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The Top 10 Things we love about Limerick!

Limerick City is on the border of Co. Limerick & Co. Clare so we have included some places in the city hinterland which are actually in Co. Clare!Limerick RugbyLimerick City has sport as its’ lifeblood and rugby is the pre-eminent game. The late Mick Doyle (former coach of the Irish team) commented that……”while rugby in the rest of Ireland is a middle class game, in general, Limerick has a classless game: it is the game of Limerick City’s men and women. The supporters in Limerick are different. It being their game, rugby is forever on the agenda, always the first, middle and last conversation piece. There is no crowd more knowledgeable about every phase of the game, more supportive of their team……… Gutsy play and good rugby receive appropriate recognition and approval……. In this most competitive of cities, competitiveness counts; no game is over until it’s over.

Limerick Civic Trust

Limerick Civic Trust was established in 1983 as a self-funding Conservation Society, which initiates and undertakes a programme of projects for the general improvements of Limerick’s environment in conjunction with local authorities, state agencies and other interested parties. It is an independent non-profit making voluntary society.

The management of the Trust is overseen by an Executive Board of 20 people who are elected annually at the A.G.M. The executive meets on a monthly basis and is headed by a chairman – currently Mrs Gabrielle Wallace O’Donnell.

The Director of Limerick Civic Trust – Dr Denis Leonard, looks after the day-to-day affairs and he reports regularly to the Chairman and to the monthly executive meetings.

The Civic Trust has completed a large series of impressive restoration/preservation, civic and publication projects.

University of Limerick

The University of Limerick (UL) was established in 1972 as the National Institute for Higher Education, Limerick and classified as the University of Limerick in 1989.

The University of Limerick is an independent, internationally focussed university with over 11,000 students and 1,300 staff. It is a young, energetic and enterprising university with a record of innovation in education and excellence in research and scholarship. Its mission is to promote and advance learning and knowledge through teaching, research and scholarship in an environment which encourages innovation and upholds the principles of free enquiry and expression.

Particular attention is paid to the generation of knowledge which is relevant to the needs of Ireland’s continuing socio-economic development.UL offers a range of programmes up to doctorate and postdoctorate levels in the disciplines of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Business, Education and Health Sciences, Science and Engineering.

The University is situated on a superb riverside campus of over 133 hectares with the River Shannon as a unifying focal point. Outstanding recreational, cultural and sporting facilities further enhance this exceptional learning and working environment. The University campus is located 5km from Limerick City and 20km from Shannon International Airport.

The campus is in both County Limerick (South Bank) and County Clare (North Bank). Adjacent to the University is the National Technology Park (NTP), Ireland’s first science/technology park (263 hectares), which is home to over 80 organisations employing over 4,000 people. There is a close interaction between UL and the National Technology Park.

The University’s new Graduate Entry Medical School opened in 2007.

Plassey & the Black Bridge

By David Hanly was born in Limerick in 1944 and is one of Ireland’s foremost broadcasters (Morning Ireland) and journalists.

Before talking about where I was going to, it would be as well to sketch in where I was coming from. Limerick. The most maligned place in Ireland. “A medieval dungheap” its most renowned painter, Sean Keating, called it back in the sixties. It is remembered for its “pogrom” which is supposed to have occurred at the beginning of the century………

At any rate as Dallas is stigmatised the world over for what happened to JFK so is Limerick’s history stained forever by what happened back then.

But my memories as I left Limerick for Dublin in 1962 were not so spectacular. (It was Donal Foley who regaled me with Limerick’s “shameful past”, and I had a long and bitter row with him because of his ignorance in the matter.) No, my memories were visceral, ineradicable, and most pleasant. They had nothing to do with “social” Limerick, which is supposed to be the most snobbish in the country: I started telling snobs very early on in life what I thought of them, and it’s just possible that this is the reason why I’ve never experienced Limerick snobbery with the intensity that others have.

Mind you, it is impossible not to notice some appalling contradictions: the worthy burghers who were at the altar rails every morning, but worked their staff to the bone and paid them a miserable and unChristian pittance at the end of the week. The Redemptorists never railed against that, and why would they, since every one of these well heeled merchants was a “pillar of the Confraternity”.

It would be very disingenuous to talk of Limerick back then without mentioning the Arch-Confraternity of the Holy Family, “the largest sodality in the world”. At one stage every male in the city seemed to be a member. The effect on their minds was utterly paralysing: each week they were ranted at by trained professionals; the tirades – which purported to be spiritually uplifting – were bigoted, insular and profoundly ant –intellectual, and there was no counterpoint, because, of course, Limerick was not given a university college.

What effect all this had on me I leave to others to judge ( I do know that it left me with a deep and abiding loathing of dogma of any kind). So I was leaving all of that. I was also leaving the Shannon River at Plassey, on whose tributary the Groody, I caught my first trout.

I took away memories of days spent in solitude at the Black Bridge or the garrison Wall (it was at the Black Bridge that I read in one day Russell Braddon’s Naked Island), and before that of family outings with jars of Matterson’s meat paste for sandwiches, on afternoons that were so hot the cattle went into the Shannon up to their eyeballs, and the day often ended to the sound of a Down’s Syndrome teenager singing “ The Ring your Mother Wore” across the river surrounded by a caring family.

Plassey was, and still is, a magical place to me: it is from the Black Bridge that I want my ashes scattered when all is over: I know it won’t matter a tinker’s curse to me then whether they’re thrown into the Shannon or the Elbe, but it maters to me now to know that I will end up back there.

From the Sunday Tribune 3 January 1988

Lough Derg & Mountshannon

Lough Derg, one of the largest of Ireland’s lakes, is aptly named ‘Ireland’s Pleasure Lake’. With a total area of about 32,000 acres, its almost an inland sea, but without the hassle of tides and salt. Its an unrivalled asset both for the natives of its three adjoining counties, Galway, North Tipperary and of course Clare, and for the countless number of visitors who enjoy the great natural and diverse beauty of its waters, shoreline and its easily accessed inland treasures. Indeed, the lake has always captivated its visitors. In 1777, the agricultural traveller Arthur Young wrote that “…here the face of the country gives every circumstance of beauty.” Seventy years later the dry Parliamentary Gazetteer described Derg as “…the lowest, the longest and greatly the most picturesque of the river Shannon”. And so it remains today.

Lough Derg is navigable over its total length of just under 40 kms from Portumna at its northern tip to Killaloe and Ballina in the south, and also has access to over 200 kms of navigable inland waterways.

Lough Derg holds huge stocks of fish, being exceedingly rich in trout and coarse species like pike and bream in the lake’s depths, tench and rudd in its weedbeds and of course eels, once a delicacy from here sold at London’s Billingsgate. The visiting angler, whether in search of outsize specimens or quantities of smaller sized fish, is guaranteed many memorable experiences. Angling on the lake is principally by boat and facilities are available from many boating and fishing centres. Some operators offer complete packages which include boat hire, gillies, accommodation, travel, all meals including packed lunches, bait, tackle and advice on local fishing conditions. The boat user certainly has the advantage, being able to anchor close to deep water or near reeds or bring a dinghy up a small river.

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