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Limerick City
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Limerick City

This article is about the city in Ireland. For other uses of the name, see Limerick (disambiguation).

Limerick City
Area: 20.79 km²
County: County Limerick
Population: 54,023 (2002)
Province: Munster

Limerick (Irish: Luimneach) is a city and county seat of County Limerick in the province of Munster, in the midwest of the Republic of Ireland. It is chiefly renowned for its rugby heritage, including the famous Garryowen rugby club, after which the high rugby kick is named. Limerick has a proud sporting tradition, as the spiritual home of Irish rugby, as well as being a powerhouse in hurling.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Architecture
3 Education
4 Media
5 The Arts
6 Industry
7 Famous Limerick People
8 External links


Main Article: History of Limerick City

The city dates from at least the Viking settlement in 812, however history suggests the presence of earlier settlements in the area. The Normans redesigned the city in the 12th century and added much of the most notable architecture, such as King John's Castle and St. Marys. During the civil wars of the 17th century, the city played a pivital role, seiged by Oliver Cromwell in 1651 and twice by the Williamites in the 1690's. Limerick grew rich through trade in the late 18th century, but the Act of Union in 1800, and the famine caused a crippling economy decline only broken by the so-called Celtic Tiger in the 1990's.


Much Georgian architecture was evident in the city from about the 1800s onwards. Although some has since been demolished, much of the city centre area is built in the Georgian fashion. Other architectural buildings of note in the city are King John's Castle, St. Mary's Cathedral and St. John's Cathedral. St. Mary's Cathedral, at over 800 years old, is one of the oldest in Ireland. St. John's Cathedral, whilst more modern, has one of the tallest steeples.

One of Ireland's most celebrated museums, the Hunt Museum is based in the historic 18th-century former Custom House. The museum was established to house an internationally important collection of approximately 2000 works of art and antiquities formed by John and Gertrude Hunt during their lifetimes. On display are the 9th century Antrim Cross, a sketch by Picasso and a bronze sculpture of a horse, said to be from a design by Leonardo da Vinci.

Architecture Lost and Found

Much of Limerick's architectural heritage has been compromised. The main streets in the city centre were originally fronted by mostly uniform Georgian townhouses. Nowadays significant gaps and oddities (out of place modern buildings) may be found, in addition to the dilapidated state of some buildings. The most recent example of a controversial demolishment was the Cruises Hotel. This was the oldest hotel in Limerick; Daniel O'Connell himself stayed in it. It was demolished in or around 1990 to allow Cruises Street pedestrian area. Sadly, the site of what was this illustrious building is now home to a McDonald's and HMV music store on either corner of the street entrance.

Other areas of the city have similar tragic tales. Since the late 1990s, Ireland has had somewhat tougher development requirements. This has resulted in an increasing number of Georgian and other historical buildings being refurbished rather than demolished. Shining examples include the conversion of an historic bank to an up-market pub, also the conversion of old stone-built warehouses and Georgian townhouses to up-market apartments. The latter even included original design window railings and street railings, with detail down to the brass catches on the sash windows! Ironically however, the tougher development requirements have resulted in tracts of wasteland on King's Island remaining undeveloped due the discovery of historical remains of demolished structures.


Limerick is a important centre of higher education in Ireland, having its own university and several colleges.

The University of Limerick (UL), which is situated about 5km east of the city center in the town of Castletroy, is an internationally renowned center for Engineering, Information Technology, Materials Science, Sports Science, Humanities and Social Sciences and Music (the Irish World Music Centre specialises in traditional music and dance, and UL is host to the Irish Chamber Orchestra). It has a student population of over 12,000.

Limerick Institute of Technology, based about 3km north-west of the city centre, is an important regional center for business, engineering and science education. Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, linked to the University of Limerick, is an education and arts college situated near the city centre.


Lyric FM, a state-run classical music radio station and part of RTÉ is broadcast nationally from studios in the city centre. Limerick's local radio station is Live 95FM, broadcasting from 'Radio House', near the waterfront at Steamboat Quay.

Several local newspapers are published in the city, including "The Limerick Post" and "The Limerick Leader".

The Arts

The Belltable Arts Center on O'Connell St. is host for local playwrighting and drama. Mike Finn's numerous plays have been wildly successful, including Pigtown set around a century of the city's history, and Shock and Awe, an energetic retelling of Homer's Iliad. The new University Concert Hall provides a large venue for national and international acts to visit the city.

Limerick's music scene is one of the most vibrant and creative in the republic, producing Bands such as The Frames and The Cranberries. More classically, The Limerick Art Gallery and the Art College cater for painting, sculpture and performance art of all styles.

Several city center pubs venues, such as Dolan's Warehouse and Riddlers host regular live music by local groups. An interesting variation on this is The White House with a "Poetry Night" on Wednesdays, featuring readings by both local and international poets.

''See Also: Culture of Ireland


Limerick is at the heart of the region dubbed "the Midwest". Also known as the "Shannon Region", this is primarily an economic and social concept. The region encompasses County Limerick, County Clare, North County Tipperary and Northwest County Kerry. The area is possibly the main economic region outside of Dublin. Its economic success has been driven in part by the University of Limerick, Shannon Airport in Co. Clare and Shannon Development (an economic development agency). Many multi-national companies are based in Limerick and Shannon Town, such as Dell Computers, who have their European Manufacturing Facility in Limerick. Analog Devices have their European manufacturing base in Raheen industrial estate, 3km south-west of the city centre. The site employs more than 3,000 people.

Famous Limerick People

External links

Location of City: WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: Lat: 52.6652 Lon: -008.6238


[1] The History of Limerick City, by Sean Spellissy (1998)

Cities in the Republic of Ireland
Dublin | Cork | Limerick | Galway | Waterford | Kilkenny
Cities in Northern Ireland
Belfast | Londonderry | Armagh | Newry | Lisburn