If you’re from Limerick or have even the slightest interest in what could be classed as the most beautiful city in the world — a slight bias here — read on and learn ten fun facts about Limerick.
Check out these ten fun facts about Limerick. Tell us how many you already knew.
10. The city’s motto reflects the city’s history – quite the slogan
Limerick City’s motto is urbs antiqua fuit studisque asperrima belli (an ancient city well studied in the arts of war.)
Some might say this is an apt motto considering the city’s long and turbulent history.
Since the Vikings invaded the place around 800 AD and called the area Hlymrekr, which is pronounced ‘Limerick’, Limerick has had its fair share of war and battles.
You had Brian Boru versus the Vikings and years later Oliver Cromwell besieging the city.
Then the vicious war between the Catholic King James II (Jacobites) and the Protestant King William of Orange (Williamites) which only ended when both parties came to Limerick in 1691, had a few pints, and a fish and chip supper from Donkey Ford’s, signed a treaty and ended up the best of friends.
Well, more or less the best of friends, thus giving Limerick its popular secondary name, the Treaty City.
9. Imitation a form of flattery – there are dozens of Limericks worldwide
According to intensive and detailed research — a quick search on Google Maps — there are ten towns in America called Limerick: Limerick, Georgia, Limerick, Illinois, Limerick, Louisville, Limerick, Maine, Limerick, Mississippi, Limerick, New York, Limerick, Ohio, Limerick, South Carolina, Limerick Township, Pennsylvania, and New Limerick, Maine.
8. The westernmost castle in Europe – quite the accolade
Limerick boasts the most western castle in Europe, King John’s.
Built in 1200 by —you guessed it — King John, this castle is one of the best-preserved Norman castles in Europe.
You won’t find another Norman castle until you get to Hollywood and that will likely be built out of plastic by Walt Disney.
7. The longest footbridge in Ireland – one of the top facts about Limerick
The longest footbridge in Ireland is the Living Bridge on the campus of Limerick University.
At 350 meters, the bridge, which was completed in 2007, spans the River Shannon and links the Clare and Limerick sides of the university.
Incidentally, it was built by the French construction company Eiffel Constructions Metalliques, founded by the chap who designed and built the Eiffel Tower, which is not in Limerick but would look nice there.
6. A few dirty poems – not every city gets a poem named after them
The often ribald form of five-line poetry the limerick, is said to have originated from the works of 18th-century Limerick poets Seán Ó Tuama and Aindrias MacCraith.
Limerick is the only Irish town to give its name to a style of poetry.
“The ‘limerick’ can be furtive and mean,
You must keep her in close quarantine,
Or she sneaks to the slums,
And promptly becomes, Disorderly, drunk, and obscene.”
5. Limerick was once a Soviet city – it lasted for 12 days
During the War of Independence, the British government declared Limerick a Special Military Area under the Defence of the Realm Act.
This didn’t go down well with the locals causing the Limerick Trade and Labour Council to strike in protest and declare the city as Irish Soviet.
They printed their own money and organised the supply of food. The strike lasted from the 15th to the 27th of April 1919.
4. Pigstown – we have a certain attachment to pigs
Limerick is and always has been famous for its ham, pork, and bacon, and the factories that produced them.
Unfortunately, most of the workers in Limerick were underpaid. They couldn’t afford the finer cuts of the meat that were produced.
This might explain the Limerick person’s penchant for offal, spare ribs, and pig’s toes and heads. Anyway, it explains the city’s nickname of Pigstown.
3. Limerick gave the ‘F’ in JFK – you’re welcome, America
American president John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s great-grandfather, Thomas Fitzgerald, was a Limerick man, and that’s where the ‘F’ in JFK stems from.
2. Stab City – it gets its name from somewhere
While it might be ok for a Limerick person to use the term Stab City when referring to their home town, woe betides the stranger who says it.
The term came to wider public attention when used by Limerick writer Gerry Stembridge on the radio show Scrap Saturday. It was also used in Limerick man, Frank McCourt’s novel Angela’s Ashes.
1. Everyone in Limerick is loaded – it’s well for some
While the above statement may be a slight exaggeration. Limerick has the highest estimated disposal income per person in the country except for Dublin.