“There is scenery and story in our own county that rivals anything in any country,” says Siobhan English, who has just penned her first book, Come Stroll With Me in Limerick.
It is a book of local history encompassing many of the most beautiful parts of our city and county. Ms English has illustrated it with nearly three hundred colour photographs.
The Barna woman will launch Come Stroll With Me in Limerick in Pallasgreen Community Centre on Thursday, December 6 at 8.30pm.
The idea for a book began in the classroom, but she wasn’t teaching children.
“I have been designing and delivering a summer school course for my fellow primary teachers in Mary Immaculate College since 2004.
“I would have collated quite a bit of material about the city in the course of researching that course.
“It dawned on me I knew very little on certain parts of the county, including my own area on the Limerick/Tipperary border,” said Ms English, who is a second and third class teacher in Nicker National School.
“I said I’d better find out a little bit about the rest of the county and explore the history of it. During the summer holidays I toured around a lot of different areas and places to see the sights of interest,” she added. What she found has turned in to a 232 page book. While we all love jumping on a plane to warmer climes, Ms English says there is much to admire on our own doorstep.
“I’ve passed buildings and walked by plaques going about my everyday business and then suddenly I heard a story about it and I’ll never look at the building or that plaque in the same way again.
“In places I have been all my life like Pallasgreen, Ballylanders, Galbally, there was a depth of story that I knew nothing about,” said Ms English.
She describes the book -writing process and travelling all over the county as a “labour of love”.
“You can research forever in a library and I have lost myself in the pages of books and newspapers and that is fantastic.
“But when you are on the ground yourself exploring, sensing and feeling – that’s wonderful. It adds a new dimension to the study of history,” said Ms English.
The book is divided in to eight chapters - Our City and County, the Story So Far; A Walk in King’s Island; Towards the Irishtown; Come Stroll in Georgian Limerick; Where the Mulcair River Flows; The Hills and Plains of our Rich Land; Come West along the Road and Your Shannon Waters.
It features historic walks in the city and drives in East and West Limerick to follow.
“It is aimed at everybody living in Limerick because I have discovered a huge amount – even though I have lived here all my life; schools who would like to inculcate in pupils a sense of love and understanding of local heritage and for those new to Limerick, for example, The Gathering in 2013,” said Siobhan, who wished to thank Ballyhoura for helping to make the book happen with their financial contribution.
Come Stroll With Me in Limerick, published by Mulcair Print, will be on sale in shops around the county and in city bookshops in coming weeks, priced at €15.