Times

Limerick of the early 20th century was very much a growing agricultural town. The Peoples Park was developed in 1876 and later tourism became a major focus and technology industries flourished. A state library and museum was built in 1906 with the Limerick Art Gallery being constructed in 1948. In 1972 the University of Limerick opened. In 1976, The Hunt family offered their collection to the nation to what has become the Hunt Museum. In 1981, the Beltable Arts Centre opened its curtains for everyone. In 1984 Limerick's National Technology Park opened its doors. During the late 20th century and early 21st century a great investment went into refurbishing and restoring Limerick's historic buildings. The 'renaissance' continued in 1989, Arthur Quay was refurbished and a new walkway waterfront constructed. In 1987 O'Halloran Bridge was built and in 1989 Arthurs Quay Shopping Centre opened to the public for the first time.

During the 80's, the Potato Market, and the Milk Market were refurbished, the Milk Market will have another upgrade in 2010. The old Bishops Palace,was totally rebuilt to its former glory. In 1991, a new tourist information office was commissioned and tied in nicely with a new visitors centre to showcase King John's Castle. 1994 saw Kings Island refurbished. Steamboat Quay was refurbished and a new hotel and apartments were built in the region. In 1999, the new Abbey Bridge opened to the public. 1999 saw the opening of the Georgian House in Pery Square region of the city. The stunning Living Bridge was constructed in 2007 by the Eiffel Engineering of Paris, (the team behind the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty), it's an iconic 350m long footbridge over the River Shannon at the University of Limerick. Presently, it is planned to refurbish and renew the Park Canal and upgrade all amenities on the Shannon river.

Literature

Limerick has spawned many great writers and poets. Among those were Michael Hogan, the Bard of Thomond to Jim Kemmy and Maureen Sparling to the late and great writer Frank McCourt whose Pulitzer prize winning Angela's Ashes, 'Tis and Teacher man were huge international bestsellers.

Music and Film

Limerick has a very active music scene, which has produced such popular bands/musicians from as Dolores O'Riordan, The Cranberries and Noel Hogans' MonoBand, The Hitchers, world-renowned electronic musician Richard D. James, known as Aphex Twin. It is also home to comedians D'Unbelievables (Pat Shortt & Jon Kenny) which entertained with many TV shows and Christmas specials, other famous personalities include the Hollywood actor Richard Harris and TV presenter Terry Wogan.

A number of films and movies have been produced and recorded in the city including the Alan Parker's Hollywood adaptation of Angela's Ashes starring Robert Carlyle and Emily Watson. It is the setting for the contemporary coming-of-age drama Cowboys & Angels and Robert Cunningham's gritty Somebody's Daughter.

Get in

By plane

Shannon Airport serves Limerick and is located just 25km along the N18. Shannon Airport is an International Airport that services locations both within Europe and to the United States. Daily flights from Shannon Airport to New York, Newark and Chicago are operated by Delta, Aer Lingus and United Airlines while Ryanair mainly services destinations in the UK and Europe.

By bus

Limerick City is served very well by Bus Eireann who operate services to and from Limerick city to Athlone, Balbriggan, Cork, Drogheda, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, Navan, Kilarney Sligo and Waterford.

From Galway and Cork is served by Citylink's bus service . Dedicated public coach hire services to Concerts, Festivals and Sporting Events.

By train

Limerick is connected to the Irish Rail network by Colbert Station which is on Parnell Street in Limerick City. Limerick City is connected by rail (either directly or indirectly) with the main towns of Belfast, Dublin, Rosslare, Cork, Tralee and Ennis.

Car rental

It makes sense to pick up a rental car at Shannon Airport if you are arriving by plane as it's much more convenient. If you require to collect in the city, call up your preferred car rental dealer and they will arrange your rental pick up. All the major car rental companies in Ireland have locations at Shannon. Shannon Airport is easily accessible from Limerick by Bus or Taxi services.

Get around

Public Bus services are available in Limerick but the city is quite contained and everything is within walking distance. Quite easy to get from City Centre out to UL / Castletroy Area and back via the public bus.

Bikes need to be rented weeks in advance. There is only one bike rental shop in town.

See

Limerick has a host of attractions. See the Limerick Coordination Office for a full events guide

Do

St John's Cathedral: The tallest spire in Ireland

Learn

Buy

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

Limerick being a modest sized city, the city centre itself is safe and cosy, even at nights and weekends. Generally as is the case of any of the modern cities in Ireland, use your common sense and exercise caution and you will have a fantastic time.

If you do run into trouble, the police station (Gardai) is on Henry Street in the city center. The number of the local police (Gardai) is +353 61 212 400, note: a non-emergency number. The emergency dial is the standard 112 or 999, as always.

Go next


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, January 26, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.