Limerick ‘must exploit position as home of diaspora’

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

LIMERICK should exploit its positions as the true ‘home’ of the Irish diaspora, Cllr John Gilligan has said.

LIMERICK should exploit its positions as the true ‘home’ of the Irish diaspora, Cllr John Gilligan has said.

With the government-led Gathering movement set to take place next year, Cllr Gilligan has urged council officials to ensure Limerick is at the forefront.

“The first major leaving of Ireland was after the Siege of Limerick in 1691, when a truce was signed. One of the conditions was the army leave Ireland, so 16,000 left, with many following. They are spread over the world,” he explained.

“We more than anyone else can lay claim to be home of the diaspora,” he added, “I am asking can some research be done on some of the people who left Ireland, and what impact they had on the world.”

He said if people want to come to the spiritual roots of the ‘diaspora’, they should approach Limerick.

“It is not simply a question of coming to Ireland: if you want to come back to where it all began, you should come here,” the Independent councillor added.

He requested city historian Matthew Potter researches this for a leaflet which the council could put out independently.

Cllr Diarmuid Scully says he believes Limerick is “pushing an open door” on this matter.

“Many people do not realise how historic Limerick is. The current Swedish Royal Family are descendents of the Wild Geese Movement. We have descendents of French presidents, as well as the Swedish Royal Family,” he said, suggesting they are invited back to the city of their ancestors.