My Limerick with head chef Harry's on the River in the Absolute Hotel, Dermot Clancy

My Limerick with head chef Harry's on the River in the Absolute Hotel, Dermot Clancy

Dermot loves the walk along the river in Corbally, along the red path and on to the Shannon fields

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

The best days begin if I wake up before the kids. No really, the perfect day would be a quiet sunny Sunday morning walk with my wife and kids along the river to feed the ducks. Home then to cook a nice dinner and then relax for the evening at home. After a busy Friday and Saturday service in the kitchen, a Sunday off is for relaxing as much as possible.

What’s your first Limerick memory?

I don’t know what my earliest Limerick memory is but the ones that stand out from my childhood is going to the Milk Market with my father. We’re a rugby house so later we would go to the Shannon match, back when Thomond Park was a couple of mounds of gravel and two pitches.

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

I love the walk along the river in Corbally, along the red path and on to the Shannon fields. I grew up playing along it and love that I live there now with my kids and they can enjoy it like I did growing up.

What about a favourite local walk or view?

I love any view of the city from a height, I love if I get a chance to get on the roof of the Absolute Hotel to look over the city, especially at night when the St. John’s Cathedral is lit up. From the other side you can see over to Thomond Park, and over to King John’s Castle and St Mary’s Cathedral as well.

What do you think gives Limerick its unique identity?

It’s the people, we can give out about Limerick but anyone who’s not from Limerick can’t. It’s a small city in that everyone knows everyone else, but we have big city thinking. I think we punch above our weight.

Do you have a favourite local restaurant?

I go through phases of liking places. I love an early lunch in The Buttery, a casual bite in Coqbull or Texas Steakhouse. But in the end, nothing beats a battered burger from Donkey Fords.

How would you describe the people of Limerick?

Depends on the weather, when the sun shines we are a happy bunch.

How important do you think sport is to Limerick?

It’s a massive thing in Limerick, we have some top class sports facilities. I mentioned Thomond Park, but also the Gaelic Grounds, UL Sports Arena. There’s a bit of everything sports-wise in Limerick. Many of the secondary schools have a big emphasis on sports which I think is great to get kids out and active. It helps build confidence and social skills also.

If you could add one amenity to Limerick what would it be?

Another road to Corbally! I love living there but the traffic is a nightmare. If the road when ahead linking Coonagh to Ardnacrusha and on to UL it would be amazing.

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

What to do about the city centre is the biggest in my mind. Its half abandoned, shops open and close almost weekly, there’s no draw to get people in there. We need to develop it into a proper city centre. At the moment all of the business are around the city.

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