What’s your idea of a perfect day, or a perfect weekend, in Limerick?
Saturday. I’d get up and go to the Milk Market, get crepes for breakfast with a coffee. After chilling out for a while I’d have a look around the stalls, chat to the 100 people I would bump in to that I know and pick up some fresh fruit and veg for the week ahead. As I live a few minutes away I would drop my stuff home and go for a stroll along the quays and across the bridges, stopping for lunch looking out on the castle from the Curraghgower Bar. Onwards to the Stormy Teacup for coffee. It depends if I had company or not, if I didn’t I’d read a book.
I’m currently reading the amazing Limerick author Dan Mooney’s second novel, so that would fit well. I just love chilling out in that place for hours. When they kicked me out I would go to my favourite bar in Limerick, The Commercial on Catherine Street. Lovely staff and lovely setting. I’d get a pint (of a few) of the black stuff and talk crap to anyone that would listen and listen to anyone that wanted to talk crap. If I’m honest, I’d get a Chicken Hut on my way home too. Big tub of gravy.
What’s your first Limerick memory?
I’m from Monaghan. I first moved to Limerick in September 2005, just a few weeks after my 18th birthday. I had to get a lift to Dundalk train station, the train to Dublin Connolly, the Luas to change to Heuston station, the train to Colbert station in Limerick then walk to William Street and get the 304 bus out to UL where I was about to begin as a student. I had everything I owned in a bag on my back and I was petrified over the eight hour journey. My first memory is of the relief of seeing the UL flagpoles and thinking “at last, I’ve arrived”.
I couldn’t have guessed 14 years later Limerick would still be my home and I’d be seeing those flagpoles on the way into work every day.
What’s your favourite part of the county and why?
I’m going to have to be biased and say the University of Limerick campus. I studied there for the four best years of my life and I made so many happy memories. I’ve been working there for eight years and I still absolutely love the place. I’m very lucky with the job I have that I love it so much, but also my manager and the other staff are so nice. The place in general is just a gorgeous place to work. Dare I say it, I actually really enjoy coming to work (most days).
What about a favourite local walk or view?
My favourite walk is from the UL campus into the city. 14 Years since I first set foot on the campus and it still fills me with awe, there are still places I’ve yet to explore. On a sunny day I can’t think of a more beautiful place, particularly when the students are around and the place is buzzing. The connection of UL in to the city along the river was a great initiative and I walk that often. It just clears the head, definitely good for my mental health. I’ve actually just started cycling the route now from town into work as well.
What do you think gives Limerick its unique identity?
Limerick would be nothing without the people. I love Limerick because it is the underdog. It isn’t polished and pretty sometimes but it is raw and real, and that’s better. That’s honest. That’s character. The city has changed in lots of positive ways over the 14 years I’m here but to me, it has never lost its soul. I hope it never does.