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02/08/2021

WATCH: Earl of Limerick gives his blessing to summer play at People’s Park

THE ancestral owner of Limerick’s People’s Park has given his blessing to performances going ahead there this summer.

Edmund Pery, the 7th Earl of Limerick, said he is “not personally opposed” to any theatrical event in the popular amenity.

His intervention is significant, as it is he who owns the land, with Limerick City and County Council renting it on a long-term lease.

Historian ​Tadhg Moloney, who comes from Gouldavoher, has long pointed to the ancient tenancy agreement of August 14, 1877.

The agreement, between the Earl of Limerick, the old Limerick Corporation and the Richard Russell Memorial Committee, contains a number of conditions for use of the land.

Among them is a stipulation it is not be used for any other purpose than a People’s Park – and that “religious or political assemblage” should be prohibited in the Park.​

“Nor shall they permit any theatrical exhibitions nor equestrian circuses to be held, erected, given constructed or exhibited,” it adds.

And it is this final ruling that has caused Dr Moloney to question the Limetree Theatre’s staging of Waiting for Poirot, a new production by renowned local playwright Mike Finn, which takes place in the park in July.

The historian wrote directly to the Earl, who replied, and said he is aware of the planned performances.

He confirmed that “as freeholder” he has said he does not consent to any permanent structures in the park.

“I am not personally opposed to theatrical events provided the structures are temporary,” Mr Pery added in his email.

Dr Moloney said: “Anybody seeking to do something has to get the Earl’s permission. There is nothing I can do about it. He has the overall say.”

Speaking to the Limerick Leader at the People's Park, Mike Finn confirmed the Earl of Limerick has also been in contact with him to offer his reassurances ahead of the performances.

Waiting for Poirot begins on Monday, July 19. It will run twice nightly at 8pm and 9:30pm up until Saturday, August 1 next.

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