Limerick festival to honour Patrick Sarsfield unveiled

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Bishop Brendan Leahy launching Sarsfields Day with from left; Jack Oliver, Murroe, Sean McNamara, Canon Donal McNamara, St Munchin's Parish, John Hourigan, Murroe, Fr Austin McNamara, St John's Cathedral and John Michael Woulfe, Mayorstone. Picture: Dave Gaynor
TWO fun runs around the five medieval parishes of Limerick will take place in August as part of the festival weekend dedicated to Patrick Sarsfield, “the forgotten hero of the siege of Limerick in 1690”.

TWO fun runs around the five medieval parishes of Limerick will take place in August as part of the festival weekend dedicated to Patrick Sarsfield, “the forgotten hero of the siege of Limerick in 1690”.

The festival, called Sarsfield’s Day, is sponsored by Limerick City of Culture and will run from Friday August 8 to Sunday, August 10.

Rapparee Productions, formed by Limerick native Sean McNamara, with the support of Bishop Brendan Leahy and the Limerick Diocesan Office, have just announced Sarsfield’s Run, a 5km and 10km fun run around the five medieval parishes of Limerick – St Munchin’s, St Mary’s, St Patrick’s, St John’s and St Michael’s on Sunday, August 10.

Each parish will perform in some event on the run route in front of their respective churches to entertain the runners and spectators, and there will be a prize for the best represented parish, which will be voted for by the runners and a panel of judges on the day.

The festival weekend will consist of fun runs, a 130km cycle tour of Sarsfield’s ride through Clare, Tipperary and Limerick, passing through Ballyneety and starting and finishing at the Treaty Stone.

There will be concerts, battle re-enactments, pageantry and fireworks at King John’s Castle over the whole weekend.

Crowds will be entertained by characters dressed as Michael “Galloping” Hogan, Ned of the Hills, Honora de Burke and the Marquis de Boisseleau and 100 fully costumed Jacobean horsemen, who will ride through the streets of Limerick, for the first time in over 320 years, to commemorate Sarsfield’s historical ride to Ballyneety in 1690, to intercept and blow up the Williamite munitions train, which ultimately helped defend the walled city of Limerick to repel William of Orange and lead to the Treaty of Limerick in 1691.

The group will ride out of King John’s castle, over Thomond Bridge and down Clancy’s Strand with a marching band, followed by an enormous fireworks display and sound and light show on the riverfront.

A concert will be held in the Big Top at Arthur’s Quay subject to a license being granted to kickstart the festival on Friday, August 8.

For full listings see Sarsfield’s Day.