Elaine Vaughan: 'If you have never watched a roller derby bout, you are missing out'
What’s your idea of a perfect day, or a perfect weekend, in Limerick?
My weekend usually starts with a walk to the Milk Market with my dog, Monty. We are both food-obsessed, so it’s the perfect start to the day for us. He loves the Barking Baker’s stall. I usually have a look around Vito Vintage before I head home, they always have really lovely things. Part of my ideal weekend would also include visiting Limerick City Gallery of Art, mainly to look at the scowl on ‘Man of the West’. I’d pop in to Mother Mac’s for a pint of Treaty City afterwards, and if I could travel back in time, I'd end the night in Termites.
What’s your first Limerick memory?
It was around Christmas, I think, and I remember having my picture taken outside Todd’s with a Capuchin monkey. I know someone who still has his ‘I saw Santa at Todd’s’ badge.
What’s your favourite part of the county/city and why?
It has to be the view – in any direction – from Sarsfield Bridge. That view of the Hunt Museum, King John’s Castle, St Mary’s Cathedral, though, is something else.
What about a favourite local walk or view?
Walking the bridges in the early morning, and especially on Christmas day, is definitely a favourite. From my kitchen window, I can see the Galtee mountains in the distance, so even though I live more or less in the city centre, I have a view.
What do you think gives Limerick its unique identity?
It’s so hard to define. I think it’s a combination of understatement and pride. And our unique and creative way with words. I love the fact that residents of Limerick have minted a new meaning for ‘yurt’, and all of the accents of Limerick.
Do you have a favourite local restaurant?
I’m lucky where I live, the Green Yard at Punches is across the road. There are so many great places to eat in Limerick. But if I’m honest, my number one favourite restaurant is the Mogul Emperor. It’s also right across the road from one of favourite pubs in Limerick, Timmy Martin’s.
How important do you think sport is to Limerick?
There’s no doubt that sport is central to Limerick’s identity, especially rugby and hurling. Limerick also has a brilliant Flat Track Roller Derby league, and if you have never watched a roller derby bout, you are missing out. Roller derby is a highly skilled, fast-paced team sport played on roller skates (not roller blades, mind, quad roller skates). I’m proud to have been one of the founder members of the club, although I’ve hung up my skates now (in a competitive sense anyway).
Skaters from Limerick have represented Ireland at the Roller Derby World cup – it’s an inclusive and welcoming club. If you’re curious, check out their Facebook page, and look out for the next bout being held in Limerick.
If you could add one amenity to Limerick what would it be?
A cinema in the city centre.
What’s the biggest challenge facing the city/county today?
Keeping the city centre vital. We have a fantastic city, it is truly unique and beautiful – and fun. But the city centre needs more space for people, and less for cars, and more people living and socialising in the city centre.