JP Dillon on stage at the homecoming celebrations following the 2018 All Ireland hurling victory
What’s your idea of a perfect day in Limerick?
My idea of a perfect day in Limerick would be to have the sun shining and me taking a walk through my old neighbourhood along Clancy Strand and Thomondgate.
This is where I grew up and, in my opinion, it is not only one of the most historic parts of Limerick but it is also very beautiful with the Shannon River, the Treaty Stone and King John's Castle creating a postcard-like scene.
What is your first memory of Limerick?
One of my favourite childhood memories is my Dad taking my brother Pat and I to The Markets Field on Sunday afternoons to watch the Limerick soccer team in action.
Back then it was the highlight of the week as there was little or no soccer on TV. The ground was always full and the atmosphere always amazing. We got to witness great legendary players like the late Joe O'Mahony and Tony Meaney.
Who can ever forget such greats as Kevin Fitzpatrick, Des Kennedy, Pat Nolan and Al Finucane to name but a few.
What is your favourite part of the county or neighbouring area?
One of my favourite places of all is Killaloe. Just to stand back and admire its incredible scenery and breathtaking views. That was the main reason I had my wedding reception there in 1995.
What is your favourite local walk or view and why?
I find myself going back to Thomondgate again for this one. It's a place that is very close to my heart. A view which will stay with me forever is the one I had from my bedroom window when I was a boy.
I could see St Munchin's Church, the Treaty Stone and at night the lights were dancing on the Shannon River in front of King John's Castle. It's a view that has stayed in my memory forever.
What gives Limerick its unique identity?
I think a lot of things give Limerick its unique identity. For a start the people of Limerick – you can go just about anywhere in the world and you'll know when you meet someone from Limerick with a greeting such as ‘aboy the kiiiid!’ or ‘How's it goin Morris’.
Also, Limerick is steeped in music from famous showbands to wonderful songwriters and bands like The Cranberries putting us on a world stage not to mention how we stand head and shoulders and go toe-to-toe with the best on the sports field.
How would you describe the people of Limerick?
Limerick people are the very best and they are the salt of the earth. In my lifetime I have seen the people of Limerick getting behind a lot of fundraising for various charities and clubs.
They are a very caring people – both in the city and county – and it has always been my experience that Limerick people, if they can afford it, would give you their last bob to help you out.
What is the biggest challenge facing Limerick as we begin 2020 and a new decade?
“I think there are a number of challenges facing Limerick in the times we live in. I would like to see more help available for mental health issues.
The overcrowding situation at University Hospital Limerick has to be sorted somehow as it is not right as we enter a new decade that people have to spend time on hospital trolleys in such big numbers.
I would love to see Thomond Park and The LIT Gaelic Grounds being used again to bring the big music stars to play in Limerick . We have these great stadiums that could more than accommodate big gigs and, of course, bring much needed business into the city .
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