Wildlife, history, lacemaking and more for Heritage Week in Limerick

Leader Reporters


Leader Reporters

One of the highlights of Heritage Week 2017 in Limerick will be a free tour of the city’s new museum

One of the highlights of Heritage Week 2017 in Limerick will be a free tour of the city’s new museum Picture: Alan Place

FROM kayaking on the Shannon to a tour of one of Ireland’s oldest graveyards, Limerick city is to play host to dozens of events this Heritage Week.

And a host of events are likewise taking place around the county between August 19 and 27, with a record number of free and heavily subsidised offerings taking place in Limerick to mark National Heritage Week.

A national initiative, co-ordinated by the Heritage Council, the week will see more than 250,000 people take part in 2,000 events around the country.

This year, National Heritage Week aims to highlight the work of local organisations and voluntary groups.

Among the highlights are a guided tour of Limerick’s new city museum at the former Franciscans Church in Henry Street on Wednesday, August 23.

The oldest local authority museum in the state, the city museum has nearly 60,000 objects on display telling the story of Limerick and its people.

Earlier on the same day at City Hall, renowned local historian Tom Toomey, who wrote ‘The War of Independence in Limerick’, gives a lecture on the urban area’s revolutionary history.

People are being encouraged to get in the saddle and take an early evening riverside tour of Limerick’s riverside heritage between Thursday, August 24, and the following Sunday, August 27.

Kicking off at St Mary’s Cathedral, the cycle tours are being organised by both Limerick Smarter Travel and the Limerick Pipe Organ Festival committee.

Also placing a focus on Limerick’s natural history will be John Grimes of the Limerick and District Photographic Society, who will present a slide show and a question-and-answer session.

The event is on at Punch’s Pub in Patrickswell, is free to the public and begins at 8pm on Saturday, August 26.

Sharon Slater will also give a talk on the Abbey Fishermen at the Hunt Museum on Monday, August 21, from 1pm.

For those who prefer working with their hands, there will be a free workshop to make Limerick lace on Monday, August 21, and Friday, August 25, at City Hall.

The same day will also bring with it a tour of Mount St Lawrence Cemetery, which is the fifth largest in the state.

Led by historian Dr Matthew Potter, this kicks off at 3pm.

In the county, from discovering the medieval marvels of Kilmallock and local invasive river species to tracing Bruff’s connection to JFK, there is great choice of events taking place to encourage young and old to celebrate and appreciate our unique heritage.

To mark National Heritage Week children under 12 are encouraged to capture the everyday natural beauty of their local land through an online competition which is being run in conjunction with the De Valera Museum in Bruree and Bruree Heritage Centre.

Castleconnell is delving into its past for Heritage Week 2017. The theme is “it’s in your nature!” and organisers are exploring the parish’s proud history. Nicky McNamara, founding member of the heritage centre on Castle Street, said they will begin with a look at the history of the local bog.

“On Sunday, August 20 you are invited to explore this wilderness, its natural habitat and wildlife, and to discover the history of the land that, over the years, has not only provided local families with winter fuel, but also survived the construction of the M7 motorway!

“Local historian, Paddy Tuohy, will start the afternoon at 2pm at the ACM Community Centre in Castle Street, visit the local bog and returning at 4pm. Transport can be provided and you are advised to wear suitable footwear,” said Nicky.

The West Limerick Heritage Network is getting in ahead of the posse, planning to launch its annual journal, its second, on Friday, August 18, in the Desmond Complex, Newcastle West.

The network is still a young organisation, its chairman Donie O’Connor explained but in the past two years or so, they have managed to bring together representatives from all over West Limerick, from Mungret to Abbeyfeale.

Two very attractive events are planned for the Desmond Castle in Newcastle West, the first this Sunday when there will be a demonstration of Early Irish Music, with a variety of ancient Irish instruments from 4,000 year-old Bronze Age trumpets to Medieval fiddles. This begins at 4pm with musician, folklorist and archaeologist Dr. Billy MagFhloinn.

A minibeast safari, a blacksmith’s forge, and the story of German settlers in Rathkeale are just some of the marvellous attractions taking place in various parts of west Limerick as part of National Heritage Week.

Both those interested in history or just those with a curiosity about their local town will be well-informed after a visit to the Irish Palatine Centre in Rathkeale on either August 20 or August 26 from 2pm to 5pm.

Across Limerick city and county, there are a total of 40 events being lined up for Heritage Week this year.

For a full directory, visit www.heritageweek.ie, or telephone 1800-200878.