King John's Castle will host the Bastille Day celebration in Limerick
LIMERICK will celebrate Bastille Day and commemorate its historic ties with France at a free event on Sunday, July 14 at King John’s Castle.
The celebration will feature free family entertainment, a tour of the castle, displays in the courtyard, musical performances and a talk on the Flight of the Wild Geese.
Members of the public, and particularly those from the French community in Limerick, are invited to attend the event which takes place from 1-5pm.
From 1-2pm, there will be medieval displays in the courtyard and face painting for children, followed by a parade of En Garde, dressed as 18th century soldiers of the Légion Irlandaise, members of the French Foreign Legion Association of Ireland as well as members of the Irish Defence Forces.
Both the Irish and French flags will then be raised with performances of both anthems.
The historical episode known as the Flight of the Wild Geese refers to the 12,000 Jacobite soldiers, who left Ireland for France as agreed in the 1691 Treaty of Limerick, ending the Williamite War in Ireland. The Wild Geese were incorporated into the French Army in 1692.
Loïc Guyon, the new Honorary Consul of France said the event will symbolise “an annual celebration of the long lasting friendship between our two nations.”
“The Flight of the Wild Geese, back in 1691, has brought our two countries closer than ever before, with so many Irish men and women settling in France and, for many of them, integrating into French society in very successful ways,” he said.
“The fact that the Limerick Wild Geese Festival will be scheduled every year on the Sunday of or immediately preceding Bastille Day, France’s national day, is highly symbolic in this regard. This year’s event will only be a small-scale version of what we are hoping to organise from next year onwards but should already be a very special and enjoyable experience for all”.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Michael Sheahan said: “One of my priorities when I was elected Mayor was to honour the diaspora who have left Limerick. I called for a ‘Wild Geese Festival’ to remember them – I’m delighted that the celebration is taking place.”
Niall O’Callaghan, managing director Of Shannon Heritage added, “King John’s Castle is delighted to be associated with this prestigious event that allows us to strengthen our Franco–Hibernian relations and show how this Norman castle is embedded in Limerick’s history.”