—  City  —
View looking northeast along the River Shannon


Coat of arms
Motto: Urbs Antiqua Fuit
Studiisque Asperrima Belli
"There was an ancient city
very fierce in the skills of war"[1]
Limerick is located in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°39′55″N 8°37′26″W / 52.6652°N 8.6238°W / 52.6652; -8.6238Coordinates: 52°39′55″N 8°37′26″W / 52.6652°N 8.6238°W / 52.6652; -8.6238
Country Ireland
Province Munster
County Limerick
Founded 812 A.D.
 – Type City Council
 – Mayor Jim Long[2]
 – LEAs 3
 – Dáil Éireann Limerick City, Limerick
 – European Parliament South
 – City 51.3 km2 (19.8 sq mi)
Elevation 10 m (33 ft)
Population (2006)[3]
 – Urban 90,757
 – City 56,779
Demonym Limerickman
Time zone WET (UTC0)
 – Summer (DST) IST (UTC+1)
Area code(s) (+353) 61
Car plates L

Limerick (play /ˈlɪmrɪk/; Irish: Luimneach [ˈl̪imʲɨnʲəx])[4] is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the principal city of County Limerick and Ireland's Mid-West Region. It is the fifth most populous city in all of Ireland. When taking the extra-municipal suburbs into account, Limerick is the third largest conurbation in the Republic of Ireland, with an urban population of 90,757.[5] Limerick is the second-largest city in the province of Munster, an area which constitutes the midwest and southwest of Ireland. The city is situated on several curves and islands of the River Shannon, which spreads into an estuary shortly after Limerick. Road infrastructure features four main crossing points near the city centre (an additional river tunnel to the west of the three bridges opened in July 2010). Limerick is one of the constituent cities of the Cork-Limerick-Galway corridor, which has a population of 1 million.



Luimneach originally referred to the general area along the banks of the Shannon Estuary known as Loch Luimnigh. The earliest settlement in the city, Inis Sibhtonn, was the original name for King's Island during the pre-Viking and Viking eras. This island was also called Inis an Ghaill Duibh, The Dark(haired) Foreigner's Island. The name is recorded in Viking sources as Hlymrekr.

The city dates from at least the Viking settlement in 812. 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 Mary's Cathedral.[6] During the civil wars of the 17th century the city played a pivotal role, besieged by Oliver Cromwell in 1651 and twice by the Williamites in the 1690s. This turbulent period earned the city its motto: Urbs antiqua fuit studisque asperrima belli (An ancient city well studied in the arts of war).

Limerick grew rich through trade in the late 18th century, but the Act of Union in 1800 and the famine caused a crippling economic decline broken only by the so-called Celtic Tiger in the 1990s.

The Waterford and Limerick Railway linked the city to the Dublin-Cork main line in 1848 and to Waterford in 1853. The opening of a number of secondary railways in the 1850s and 1860s developed Limerick as a regional centre of communications.

Local government

The local government area of Limerick city is under the jurisdiction of Limerick City Council. This entity has the same status in law as a county council. The Council has responsibility for local services such as sanitation, planning and development, libraries, collection of motor taxation, local roads and social housing within the city boundary area. The City Council comprises elected ward councillors with an appointed full time CEO as City Manager. Local elections are held every five years and the councillors annually elect a Mayor to chair the council and represent the City. The current mayor is Councillor Maria Byrne. Former well-known mayors include TDs Donogh O'Malley, Stephen Coughlan, Michael Lipper, Jim Kemmy and Jan O'Sullivan.[13]

In the hinterland of the city proper, many housing estates were built during the 1960s. These are in the local government area that is under the jurisdiction of Limerick County Council. These include Dooradoyle, Castletroy — including the University, Gouldavoher, and Raheen. A number of suburbs such as Westbury and Parteen to the north of the city are governed by Clare County Council.

The boundaries of the city were extended on March 1, 2008, when the Limerick City Boundary Alteration Order 2008 came into effect. This followed demands from city councillors for a redrawing of the boundary, which was deemed antiquated and inaccurate for modern-day Limerick.[14] The order added an area of approximately 1,020 hectares from County Limerick, increasing the city's area by almost 50% and increasing the population by an estimated 7,000.[15] The added area comprises the townlands of Clonmacken, Caherdavin, Knock, Shanabooley, Ballygrennan, Clonconane, Clondrinagh, Coonagh East and Coonagh West.[16] The previous boundary, encompassing 2,086 hectares, was delineated in 1950.

Currently, Limerick City Council consists of three wards; Limerick East, Limerick North and Limerick South which elect four, six and seven councillors respectively .[17] Fine Gael are the largest party on the council with eight seats, followed by Labour with four, Independents with three and Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin with one each.

For national Dáil elections Limerick City was in the Limerick East constituency until 2011. From 2011, the constituency boundaries have changed in accordance with the proposals of the Constituency Commission and the subsequent Electoral (Amendment) Act 2009. This changed the electoral boundaries from Limerick East and Limerick West to Limerick City and Limerick. Limerick city encompasses the city, the suburban areas of Castletroy and as far east as Castleconnell. It also includes part of south County Clare, whereas Limerick county constituency takes in the rest of the county. For European parliament elections Limerick is in the South Ireland.


Limerick's climate is classified as Temperate Oceanic (Köppen Cfb), Limerick has a mild climate, with the average daily maximum in July of 20 °C (68 °F) and the average daily minimum in January of 4 °C (39 °F). The highest temperature recorded was 31.6 °C (88.9 °F) in 1995, and the lowest −11.2 °C (11.8 °F) in 1998. Limerick is one of Ireland's cloudiest cities, averaging only 1,273 sunshine hours annually, with an average of 62 days of no recordable sunshine.

Climate data for Shannon Airport Weather Observing Station 1961ñ1990
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14
Average high °C (°F) 8.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.4
Average low °C (°F) 2.6
Record low °C (°F) −11.2
Rainfall mm (inches) 97.8
humidity 82 75 70 65 64 67 68 69 71 77 81 84 73
Avg. snowy days 3.4 3.2 1.8 0.6 0.1 0 0 0 0 0.1 0.3 1.5 10.9
Sunshine hours 49.0 65.5 103.5 147.9 178.9 153.9 142.3 137.6 110.7 82.2 57.9 44.0 1,273.4
Source: [18]


The Belltable Arts Centre

The Belltable Arts Centre on O'Connell Street hosts for local playwriting and drama. Mike Finn's numerous plays have been 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 is also the home of several "street theatre" companies, including "Janzo Street Arts" and "The Umbrella Project" street theatre companies.[citation needed]

The Limerick City Gallery of Art on Pery Square is the city’s chief venue for contemporary art exhibitions. It is home to a permanent collection of Irish art, which shows works from the early 18th to 20th century. Limerick's major contemporary art event is EV+A (Exhibition of Visual+ Art),[19] which takes place in the city annually, often in controversial ways.[citation needed] Established in 1977, EV+A has become one of Ireland's premier annual exhibitions of contemporary art.[citation needed] Selected each year by a new curator, it brings international artworks and art by Irish artists to Limerick. The centre of the exhibition is the Limerick City Gallery of Art, but EV+A generally uses numerous other venues throughout the city.

Other active Limerick arts groups include Contact Studios, which provides individual studio spaces for visual artists; the Daghdha Dance Company, a contemporary dance company that has adopted a renovated church in John's Square, adjacent to St John's Cathedral, as a performance space); the Fresh Film Festival, which is held each spring, and includes films made by young people (7–18 years) from all over Ireland; Impact Theatre Company; and Limerick Printmakers Studio and Gallery, which provides printmaking facilities, a venue for exhibitions and events and an education programme. The Limerick Youth Theatre provides young people with an opening into acting and production. It received attention in the national media with its 2005 production of Romeo and Juliet, which made comparisons between the ongoing feud in the city with that of the Montagues and the Capulets in the play.

The city has an active music scene, which has produced bands such as The Cranberries and guitarist Noel Hogans' MonoBand, The Hitchers and many more. World-renowned electronic musician Richard D. James, more commonly known as Aphex Twin, was born in Limerick in 1971. The Limerick Art Gallery and the Art College cater for painting, sculpture and performance art of all styles. The Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Irish World Music Centre are both based in the University of Limerick. The University has a thousand-seat state-of-the-art concert hall that frequently hosts visiting performers. Limerick is also home to comedians The Rubberbandits, D'Unbelievables (Pat Shortt & Jon Kenny), Jimmy Carr and Karl Spain. Dolans Warehouse on the Dock Road has two venues specialising in live music; an upstairs venue which tends to accommodate comedians and folk and jazz acts, and a much larger warehouse venue holding 400, which tends to stage more popular (usually rock) acts, both national and international. Dance music is catered for at Baker Place which holds mainly local underground nights and Trinity Rooms which has regularly hosts big names like Hot Chip, Groove Armada, DJ Yoda and Jazzy Jeff alongside more cutting-edge names like Dan Le Sac, Christian Smith, and Missill.

The city is the setting for Frank McCourt's memoir Angela's Ashes and the film adaptation. It is the setting for the contemporary coming-of-age drama Cowboys & Angels and Robert Cunningham's Somebody's Daughter, which was shot in various locations around the city and had its premiere in King John's Castle in July 2004.

A limerick is a type of humorous verse of five lines with an AABBA rhyme scheme: the poem's connection with the city is obscure, however, the name is generally taken to be a reference to Limerick City or County Limerick.[20][21] sometimes particularly to the Maigue Poets, and may derive from an earlier form of nonsense verse parlour game that traditionally included a refrain that included "Will [or won't] you come (up) to Limerick?" [22] The earliest known use of the name "Limerick" for this type poem is an 1880 reference, in a St. John, New Brunswick newspaper, to an apparently well-known tune,[23]



RTÉ lyric fm, a state-run classical music radio station and part of RTÉ, broadcasts 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. Spin Southwest, owned by Communicorp, broadcasts to Counties Kerry, Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary and southwest Laois from its studios at Landmark Buildings in the Raheen Industrial Estate. Student radio station, Wired FM, broadcasts on 99.9FM from Mary Immaculate College. Wired FM also has studios in Limerick Institute of Technology. Limerick Regional Hospital has a radio station on 94.2FM, but this can be heard only in the hospital and surrounding area. West Limerick 102 is broadcast from Newcastle West. The national broadcaster, RTÉ, has radio studios in the city, which are periodically used to broadcast programming from Limerick.


Several local newspapers are published in the city, including The Limerick Post and The Limerick Leader and magazines include the Limerick Event Guide, Business Limerick and Limerick Now.

Places of interest

Limerick City is one of the country's main tourist destinations, only a 15-minute drive from Shannon Airport. Currently tourism is growing at a spectacular rate with over 1,000 new beds being opened in the city in 2006 thanks to the opening of five new hotels. The city is the first to provide visitors with 'Street Ambassadors', people designated to help others around and make their stay more enjoyable.

Limerick is know to be an antipodes to the Cambell islands of New Zealand.[24]

Tourist attractions in the city centre include King John's Castle (1212), St Mary's Cathedral (1168), Hunt Museum, several seasonal tours (Angela's Ashes walking tour of Limerick City, historical walking tour and boat tours along the River Shannon), the University of Limerick, Georgian house and gardens and the Treaty Stone. Adare village and the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, approximately 35 km (22miles/30 minutes) from Limerick City along the scenic coastal N69 route from Limerick to Tralee, are also popular attractions. The Limerick City Museum (formerly aka the Jim Kemmy Municipal Museum), is next to King John's Castle. It contains displays on Limerick's history and manufactures.[25]

St John's Cathedral has Ireland's tallest church spire.
St Mary's Cathedral

The city centre is divided between the traditional areas of "English Town" on the southern end of King's Island, which includes the castle; "Irish Town", which includes the older streets on the south bank; and the current economic centre, called "Newtown Pery". Newtown Pery was built in the late 18th century before the Act of Union and, unusually for an Irish city and unique in Limerick, is laid out on a grid plan. Limerick city centre is changing rapidly, with the construction of several modern high-rise buildings in the early 2000s. The suburban regions, where the majority of the population now live, have grown out from the centre along the main roads to Ennis (North Circular and Ennis Road areas/Caherdavin), Dublin (Castletroy and the University) and Cork (Ballinacurra/Dooradoyle/Raheen). Suburban houses are generally two floor semi-detached homes for single families. These were built from the 1960s onwards in large estates by government projects and commercial developments, although there are many examples of Edwardian and older 1930s suburban homes on the main suburban thoroughfares leading towards the city (North & South Circular, Ballinacurra Road, O'Connell Avenue).

Much Georgian architecture was evident in the city from about the 1800s onwards. Although some has been demolished, much of the Newtown Pery area is built in the Georgian fashion. Other architectural buildings of note in the city are King John's Castle and St Mary's Cathedral in English Town and St John's Cathedral, designed by the notable Victorian architect, Philip Charles Hardwick. St Mary's Cathedral, at over 800 years old, is one of the oldest in Ireland. St John's Cathedral, whilst more modern, has Ireland's tallest spire at 94 m (308 ft).[26] 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.

Limerick City has a vibrant nightlife, with numerous nightclubs such as Trinity Rooms, The Icon, Ted's and The Sin Bin. Pubs such as Nancy Blake's, Tom Collins and Mickey Martin's give a range of drinking experiences from the warm and cosy to cutting edge. Dolan's Warehouse is a popular small concert venue that hosts many local, national and international folk, indie, jazz and rock acts. It is also an established venue for traditional Irish music.


The population of Limerick city and the immediate urban area was 90,757 at the 2006 census carried out by the CSO), of whom 56,779 live within the city territorial limits. In the 2011 Census Limerick city recorded the largest population decline in the country, however, the population has grown in the city's hinterland. The decline may be due in part to the Limerick regeneration process where in these areas the largest reduction was reported nationally and also to outward migration following the collapse of the local and national economy from 2008 onwards. Limerick is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in Ireland. As with most other large cities in the country, Limerick has attracted a noticeable immigrant community over the past decade. The Polish community is the second largest outside of Dublin, with an estimated 10,000 living and working in the city. Ireland's first Polish bank opened in 2007.[27] The African community has set up a number of churches, which are now part of the cultural makeup of the city.[28]

About 41% of all housing within the Limerick City Council boundary is local authority, the highest in Ireland, however, this figure excludes Limerick's suburbs which are administered by Limerick and Clare county councils and therefore does not give an overall accurate account of the wider city area. The unemployment rate in the city in the 2006 census was the highest in the Republic, at 14.6%.[29]

Limerick is the fourth most populous city in the Republic of Ireland after Dublin, Cork and Galway (though its urban area population is greater than Galway's), and the city including suburbs is the fourth largest urban area on the island of Ireland (after Dublin, Belfast and Cork).


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, with its focal point centred on Limerick and its environs within an eight-kilometre (five-mile) radius.

The area is possibly the main economic region outside of Dublin and Cork. 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), whose precursor was SFADCO (Shannon Free Airport Development Company), an economic agency that provided tax incentives to companies locating in the area surrounding Shannon Airport. As of 2006 Shannon Development is mostly concerned with disposing of valuable industrial park properties.

Historically Limerick was an agricultural commodity-driven economy, due to its position as the first major port along the River Shannon. The city was one of the main meat processing areas in Ireland, and industry included confectionery and flour production. In line with the changing economic landscape in Ireland, many multinational companies are based in Limerick. Dell had its main European Manufacturing Facility at the Raheen Business Park however in January 2009 Dell announced that it would close its Limerick computer manufacturing plant and move the production lines to Poland.[30] The facility was the largest Dell manufacturing plant outside the United States and produced 30,000–60,000 units per day for export to the EMEA. Dell remains one of the largest employers in the mid-west with over 1,000 people employed in service and support.[31] Analog Devices has its European manufacturing base in Raheen, 3 km south-west of the city centre. The site employs more than 1,000 people. Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Vistakon (the world's largest manufacturer of contact lenses) has a large facility in Castletroy in the National Technology Park and also employes close to 1,000 people. It is Vistakon's only production facility outside the United States and one of the largest contact-lens manufacturing plants in the world.


The service industry is an important employer in the city. The city centre is one of the main shopping areas, with the pedestrianised Cruises St being one of the main shopping streets and also the recently pedestrianised Bedford Row. New on the agenda is the proposed pedestranisation of O'Connell St up to Roches St near the Oriental Foodstore and a new look for William St, the heart of Limerick City. Each side of the city has outlying shopping areas. Crescent Shopping Centre is in Dooradoyle, not far from the city centre. It has over 90 shopping outlets along with restaurants and the 12-screen Omniplex Cinema. Regular bus services run from the city centre to the Crescent Shopping Centre. The Jetland Shopping Centre is in Caherdavin. It opened in 2005. Its main anchor is Dunnes Stores, with other shops and services including Golden Discs and Costa Coffee

The Milk Market located at Cornmarket Row in the city centre sells locally produced foods and products. The market is run by the Limerick Market Trustees and is one of the oldest markets run in the country. The market is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the Saturday market acting as the flagship and most popular market day. In 2010 work was undertaken to redevelop the existing market premises to an all – weather, all year round market facility as the market operated in an outdoor environment. The work involved constructing a large canopy over the existing market premises and was officially re-opened in June 2010.



Shannon Airport, 20 km west of the city in County Clare, is easily accessible by Limerick passengers due to the opening of the Limerick Tunnel. It has scheduled flights to European and North American destinations. Airlines using the airport include Ryanair, Aer Lingus and Delta Air Lines. There is no rail link to the airport. Coonagh airfield, is a few kilometers west of Caherdavin, serving small private aircraft. Kerry and Cork Airports are around 1 hour 30 minutes and 2 hours drive away, respectively.


City Centre bus service.

Local public transport is provided by Bus Éireann, Ireland's national bus operator. City service routes are as follows (frequencies shown in brackets, in minutes):

  • 301 City Centre to Shannon Banks or Westbury (301A) (20)
  • 302 City Centre to Caherdavin (302A Caherdavin to University) (20)
  • 303 Carew Park to Ballynanty (30/60) (30)
  • 304 City Centre to Raheen (304A via Greenfields) (10)
  • 305 Lynwood to Coonagh Roundabout (30–60)
  • 306 Craeval Park to O'Malley Park (30)
  • 308 City Centre to University (308A via Pennywell) (15)
  • 309 Pineview to St. Mary's Park (60)
  • 312 City Centre to Ballycummin (60).
  • 313 City Centre to Ardnacrusha (via Parteen) (40)
  • 343 City Centre to Airport (Stops at some times) (55)

Buses run to towns and villages in the county and to Shannon Airport. Intercity and international buses leave from the Bus Éireann bus station adjoining Colbert railway station. These include hourly services to Dublin, Cork and Galway and other cities, and a daily service to London via the ferry from Rosslare Europort.


Iarnród Éireann's Colbert Station is the terminus for direct services to Dublin (serving intermediate stations), an all-day commuter service to Ennis, services to Ballybrophy via Nenagh, and a four-times daily service to Waterford and stations in County Tipperary. Services to and from Nenagh on the Ballybrophy line were expanded to include an extra commuter service each way in 2008. Due to speed restrictions this former direct route from Limerick to Dublin takes some 60 minutes longer (with a change at Ballybrophy) than other routes. Passengers for Cork and the South must change at Limerick Junction. Changing at Limerick Junction also gives Limerick extra services to Dublin – in fact services to/from Dublin involving a change are around ten minutes quicker than the direct trains. Construction work to reopen the Western Railway Corridor from Ennis to Galway has been completed with plans to later extend this to Sligo, the last remaining section having previously closed in 1976 to passengers. In February 2006 it was first announced that regular services between Limerick and Galway would be restored. Construction has been completed and the line opened on March 29, 2010.[32] Sixmilebridge station, on the existing line between Limerick and Ennis also has opened. The Railway Procurement Agency has suggested that a tram system should be built in the city.

As part of its 2007 election manifesto, announced in April 2007, Fianna Fáil (currently the largest party in the Dáil and the Seanad) announced that it will conduct feasibility studies for bringing light rail systems to the Republic of Ireland's provincial cities – Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.

Limerick railway station opened on 28 August 1858, replacing an earlier, temporary station 500 m east, which had operated from 9 May 1848.[33]


Thomond Bridge over the River Shannon

Limerick's central location in the mid – west of Ireland means many important national primary routes converge on the city. The M7 (Dublin), N/M18 (Galway, Shannon), N/M20 (Cork), N21 (Tralee) and N24 (Waterford) routes all start/terminate in or near the city. Road infrastructure has improved over the past decade with the completion of the southern ring road and Limerick Tunnel bypass of the city and the M20 bypass of Dooradoyle and Raheen to the south of the city. Connections to the other citys is improving also with the completion of the M7 motorway in December 2010, and continuing upgrades ongoing to the N/M18 to Shannon, Ennis and Galway. A motorway is also planned between Cork and Limerick.

Waterway transport

Transport on the River Shannon traditionally provided access from Limerick right up through the midlands of the country. The opening of the Grand Canal in the 18th century provided further access to Dublin and the east of the country. Waterway transport on the Shannon was regularly used to transport goods from Limerick to Dublin and vice versa however this mode of transport fell into decline in the 20th century. Originally Limerick port was located near the confluence of the Abbey and Shannon rivers at King's Island. Today the port is located further downstream on the Shannon alongside the Dock Road and is operated by the Shannon Foynes Port Company who operate all marine activities in the Shannon estuary. It is a general purpose facility port. Plans to close the port and relocate all activity to the deepwater facility further downstream at Foynes have been abandoned. The plans included a major regeneration of the dockland area.


Schumann building at UL.

Limerick is an important centre of higher education in Ireland. It is home to a number of higher-education institutions including the University of Limerick, Limerick Institute of Technology and Mary Immaculate College and has a student population of over 20,000.[34]

Technical and continuation education within the city traces its beginning back to the formation of the Limerick Athenaeum Society in 1852. The Society's aims included "the promotion of Literature, Science, Art and Music".[35]

The University of Limerick (UL), has a student population of over 13,000, and is about 5 km east of the city centre in the suburb of Castletroy. It was established as the National Institute for Higher Education (NIHE) in 1972, and in 1989 was the first university to be established since the foundation of the State in 1922. It is notable for its programs of engineering, information technology, materials science, sports science, humanities, teacher education, social sciences and music. In 2007, the university opened a medical school. The Irish World Music Centre specialises in traditional music and dance, and UL is host to the Irish Chamber Orchestra. The campus includes a 50m Olympic-standard swimming complex, the first to be established in Ireland.[36] The University has one of the longest footbridges in Europe, called the "Living Bridge", designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects of London.[37][38] Thomond College of Education, Limerick was a successful teacher training college for secondary level and was integrated into the university in 1991.

Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) has a student population of 6,500 and is a centre for business, engineering, information technology, humanities, science and art education. The main campus is located at Moylish Park, about 3 kilometres north-west of the city centre, and the School of Art & Design is located on campuses at Clare Street and George's Quay. Additional facilities and outreach centres are located at O'Connell Street and in Ennis, Co. Clare. The college was established as the Limerick College of Art, Commerce & Technology (CoACT) in the mid 1970s and was upgraded to a Regional Technical College (RTC) in 1993 and finally an Institute of Technology in 1997.

LIT has a strong sporting ethos, which is not surprising given its location adjacent to Thomond Park and the Gaelic Grounds. It houses the Millennium Theatre, a popular northside venue for shows and concerts. LIT is taking over Tipperary Institute (TI) and the Thurles and Clonmel campuses of TI will become LIT Thurles and LIT Clonmel.[39] This process is due to be completed by September 2011.

Mary Immaculate College is an education and arts college located just south-west of the city centre. The main focus is on the education of primary-level teachers.

Primary and secondary education in the city is organised in a similar fashion to the rest of Ireland. The City Of Limerick Vocational Education Committee (CLVEC) provides education services for over 10,000 learners in the city at secondary and further education levels. It also runs Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh, an all Irish language secondary school. The other main secondary schools in the city are Castletroy College, Crescent College Comprehensive and St. Nessan's, which are all unisex. Ard Scoil Rís, CBS Sexton Street and St Munchin's College are boys only schools and Laurel Hill, The Presentation and Scoil Carmel are girls only schools.


Rugby, Gaelic football, hurling, cricket and association football are popular sporting pastimes in Limerick. The city and suburbs also has many tennis, athletics, and golf clubs. The city is host to many large sporting events. Recent examples include the 2008 and 2009 Irish Open Golf Championships, the 2010 Irish Special Olympics, the All-Ireland Corporate Games and the World Baton Twirling Championships.[40] Limerick has been designated as a European City of Sport for 2011 by the European Capitals of Sport Association (ACES).[41]


Similar to the rest of Ireland, basketball was a very popular sport in Limerick during the 1970s and 1980s, with up to four divisions in the men's and women's local leagues. It suffered a decline during the 1990s culminating in the complete demise of local league basketball in the city and surrounding areas. The main clubs in the city were St. Colm's and Marathon with St. Colm's in particular having a long history in the National Leagues. There has been somewhat of a revival in basketball in the city in recent years, particularly at underage level.

Limerick is currently represented in the National Leagues by the men's UL Eagles team and the women's UL Aughinish team. They both play their home games at the 2,500 capacity University Arena at the University of Limerick. There are a number of other teams at school and club level, including St. Colm's, Limerick Lakers, Taste of Europe, Limerick Celtic and Limerick Lions.


Limerick Cricket Club is a member of the Munster Cricket Union and plays in competitions organised by the Union. The club has in the past provided players for the Ireland national cricket team.

Gaelic games

Limerick GAA Jersey with Sporting Limerick Logo

Ireland's national sports of Hurling and Gaelic football are widely played in the city and its surrounding suburbs. Although Limerick has not won the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship since 1973, it reached the finals in 1974, 1980, 1994, 1996 and 2007 and is considered one of the top eight teams in the game. The county won successive All-Ireland Under-21 titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002. The county's GAA teams display the Sporting Limerick logo. Sporting Limerick is a non commercial brand developed to "capture Limerick City & County's unique sporting culture and to promote its place as one of Europe's leading regions for on field performances, off field facilities and its superb supporter base."[42]

Na Piarsaigh is the only city club playing hurling at senior level. Claughaun (Clochán), Monaleen (Móin a'Lín) and Mungret (Mungairit) compete at intermediate level and Old Christians (Sean-Chriostaithe), Milford (Áth an Mhuilinn), Saint Patrick's (Naomh Pádraig), Abbey Sarsfields (Sáirséalaigh na Mainstreach) and Crecora (Craobh Chumhra) compete at junior level.

Limerick won the first All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in 1887 when represented by the city's Commercials club and repeated the feat in 1896. Since then, the game has lived mostly in the shadow of hurling but a resurgence in 2000 saw the county win its first Munster Under-21 title and has since reached three Munster Senior finals. Monaleen (Móin a'Lín), Claughaun (Clochán) and Mungret (Mungairit) play football at the senior grade. Saint Patrick's (Naomh Pádraig) and Na Piarsaigh are at intermediate level and Milford (Áth an Mhuilinn), Abbey Sarsfields (Sáirséalaigh na Mainstreach) and Ballinacurra Gaels (Gaeil Bhaile na Cora) play at junior level.

A number of secondary school's compete in the Dr. Harty Cup, which is the Munster Colleges Hurling Championship. Limerick CBS has won the cup on 10 occasions, including four in a row from 1964 to 1967 and most recently in 1993. The school also won the Dr. Croke Cup, the All-Ireland Colleges Hurling Championship, on two occasions, in 1964 and 1966. Ardscoil Rís has won the championship on two occasions, in 2010 and 2011 and St. Munchin's College won it once, in 1922.

Both the University of Limerick (UL) and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) have been successful in The Fitzgibbon Cup, the All-Ireland Higher Education Hurling Championship. UL first won the championship in 1989 and have won it four times in all. LIT's two wins came in 2005 and 2007. Both of the colleges met in the final in 2011, with UL scoring an injury-time goal to win.[43]

Limerick's Gaelic Grounds (Pairc na nGael), on the Ennis Road, is the county team's home venue for both sports and has a current capacity of 49,000 following reconstruction in 2004. In 1961 it hosted Ireland's biggest crowd for a sporting event outside of Croke Park when over 61,000 paid to see the Munster hurling final between Tipperary and Cork.[44]


There are three golf clubs associated with Limerick city. Limerick Golf Club was founded in 1891 and is located at Ballyclough, 3 miles due south of the city centre. Castletroy Golf Club was founded in 1937 and is located in the suburb of Castletroy in the southwest of the city. Rathbane Golf Club is based at Rathbane Golf Course, a municipal facility opened in 1998 on the southern outskirts of the city and operated under license for Limerick City Council. Both Limerick and Castletroy have enjoyed considerable success at national level in inter-club competition. Limerick has won the Irish Senior Cup, the blue riband event of Irish amateur golf, on four occasions and was the first Irish club to win the European Club Championship, in 1980.[45] Castletroy has won the Irish Senior Cup once.

Limerick Golf Club was host to the JP McManus Invitational Pro Am, one of the largest pro-am events of its kind in the world. It has contributed over €95m to local charities since its inception in 1990.[46] The event moved to the larger Adare Golf Club in 2005 as it had outgrown the Ballyclough venue.[47] Adare also played host to the Irish Open in 2008 and 2009.


Munster fans in Limerick during the 2006 Heineken Cup.

Rugby Union is very popular in the city and is widely played at all levels. Limerick is often referred to as the home of Irish rugby.[48][49] Since its inception in 1991 the All-Ireland League has been dominated by Limerick City teams, with three clubs winning the competition 13 times between them: Shannon (9); Garryowen (3) and Young Munster (1). The other senior clubs in the city are Old Crescent, Thomond, and UL Bohemians. Richmond are a city club playing in the junior leagues.

The city's secondary schools compete in the Munster Senior and Junior Cups and a number of schools have had notable success at both levels. The most successful rugby school in the city is Crescent College who have won the Senior Cup nine times and the Junior Cup five times, most recently in 2010. The school is affiliated to Old Crescent RFC. St Munchin's have won the Senior Cup five times since 1968 and the Junior Cup three times. Although Limerick CBS is more noted for hurling success, it won the Senior Cup on four occasions in the 1920s and 30s and the Junior Cup in 1932. Ardscoil Rís has won the Junior Cup twice, in 2003 and 2005 and Castletroy College won both senior and junior competitions in 2008.

All Munster European Heineken Cup matches are played at Thomond Park Stadium, where the Munster team held a record of being unbeaten in the Heineken Cup for 26 consecutive games until the 16–9 defeat by Leicester in January 2007. Munster has won the Heineken Cup twice, in 2006 and 2008. Munster recorded a famous 12 – 0 victory against the New Zealand All Blacks in 1978 at Thomond Park. Munster is the only Irish team to have beaten the All Blacks, and came close a second time when the teams met again in 2008, losing 18–16. Munster also defeated an Australian touring side at Thomond Park in 2010.[50]

Rugby League is also played in Limerick and the city is represented in the Munster Conference of the Irish Elite League by the Treaty City Titans. A Limerick based side is also planning to enter Super League by 2016 playing matches out of Thomond Park, it is also set to host high profile rugby league matches including the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, an academy was also set up to identify players to play for Super League clubs.[51][52]


Soccer is very popular in the city and has more players involved than in any other sport. The city is represented in the League of Ireland by Limerick FC. The club first joined the league in 1937 and has been involved since then, although there have been a number of variations of the club. Their most successful period was from the 1960s to the 1980s when they won 2 League of Ireland championships and two FAI Cups. The club played at The Market's Field until the mid 1980s when they controversially moved to a new venue. A period of declining fortunes and a nomadic existence followed.[53] The club is currently challenging for promotion from the League of Ireland First Division, the second tier of Irish football. 'The Super Blues' now play their home games at Jackman Park which is located next to the railway station and is owned by the Limerick District Management Committee (LDMC), the governing body for junior soccer in Limerick. Limerick FC are expected to return to The Market's Field for the 2012/13 season, following the purchase of the venue by the Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership (LEDP) from Bord na gCon, the Irish greyhound racing authority. The purchase was funded by a donation from the JP McManus Charitable Foundation.[54]


Limerick is twinned with the following places:

See also


  1. ^ "Limerick City Motto". Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  2. ^ "The Mayor of Limerick City, Limerick City Council". Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  3. ^ "". 
  4. ^ From loimeanach [ˈl̪imʲənəx] meaning "bare marsh" or "bare place of the horses", a name that is Roman and is originally applied to part of the shoreland of the Shannon immediately below the present city
  5. ^ "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. p. 119. Retrieved 2011-06-08. 
  6. ^ Hodkinson, Brian (2002). "The Topography of Pre-Norman Limerick". North Munster Antiquarian Journal 42: 1–6. 
  7. ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy March 14, 1865.
  8. ^ "Census for post 1821 figures". Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  9. ^ "". 2007-04-02. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  10. ^ NISRA. "". Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  11. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A.. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. 
  12. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850". The Economic History Review 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. 
  13. ^ "List of the Mayors and Sheriffs of Limerick City – 1197–present". 
  14. ^ "Limerick City Development Board – Strategy for Economic and Social Development". 
  15. ^ "Boundary move puts 7,000 residents in Limerick city". Limerick Leader. March 4, 2008. Retrieved March 4, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Proposed Limerick City Boundary Alteration". Limerick City Council.,7796,en.html. Retrieved March 4, 2008. 
  17. ^ "Elections Ireland: 2009 Local Elections". 
  18. ^ From the official website of Met Éireann; see "Shannon Airport (Weather Observing Stations)". 
  19. ^ EV+A (Exhibition of Visual+ Art), Ireland.
  20. ^ Loomis 1963, pp. 153–157.
  21. ^
  22. ^ The phrase "come to Limerick" is known in American Slang since the Civil War, as documented in the Historical Dictionary of American Slang and subsequent posts on the American Dialect Society List. One meaning for the phrase, proposed by Stephen Goranson on ADS-list, would be a reference to the Treaty of Limerick, and mean "surrender," "settle," "get to the point," "get with the program."
  23. ^ reported by Stephen Goranson on the ADS-list and in comments at the Oxford Etymologist blog
  24. ^ "List of antipodes". 
  25. ^ "". 
  26. ^ "Limerick Diocesan Website". 
  27. ^ Limerick may get Polish bank – 07/12/2006
  28. ^ " – 2006 Census preliminary report – See 'Limerick City', 'Meelick rural area' and 'Limerick rural area'" (PDF). 
  29. ^ Lally, Conor (15 November 2008). "Papering over Limerick's Cracks". Irish Times Weekend Review. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  30. ^ Sharrock, David (8 January 2009). "Dell delivers blow to Ireland with plant closure". The Times (London). 
  31. ^
  32. ^ Galway to Limerick Railway on track for 2007
  33. ^ "Limerick station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  34. ^ Mary Immaculate College. Education In Ireland. Retrieved on 08 March 2011.
  35. ^ Lane Joynt, William, Suggestions For The Establishment Of A Limerick Athenaeum, 1853. George McKern & Sons, Limerick.
  36. ^ University Arena, University of Limerick Foundation. Retrieved on 08 March 2011.
  37. ^ "Arup wins award for Living Bridge". Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  38. ^ "LM085 Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering". University of Limerick. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  39. ^ LIT To Take Over Tipperary Institute, Limerick's Live 95FM, 11 June 2010. Retrieved on 08 March 2011.
  40. ^ "WBTF Championships 2008". 
  41. ^ Limerick European City of Sport 2011, Shannon Development, 15 October 2010. Retrieved on 08 March 2011.
  42. ^ Sporting Limerick Facebook Page. Retrieved on 08 March 2011.
  43. ^ UL come from behind to win Fitzgibbon Cup, Sports News Ireland, 25 February 2011. Retrieved on 08 March 2011.
  44. ^ Gaelic Grounds eSports Manager. Retrieved on 08 March 2011.
  45. ^ Cotter, Patrick J., A History of Limerick Golf Club, 1891 - 1991, 1991, The Treaty Press.
  46. ^ JP McManus named Limerick Person of the Year for 2010, The Irish Times, 11 February 2011. Retrieved on 08 March 2011.
  47. ^ Tournament History, JP McManus Invitational Pro Am. Retrieved on 08 March 2011.
  48. ^ Limerick Rugby Full Of Heroes, The Daily Telegraph, 24 May 2002. Retrieved on 08 March 2011.
  49. ^ Limerick Ready To Create Legends, The Independent, 27 May 2000. Retrieved on 08 March 2011.
  50. ^ Munster Beat Australia At Thomond Park, The Limerick Post, 17 November 2010. Retrieved on 08 March 2011.
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^ Dunne, Eoin, Limerick's recovery starts to take shape, Irish Independent, 26 January 2006. Retrieved 08 March 201.
  54. ^ Limerick FC look set for return to Market's Field, The Irish Times, 03 March 2011. Retrieved 08 March 2011.
  • The History of Limerick City by Sean Spellissy (1998)
  • The Government and the People of Limerick. The History of Limerick Corporation/City Council 1197–2006 by Matthew Potter (2006)
  • First Citizens of the Treaty City. The Mayors and Mayoralty of Limerick 1197–2007 by Matthew Potter (2007)
  • The Memoirs of John M. Regan, a Catholic Officer in the RIC and RUC, 1909–48, Joost Augusteijn, editor, District Inspector, Limerick 1920, ISBN 978-1-84682-069-4.

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  • Limerick — Lim er*ick (l[i^]m [ e]r*[i^]k), n. [Said to be from a song with the same verse construction, current in Ireland, the refrain of which contains the place name Limerick.] A humorous, often nonsensical, and sometimes risq[ e] poem of five anapestic …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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