Place:Limerick, County Limerick, Republic of Ireland


Alt namesLuimneachsource: Wikipedia
Coordinates52.667°N 8.633°W
Located inCounty Limerick, Republic of Ireland     (800 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Limerick is a western city in Ireland situated within County Limerick. It is in the province of Munster and is located in the Mid-West which comprises part of the Southern Region. With a population of 94,192 at the 2016 census,[1] Limerick is the third-most populous urban area in the state, and the fourth-most populous city on the island of Ireland at the 2011 census. The city lies on the River Shannon, with the historic core of the city located on King's Island, which is bounded by the Shannon and Abbey Rivers. Limerick is also located at the head of the Shannon Estuary, where the river widens before it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Limerick City and County Council is the local authority for the city.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Ancient and medieval history

originally referred to the general area along the banks of the Shannon Estuary known as . The earliest settlement in the city, , was the original name for King's Island during the pre-Viking and Viking eras. This island was also called , 'The Dark Foreigner's Island'. The name is recorded in Viking sources as .

The city dates from 812; however, history suggests the presence of earlier settlements in the area surrounding King's Island, the island at the historical city centre. Antiquity's map-maker, Ptolemy, produced in 150 AD the earliest map of Ireland, showing a place called at the same site as King's Island. History also records an important battle involving Cormac mac Airt in 221 and a visit by Saint Patrick in 434 to baptise an king, Carthann the Fair. Saint Munchin, the first bishop of Limerick died in 652, indicating the settlement was a place of some note then. In 812 the Vikings sailed up the Shannon and pillaged the city, burned the monastery of Mungret but were forced to flee when the Irish attacked and killed many of their number. The Normans redesigned the city in the 12th century and added much of the most notable architecture, such as King John's Castle and St Mary's Cathedral.

In early medieval times Limerick was at the centre of the Kingdom of Thomond which corresponds to the present day County Clare, the Kingdom also included North Kerry and parts of South Offaly. One of the kingdom's most notable kings was Brian Boru, ancestor of the O'Brien Clan of Dalcassians. The word Thomond is synonymous with the region and is retained in place names such as Thomondgate, Thomond Bridge and Thomond Park.

Late Renaissance/Early modern history

Limerick in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was sometimes called the most beautiful city in Ireland. The English-born judge Luke Gernon, a resident of Limerick, wrote in 1620 that at his first sight of the city he had been taken by its "lofty buildings of marble, like the Colleges in Oxford".

During the civil wars of the 17th century the city played a pivotal role, besieged by Oliver Cromwell in 1651 and twice by the Williamites in the 1690s. The Treaty of Limerick ended the Williamite war in Ireland which was fought between supporters of the Catholic King James II (Jacobites) and the Protestant King William of Orange (Williamites). The treaty offered toleration to Catholicism and full legal rights to Catholics that swore an oath of loyalty to William III and Mary II. The Treaty was of national significance as it ensured closer British and Protestant dominance over Ireland. The articles of the Treaty protecting Catholic rights were not passed by the Protestant Irish Parliament which rather updated the Penal Laws against Catholics which had major implications for Irish history. Reputedly the Treaty was signed on the Treaty Stone, an irregular block of limestone which once served as a mounting block for horses. This stone is now displayed on a pedestal at Clancy Strand. Because of the treaty, Limerick is sometimes known as the Treaty City. This turbulent period earned the city its motto: (an ancient city well studied in the arts of war).

The peaceful times that followed the turmoil of the late 17th century allowed the city to prosper through trade in the late 18th century. During this time Limerick Port established itself as one of Ireland's major commercial ports exporting agricultural produce from one of Ireland's most fertile areas, the Golden Vale, to Britain and America. This increase in trade and wealth, particularly amongst the city's merchant classes saw a rapid expansion of the city as Georgian Limerick began to take shape. This gave the city its present-day look including the extensive terraced streets of Georgian townhouses which remain in the city centre today. The Waterford and Limerick Railway linked the city to the Dublin–Cork railway line in 1848 and to Waterford in 1853. The opening of a number of secondary railways in the subsequent decades developed Limerick as a regional centre of communications. However, the economic downturn in the European conflicts of the French Revolution and Napoleonic eras, and following the Act of Union 1800, and the impact of the Great Irish Famine of 1848 caused much of the 19th century to be a more troubled period.

20th-century history

The Limerick boycott was an economic boycott waged against the small Jewish community for over two years in the first decade of the 20th century. It was accompanied by a number of assaults, stone throwing and intimidation, which caused many Jews to leave the city. It was instigated in 1904 by a Redemptorist priest, Father John Creagh.

During the Irish War of Independence, the Limerick Soviet was a self-declared soviet that existed from 15 to 27 April 1919. A general strike was organised by the Limerick Trades and Labour Council, as a protest against the British Army's declaration of a "Special Military Area" under the Defence of the Realm Act, which covered most of Limerick city and a part of the county. During the strike a special strike committee was set up to print their own money, control food prices and publish newspapers.

By the mid-20th century, Limerick was characterised by economic stagnation and decline as many traditional industries closed or left the city. However, there were some success stories. In 1942 Shannon Airport (located in County Clare, 20 km west of the city) opened for the first time offering transatlantic flights. In 1959, Shannon Airport enabled the opening of the Shannon Free Zone which attracted a large number of multinational companies to the region. A long campaign for a third level educational institute to be located in the city finally bore fruit with the establishment of NIHE Limerick in 1969 which eventually became the University of Limerick in 1989.

Research Tips



The Limerick City Council has indexed 60,000 records from various city directories which can be searched online.

Date Title/Link Author Printer/Publisher Printer Location
Directories covering Limerick City
1769 The Limerick Directory, Containing Accurate and Complete Lists of All the Persons in Commission, Office, Employment or Business in the City Ferrar, John Printed by John Ferrar Limerick
1788 A General Directory of the Kingdom of Ireland 1788 Lucas, Richard
1809 Holden's Triennial Directory, 1809 Holden
1814 A Directory to the Market Towns, Villages, Gentlemen's Seats and other Noted Places in Ireland Leet, Ambrose Printed by Brett Smith, 46, Mary Street Dublin
1816 Holden's Directory Holden
1824 Pigot & Co., City of Dublin and Hibernian Provincial Directory 1824 Pigot J. Pigot & Co. Manchester
1838 Deane's Limerick Almanack, Directory and Advertiser 1838 Deane, E. E. Deane Rutland St. Limerick
1840 The New Triennial & Commercial Directory, for the years 1840, 41 & 42, of the cities of Limerick, Waterford & Kilkenny F. Kinder & Son Limerick
1846 Slater's Directory of Munster
1856 Slater's Directory
1866 Bassett
1867 Henry & Coghlan's General Directory of Cork for 1867, with which is incorporated Wynne & Co.'s Business Directory of the Principal Towns in the Province of Munster Henry & Coghlan Cork
1870 Slater's Directory of Ireland 1870 Slater, Isaac Manchester
1875 Bassett's Directory of the City and County of Limerick, 1875-6 Bassett, William William Bassett, George Street Limerick
1877 The Limerick Directory and Principal Towns in the County of Limerick 1877-8 Bassett, William William Bassett, Cecil Street Limerick
1879 Bassett's Limerick City Directory and County Gazetteer Bassett
1880 Limerick City & County and Principal Towns of Clare, Tipperary and Kerry Directory 1880-1 Bassett, William Limerick
1884 The Limerick City & County, Etc., Etc., Directory, 1884 Bassett, William Limerick
1886 Francis Guy's Directory of Munster: Comprising the Counties of Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford Guy, Francis
1891 Ashe's Directory of Limerick and Clare 1891-92

Patriot's Handbook

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