The 20th October 2017 was the day that Limerick changed for me.
I was sitting outside Melt café on Little Catherine Street awaiting a friend. It was a bustling Friday evening in town and we had plans to visit one of the many new bars and restaurants that had sprung up in the last few weeks. I sat and watched as streams of people walked by and for the first time in many years I felt like I was living in an active city. Actually, to place the change that has occurred in Limerick down to one solidarity day does a disservice to what our city has become over the last 12 months. There has been an expectant energy around the place and this seemed to culminate in a December full of hopeful promises to come. It seems apt that New Year’s eve sees the return of fireworks to Limerick as sparkle and spectacle are the only fitting end to a year when Limerick became sexy again.
Yet admist this expectation and prevailing vibrancy that has embraced our cities people, stands an institution that appears to want to drag Limerick back into the bleakest times in our recent history. A time where Limerick was ridiculed and a national stereotype. A time where the ‘values’ of the Catholic Church dominated leaving many excluded, rejected and ostracised. A time where deeply entrenched conservatism was forced upon Limerick’s usually dynamic people by its fading institutions. Continue reading →
We are hosting a special Speakers Corner for Limerick Mental Health Week this Saturday 7th October on the topic of ‘Mental Health’. If you have any thoughts, opinion, ideas or reflections on mental health that you would like to share with others than come down to Arthurs Quay Park at 1pm on Saturday to have your say. We intivite all limerick citizens to have the opportunity to stand up and speak about any aspect of mental health that they feel is important.
Limerick Speakers Corner is open to everyone and anyone who wants to get up on their soapbox and have their voice heard. Just turn up on the day and let Limerick hear your opinions, views, thoughts and musings. We encourage public discussion and debate for Limerick people to connect in a meaningful and thoughtful way.
If you like what we have to say on here then why not join us for a special Limerick Underground Speakers Corner on Culture Night. We will be meeting from 8-9pm at Arthurs Quay Park on Friday September 22nd. All are welcome to attend, to speak, to listen, to laugh, to question, to ponder and to connect with fellow Limerick citizens.
We are organising weekly city swims throughout August for Limerick people to dip their toe (and a whole lot more!) into our beautiful River Shannon.
Our aim is to provide a safe and fun environment for anyone to enjoy the freedom of swimming in the city. The lovely folks at the Curraghgour Boat Club are kindly letting us use their facilities as we will start the swim from their slipway. Our aim will be to swim from the Boat Club to Thomond Bridge at a nice, relaxed pace. As our River Shannon is tidal, dates and times have been arranged to make it the most pleasant for swimming. Please try and arrive at least 5 minutes before these times:
Saturday 12th Augsut 9.30am
Sunday 20th August 5.45pm (Weather conditions as of 12pm today indicate localised flooding. This is not safe for swimming so there will be no swim in The Shannon today)
Monday 21st August 6.30pm
Saturday 26th August 9.30am
What you need to bring with you:
A brightly coloured swimming cap so you are visible in the water
Swimming suit/ togs or wetsuit and googles
You! With a sense of fun, curiosity and willingness to try new experiences
“We all swim at the same pace and stick together. And watch out for the swans!”
It’s 12.30pm on a warm but overcast Saturday afternoon in Limerick city. I am teetering on the edge of St Michael’s Rowing Club’s new pontoon. I look down at my bare legs as I shuffle my toes towards the water. Beside me stand Ger and John, me in my bright pink swimming suit and the two men in their speedos. The three of us make an unlikely trio, formed through an impromptu message I sent through the Limerick Masters whatsapp group earlier that day. I look across the river, towards House, where my friends are lounging in the garden treating themselves to afternoon tea and cake. I question why I am not over there with them. I have had a particularly stressful week. Work has been hectic; I’m pretty sure I’m being ghosted by my sole Tinder match and with one week before pay day I am looking into days of Dealz tinned soup for nourishment.
“One, Two, three. Jump!” shouts Ger. We all lift into the air together and then there are no more times for questions or worries. Continue reading →
There is lots of discussion of late of making Limerick a liveable city. Most of this dialogue focuses on the architecture of our streets to transform Limerick into a modern urban oasis on par with other forward thinking European cities. While the built environment plays an essential role in shaping our culture and the wellbeing of citizens, it is the attitude and beliefs of its people that make a city as liveable as it can be. Something that struck me during the #liveableLimerick discourse was how much of this conversation was dominated and shaped by men. From media commentators, to consultant architects, to city councillors, to sports and comedy stars, an androcentric debate developed that very much mirrors the current state of our urban fabric. A fabric that maintains a pervasiveness of sexism existing throughout our city. A sexism not usually seen by men, and some women, in our everyday lives because it is such a habitual way of being in Limerick. Continue reading →
Limerick Underground’s Speakers Corner will take place at 1pm on the first Saturday of every month at Arthurs Quay Park, Limerick.
This is open to everyone and anyone who wants to get up on their soapbox and have their voice heard. Just turn up on the day and let Limerick hear your musings, rantings, opinions, views, thoughts and chatter. We encourage public debate and free speech for Limerick citizens to step up and speak out.
Limerick Underground Speakers Corner will take place on the following dates:
Saturday May 6th
Saturday June 3rd
Saturday July 1st
Saturday August 5th
Saturday September 2nd
For any more information drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last month I moved into a new apartment overlooking The Shannon and for the most part, living beside the river in Limerick is wonderful. There are early morning rowers, moonlit city tours by kayak, Sunday strollers feeding the swans and stunning river views completely unique to anywhere else on this island. On announcement to my friends and families that I was setting up home in an apartment close to Thomond Bridge I was met with cries of concerns. Would the rescue helicopter not wake me at night? How will I feel with the continual sirens and patrollers outside my bedroom window? How could I live so close to such a tragic place?
A quick review on river activities over the last few months makes it obvious to why my move would elicit such a response in so many Limerick people I encountered.
Over the last year Limerick has seen a proliferation of suicide prevention groups, alongside local news outlets that still persists with front page news coverage of suicide in the River Shannon. This is despite all evidence suggesting that ceasing reporting on suicide could significantly reduce suicide rates.
The emergence of various suicide prevention groups over the last few months has garnered much attention and praise within the Limerick community. Continue reading →
A Saturday morning in Limerick conjures up many images for most. Meeting friends in The Milk Market, stopping for a bun in Bean a Ti, picking up the latest read in O’Mahony’s, with an accompanying soundtrack of the hustle and bustle of weekend city life. Yet, there is one sight and sound so constant in our Saturday Limerick rituals that it is often overlooked. Be it walking through Bedford Row or strolling up Cruises Street, the distinctive timbre of panpipes accompanying a taped backing track of ‘My heart will go on’ and other classics, is a staple with Saturday city-goers.
As I sat and waited for an opportunity to meet the man behind this distinctive sound, I reflected on the numerous occasions I have walked passed, barely glancing and failing to recognise the skill required in playing a wide array of panpipes and flutes. I was surprised at the number of passers-by stalling to listen to the music, taking videos and browsing through the cd’s for sale.Even more unexpected was meeting Luis Shanakan, a spirited, passionate and affable man from Ecuador, that has made Limerick his home. Continue reading →
It’s 7.40pm on a Wednesday evening, 20 minutes before closing time in Badass Burittos, Catherine Street. I walk in to do an interview with the owner, Mags Nash, aka Buritto Lady, whom has adopted an unlikely position as one of Limerick’s most controversial characters of late. It’s a hot, balmy night in Limerick and I expect us to have the place to ourselves.
Through the course of the interview we are interrupted five times by customers, some travelling in from the suburbs to get their fill of what they describe as ‘Limerick best burritos’. Rocky, a regular customer, comes back in for seconds and bemoans the fact it is now closed on a Sunday, depriving him of what he describes as his weekend ‘cheat’ meal. When he mentions the lack of Sunday opening Mags gives me a self-deprecating look and with the same jovial banter she uses with her customers, she suggests we start with just one of the contentious issues that has made her one of Limerick’s most talked about women in recent weeks. Continue reading →