My Limerick with artist Barbara Hartigan

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

My Limerick with artist Barbara Hartigan

Barbara is a great advocate of all Castleconnell has to offer

What’s your idea of a perfect day, or a perfect weekend, in Limerick?

Walking back from Thomond Park, past the Treaty Stone, after another glorious Munster win.

What’s your first Limerick memory?

One of my earliest memories, at the age of 3 or 4, was of standing on the touchline at an international hockey match in the LPYMA grounds on the Ennis Road when Limerick hosted the deciding match that would give Ireland Triple Crown victory.

My dad, Stanley de Lacy, was playing and I remember the joy and the excitement that this victory produced and how people kept patting me on the head, shaking my hand and telling me how great my dad was!

What’s your favourite part of the county and why?

I would have to say Castleconnell, where I have been fortunate to live for the past 49 years.

It has everything I could ever wish for, the river with its many moods and its wildlife, beautiful walks, old majestic trees, history and above all a warm, friendly, hardworking creative, dedicated and appreciative community.

What about a favourite local walk or view?

I just love the river walk at the back of the Castleoaks Hotel. It changes with the seasons and never fails to impress. I love the lime -green freshness of spring with its primroses and violets, the dappled sunlight and deep shadows of summer followed by the dramatic colour and rustle of autumn before the stark bare sculptured trees that lead us towards the footbridge. Dusk is shared with silent bats and dawn with birds and early morning mists. Sheer magic!

What do you think gives Limerick its unique identity?

The Shannon river, the history, the pride, the passion and the fans who are responsible for the deserved reputation of being the undisputed sporting capital of Ireland.

Do you have a favourite local restaurant?

While I don’t eat out very often, a leisurely lunch in the Hunt Museum is always a treat.

I do have to admit to occasionally indulging myself on fresh fish, salad and chips in Supermac’s on the Ballysimon road, served (on a plate) by most pleasant and welcoming staff.

How would you describe the people of Limerick?

Proud, energetic, creative and sociable. I just love the way they thank the bus drivers and how the school girls wear their hem lines to the ground as an act of defiance when the rule stated “below” the knee.

How important do you think sport is to Limerick?

It is the heartbeat and the favourite topic of conversation. It is massive, all consuming and enjoyed by all ages.

What’s the biggest challenge facing the city/county today?

The ghastly hoardings and the dereliction of Patrick’s Street and the deserted concrete disaster that dominates Groody Hill.