Limerick festival to mark life of Patrick Sarsfield

Getting ready for the festival are Jack and Ciara Oliver, from Murroe

Getting ready for the festival are Jack and Ciara Oliver, from Murroe

  • by Nick Rabbitts

A THREE-DAY festival celebrating the life and times of one of Limerick’s most celebrated figures is to take place this weekend.

From Friday night until Sunday, the first ever Patrick Sarsfield’s Day Festival weekend will take place.

Organised by Murroe man Sean McNamara, the festival will see a reenactment of the cavalcade of horsemen charging through the streets of Limerick, an event which first occurred in 1690.

The festival opens at 7.30pm in the Milk Market on Friday, while events on Saturday include a ‘Sarsfield’s Ride’ cycle tour, of 135kms, starting at 9am.

This takes in the whole route of Sarsfield’s historic cycle to Ballyneety in 1690, travelling through counties Clare, Tipperary, Limerick before finishing at King John’s Castle.

Arthur’s Quay will be the focal point of the afternoon’s celebrations with a medieval fayre, battle re-enactments and craft and food stalls.

The undoubted highlight of the day, however, will take place at 9pm when 100 fully costumed Jacobean horsemen, including Sarsfield, Galloping Hogan, Boisseleau, Ned of the Hills and Honora de Burke will ride out of King John’s Castle.

An enormous fireworks display, plus a sound and light show will take place on the banks of the Shannon.

This will re-enact the massive explosion created at Ballyneety in August 1690, in a move which blew up the Williamite munitions train and preserved the walled city of Limerick.

On Sunday afternoon, there will be a tug of war between the five medieval parishes of Limerick, as well as local celebrities appearing in the stock, a pig roast, barbecues and lots more.

Sean said he was inspired to create the festival after listening to Ballyneety Walls.

“We don’t really celebrate Sarsfield at all. The thought of honouring him came from this,” he said.

He is hoping thousands of people will come into the city to celebrate eve various events.

For more information, contact 086-1734987, or visit




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