Footballer Kieran found his sense of pride in Limerick awoken by his trip to Kerry for the Munster final in 2003
What is your idea of a perfect day, or a perfect weekend in Limerick?
A perfect day for me would start off by taking my dog Milo for a walk around Caherdavin in the morning. If I wasn’t training, studying or working I’d probably end up going down to my local GAA club, Na Piarsaigh, for a puck or kick around. I find that it’s a great way to unwind and gather my thoughts after a busy week. Afterwards I’d meet up with friends for a chat and have the craic. Any day I get to do all that is a perfect day for me.
What’s your first Limerick memory?
My first Limerick memory would have been as a six-year-old attending the 2003 Munster Football final in Killarney. I’ve attended many games but that one stands out in my mind for a variety of reasons. Both of my parents are from Kerry so whenever they play against each other, there would be a bit of friendly banter in the house to put it mildly! That weekend in 2003 was my first experience of it and I loved every minute of it. I recall staying upstairs in my uncle’s pub in Curran’s, just outside Castleisland, the night before the match. I wore my Limerick jersey with great pride into the pub and when the local men at the bar saw me with it they had a few words to say! They tried to persuade me to wear a Kerry jersey to the match but I politely refused. I also recall playing a game of football with my cousins that night where I was Limerick and they were Kerry. Needless to say Limerick won that night in Curran’s, but we were not so lucky the following day. Although Limerick lost, they gave a great performance that day and they definitely inspired me to want to play for Limerick. I remember watching the game from behind the goals holding the programme and my purple ticket with my dad and I remember being happy to be there with him. There is actually a photo of my sister, her friend and I on the field after the game which made the front page of the ‘Limerick Evening Echo’ the next day. Looking back on it now, I feel it’s a great memory to have because it reminds me of the pride that I had to be from Limerick, which I still have.
What is your favourite part of the city/county and why?
Caherdavin. It’s where I’m from. I’m proud to be from Caherdavin. It’s the people that make the area so great.
What is your favourite local walk or view?
My favourite local walk would be at the back of the University of Limerick track which goes from there to the Absolute Hotel in town. I used to run for Emerald Athletics Club in my teenage years and we ran along that path every Sunday morning. It brings back great memories. My favourite view would be at the ‘golf ball’ above Cratloe Woods. There is a magnificent view of Limerick city from there.
What do you think gives Limerick its unique identity?
I think it’s the hardworking and passionate attitude of the people. A wise Limerick man once said ‘you get out of it what you put into it, it’s like a walk of life’. I feel the people of Limerick live by that saying in everything we do.
Do you have a favourite local restaurant?
I wouldn’t have any that I could say is my favourite, but Lana, Bobby Byrne’s and the Greenhills would be my top three. Tommy Grimes senior is a chef in the Greenhills and he does an unreal Sunday roast!
How would you describe the people of Limerick?
Hardworking, passionate and supportive. This was clearly seen when the pitches in Na Piarsaigh flooded recently. The support the club received from other clubs, be it other GAA clubs, rugby clubs, soccer clubs offering the use of their facilities in our time of need was fantastic. It made me realise that Limerick people are great to give support when it is needed most.
How important do you think sports and the arts are to Limerick?
I think they are very important to Limerick. The hurlers winning the All-Ireland last year gave the county a massive boost. Hearing ‘Dreams’ by the Cranberries in Croke Park after the final whistle sent shivers down my spine. Munster winning the Heineken Cup in the noughties had a similar effect. The city was in lockdown for days on both occasions! I love the Riverfest weekend too. Seeing everyone on the streets watching the firework display and seeing a concert in King John’s castle is a joy to behold. I’m looking forward to the Ryder Cup in 2026 also. That will provide Limerick with a massive economic boost and it will give us a chance to showcase to the world what a great city we have.
If you could add one amenity to Limerick, what would it be?
I’d rebuild the walls of Limerick to keep out the Clare people from down the road! I’m only joking. What I would like to see are sports-themed parks around the city. It would be great if there were basketball, soccer courts or fitness equipment available in parks around Limerick as I think it would be a great way to promote health and fitness.
What’s the biggest challenge facing the county and city today?
Providing support for young people who are suffering with mental health issues and addictions. Although there is great work being done regarding this issue, it is always something that can be added to and built upon.