Arts Links Limerick group look to the river for possible ‘monster sightings’

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

WAS Limerick once home to a ‘Loch Ness’-type monster? Might such a prehistoric beast have resurfaced in the waters of the river Shannon in recent times?

WAS Limerick once home to a ‘Loch Ness’-type monster? Might such a prehistoric beast have resurfaced in the waters of the river Shannon in recent times?

These questions and more are being researched by a group of socially engaged artists living and working in Limerick city - Arts Links Limerick - who started researching a project about water in January of this year.

The group, influenced by the documentary film ‘Water Rising’ by Muireann de Barra and Aisling Crudden, have been looking at what water means to people, particularly in Limerick, and in the vicinity of the Shannon. Early in the year the group hosted a day of talks and an open studio for people to come and talk about water in Limerick city and began researching a multitude of water issues.

While the group were connecting with people in Limerck and discussing their interests and issues with the river Shannon, something strange in their research grabbed their attention.

Arts Links discovered reports in the Limerick Leader going back to the 1960s and 1970s that reported sightings of a river monster in the Shannon nearly 80 years ago in 1922 (see page right).

“We started wondering about this river monster and have been researching all we can find about the river Shannon in the library, talking to people, and a lot of online research,” explained Joanna Hopkins of ALL.

“So far we have found some interesting and confusing potential links online and some very interesting videos,” she added.

The group of artists are researching reports, culled from mysterious online footage appearing to show something lurking in the river, that the world’s most famous monster has been making secret visits to Limerick.

An exhibition of stories and sightings of the monster will take place as part of the upcoming eva international festival and Arts Links wish to get in touch with those who might have seen anything strange in the water, or know anything about it.

“We would really like to get in touch with these people and ask them exactly what their experience was? We are also asking the people of Limerick have they seen anything in the river recently?”

All of this is leading to CATA - the Come and Talk About Conference - which will be hosted by Arts Links in the city on May 26.

For more information on the project and to read the articles involved, see www.artlinkslimerick.blogspot.com for more details.