Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Limerick
Limerick (Luimneach, "Bare Spot"), the third city of the Republic of Ireland, lies on the River Shannon in the southwest of the country, at the point where the river begins to open out into its estuary. This was the most westerly point where the river could be forded and round it, at the junction of busy traffic routes, a considerable town grew up. A number of main roads and railroad lines meet here, and Shannon Airport is only 15mi/24km away.
Limerick has a harbor which is not particularly large but which is kept very busy. The city's main industries are flour milling, tobacco, readymade clothing, cement and steel cord. Limerick cured hams and bacon enjoy a wide reputation.
Many people assume that the verse form, the "limerick," a five line verse with a humorous-satirical message, was originally conceived in the town of Limerick. However the origin of the verse is uncertain; in all probability it originated in England. On more than one occasion the term "limerick" has been ascribed to an Irish social song of the 19th century, which in numerous verses describes the adventures of Irish townspeople.
In the ninth century the Danes established a base from which they could plunder the interior of the country. They were driven out by the celebrated Irish King Brian Boru, after which possession of the town alternated between the Irish and the Anglo-Normans. In 1210 King John ordered a bridge and a castle to be built here. In later centuries the town grew in size and maintained its allegiance to the English Crown. During the 17th C. it was several times besieged and captured. The last occasion was in 1691, the year of the broken treaty, when, after a valiant defense, 10,000 Irish troops were granted the right, under a treaty signed by King William of Orange himself, to march out with full military honors. The Irish nobility were granted free passage, but the English Parliament, rejecting the religious freedom guaranteed in the treaty, refused to ratify it. The Irish troops thereupon went to France and took service in the army of Louis XIV; and in the course of the next 50 years hundreds of thousands of Irishmen followed their example and entered the service of France or Spain. During the 19th century the town expanded southwestward along the banks of the Shannon.
The town is made up of the older district of English Town to the north, at the junction of the Shannon and the Abbey rivers, and two districts to the south of the Abbey River, Irish Town and Newtown Pery. Here are situated better class houses and the business and banking quarter, with the principal thoroughfare O'Connell Street. In this street and in Mallow Street which branches off it there are some attractive Georgian houses.