14 Aug Limerick City , County Limerick
Ireland’s 4th largest city began as a 10th century Viking settlement on an island in the River Shannon , from which the Danes marauded through Munster. The Thomond Kings used it as a trading centre , and Muirceartach Mor O’Brien made it his principal seat while high King of Ireland.
The city was an early target for the Normans who stormed it in 1175 but it was recaptured by Donal Mor O’Brien , who had it burnt to the ground and later rebuilt. The town received its first charter in 1197 , and for the remainder of the Middle Ages served as an English trading colony.
In 1690 an attack and besiegement by William of Orange on the Jacobite-held town was defeated by Patrick Sarsfield’s troops. A siege the following year , under Ginkel , however , proved more successful and the Jacobites agreed to surrender on the basis of a treaty which guaranteed civil rights to the city’s Catholics , and allowed the soldiers to join the French service.
Sarsfield and 10,000 troops embarked for France – the beginning of the exile of Irish aristocracy known as the Flight of the Wild Geese – but the civil terms of the treaty were soon violated.
Limerick City has a vast history that makes it a must see on your tours of Ireland.