People’s Park Information Panels Refurbished

Limerick Civic Trust has updated and refurbished two information panels in People’s Park. The two information panels, one near the Limerick City Gallery of Art entrance and the other by the Pery Gates on Upper Mallow Street, provide information on the history of the park and what can be found in it.

The original panels were in need of updating as they pointed to a number of trees which were lost during Storm Darwin in 2014. Limerick Civic Trust worked with Michael Sheehan and his team of park rangers to identify and catalogue over 120 trees in People’s Park.  Instead of replacing like with like, the Trust used the opportunity to enhance the information panels visually and update the historical information on the panels pertaining to the Pery family who has contributed to the public park since the 1870’s.

The information panels are now available for everyone to see and discover more about the Park.

Fundraising Campaign for New Military Museum Launched

Limerick Civic Trust Seeks €350,000 to ‘Open Doors’ by 2019 Tourism Season

Limerick Civic Trust has launched a campaign to help raise €350,000 so it can complete the conversion of St Munchin’s Church, a deconsecrated church, into a Military Museum.

The Trust began restoring the historically important St. Munchin’s Church and converting it into a museum in 2016. Work completed to date has been funded through the Trust’s own funds but this pot is almost completely expended.

David O’Brien, CEO, Limerick Civic Trust explained, “We are happy with our progress to date but it has been slow and piecemeal because of the lack of funds, we need financial support if we are to open this museum by our target date of 2019. As with all large historic building projects, the conversion is costly and Limerick Civic Trust, as a voluntary organisation, is dependent on external support.”

“All donations, however large or small, will help us achieve our target of opening next year. Whether it is a €20, €200 or €2,000 donation, personal, corporate or philanthropic, all will be gratefully received and personally acknowledged. Alternatively, individuals or corporate organisations can support our efforts by becoming members of the Trust or we have a number of corporate donation options available too,” he continued.

The “Open Doors” campaign goal is to raise €350,000. This will allow Limerick Civic Trust to speed up the conservation work and to specifically improve accessibility, make minor roof repairs, install a new floor and bathrooms and fit out an appropriate controlled environmental system for the safeguarding of the collections.

“The question is, ‘Does Limerick need a military museum?’ and I think overwhelmingly the answer is, ‘yes’, for two reasons,” said Brian McLoghlin, Chairman, Limerick Civic Trust. “Firstly, the military history of Limerick from the time of the Siege of Limerick right up to the world war needs to be properly recorded and told. Secondly, this will become a unique visitor attraction that will greatly enhance the tourist offering in Limerick’s medieval quarter.”

The Museum, which will be non-political, will commemorate the regiments of Limerick since the Siege in 1691 and provide a home for three historically significant collections; the Armstrong Collection, the Carrol Collection and the Patrick Casey Collection.

The Armstrong Collection is a vast collection of memorabilia from the Armstrong Family in Co. Tipperary that includes military artefacts going back as far as the Boer War. Artefacts include a coach from the mid 1900’s, uniforms, medals, helmets along with correspondence from the decorated hero, Paddy Armstrong, in the form of postcards and old photographs.

The Carrol Collection, which is currently housed in the Trust’s headquarters at Bishop’s Palace, is a very important exhibition bringing together the military memorabilia and family heirlooms collected by five generations of the Carrol Family starting with Major General William Parker Carrol. It includes paintings, swords, photographs, trophies, maps, military decorations and personal family documents relating to the Peninsular campaign, the Boer War and both World Wars.

To expand on the museum’s offering Limerick Civic Trust is working with several interested parties on the repatriation of other artefacts of Irish historical significance from abroad back to Ireland, just like the Bannatyne staircase – a World War 1 memorial that has been donated by Cotswold’s District Council in the UK recently. The Bannatyne staircase will be installed in the museum.

Since the early 1990’s, Limerick Civic Trust has been entrusted to take care of St. Munchin’s Church and graveyard on King’s Island. This now deconsecrated church was once home a 6th Century monk who was a contemporary of St. Patrick. A newer church replaced a crumbling oratory in 1827 and was designed by the Pain Brothers. Up until recently, Limerick Civic Trust used this space as a training centre and a hub where local groups could use the space to launch art exhibitions and the like.

While primarily a visitor attraction centre, the museum will be developed as an historical and educational resource for the local community and schools. Specific educational outreach programmes will be developed so students can learn more about their local history through a hands-on learning experience.

Donations can be made via or by contacting David O’Brien at 061-313399

Historic ‘Bannatyne’ Staircase Gifted to Limerick Civic Trust

Cotswold District Council (CDC) will fund the removal of an historic oak staircase from the Cotswold’s Old Memorial Hospital and transfer it to the custodianship of the Limerick Civic Trust.

The staircase – which is regarded as an official war memorial – was originally donated to the hospital by the Limerick-based family of Major Edgar James Bannatyne, who was a member of the Royal Flying Corps during World War 1 and died at Rendcomb airfield in the Cotswolds in 1917.

The Old Memorial Hospital is being demolished and the Cotswold District Council wanted to ensure that the staircase was preserved for posterity. The line of the family has now died out but they are remembered as leading merchants who helped to bring prosperity to Limerick.

Limerick Civic Trust will honour the memory of the Bannatyne’s by installing the staircase into St Munchin’s Church on Church Street in King’s Island, which contains a number of graves and monuments commemorating the Bannatyne family. The Trust is currently converting the Church into a Military Museum.

David O’Brien, CEO, Limerick Civic Trust, said “We are very grateful that Cotswold District Council has agreed to give us custodianship of this historic staircase. For over 30 years Limerick Civic Trust has been involved with the conservation and preservation of our heritage, so we very much appreciate the origins and story behind the Bannatyne staircase. We are delighted to be able to provide a very fitting home for the staircase in St Munchin’s Church which we are currently converting into a museum, allowing us to ensure this unique war memorial will be open to the public.”

St Munchin’s Church was built in 1827 and was renovated in 1980 by Limerick Civic Trust.  When the conversion to a museum is complete, the Trust plans to exhibit two military collections already in its care – the Carrol Collection, which is currently housed in Trust’s headquarters at Bishop’s Palace, and the Armstrong collection. To expand the museum’s offering, the voluntary organisation is working with several interested parties on the repatriation of other artefacts of Irish historical significance from the UK back to Ireland, just like the Bannatyne staircase.

David O’Brien explained,Our vision for the museum is to tell the military history of Limerick from the time of the Siege of Limerick forward. The siege was the last stand of a great European war and Limerick’s part hasn’t been properly recorded. The Carrol Collection gives us one vista into this colourful military history. This collection was gifted to the Limerick Civic Trust by June O’Carroll Robertson, a descendant of the Carrol’s of Tulla and Lissenhall in Co Tipperary. We believe there are other families in the UK who would consider donating items of historical interest with a connection to Limerick. Artefacts related to the military history of the region are of particular interest to us.

Cllr Nick Parsons, the Deputy Leader of CDC, comments:The Council will be demolishing the Old Memorial Hospital and we wanted to ensure that this magnificent staircase was preserved for posterity.  Placing it in storage would have deprived the public of a magnificent war memorial and we are very pleased that it will now be on display on the grounds of the Bannatyne family crypt in Ireland. The fact that we are marking the centenary of the end of World War I this year brings extra significance to this agreement.

From a financial viewpoint it would have cost a substantial amount of money per year to keep the staircase in storage so the cost of transferring it to Ireland for public display represents very good value for money for taxpayers,” Cllr Parsons concluded.

The significance of the donation was welcomed by Lord Limerick, a patron of the Trust, who penned a Limerick especially to mark the occasion:

The bells of St Munchin will chime.
They’ll peal out their message in rhyme:
That Limerick cares
For Bannatyne stairs.
And they’ll ring it one rung at a time.

Edmund Limerick

A spokesperson for CDC added, “We are very pleased to have strengthened ties between our Council and the people of Limerick, and we very much hope that the staircase will prove to be a very successful addition to the war memorial being assembled at St Munchin’s Church.

Mr. O’Brien concluded, “It was a pleasure to work with Cotswold District Council and their representatives; their professionalism is an example for others to follow. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make sure projects like this come to fruition so I would like to thank everyone on our Museum Board, Collections Committee and Historical Committee for their unwavering support.

Autumn Lecture Series 2017 opening night with Stephen Green

Autumn Lecture Series 2017 opening night with Stephen Green

Former chair of HSBC, Stephen Green opened the first of  Limerick Civic Trust’s Autumn Lecture Series at St Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday, September 14. The opening lecture with Stephen Green was moderated by one of last years speakers Quentin Peel.

Moderator Quentin Peel and Stephen Green, Former Chair of HSBC. Picture: Cian Reinhardt/ilovelimerick

In the first of the Autumn Lecture Series, Stephen Green discussed “The European Identity – Historical and Cultural Realities We Cannot Deny.”

What–if anything–do the member states of the European Union have in common? Amidst all the variety, can one even speak of a European identity? Stephen Green explored these questions and argued for the necessity of the European voice in the international community.

The events are in conjunction with the Kemmy Business School, Limerick Institute of Technology, Limerick City and County Council and The Irish Examiner. It is a six-part series of public lectures to be delivered by internationally renowned commentators and thought-leaders in their field.

The six-part series of public lectures will examine many topical issues like the impact of Brexit, immigration, integration in multicultural societies, censorship and lots more.

Other speakers in the series include; chair of the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council Shaykh Dr. Umar Al-Qadri, Jodie Ginsburg, CEO of Index on Censorship, Irish Times columnist Simon Carswell, international architect Ian Ritchie and international property develop Roger Madelin.

The lectures will run on Thursday evenings from September 14 to October 19 in St. Mary’s Cathedral. Lectures start at 8pm and admission is €12 or concessions €8 per lecture.

Proceeds from the series will be used by the Limerick Civic Trust for the restoration of St. Munchin’s Church in the heart of King’s Island.

Tickets are available at or Tickets are also available from The Limerick Civic Trust offices in the Bishop’s Palace, Church Street or on the door on each of the nights.

Autumn Lecture Series 2017

The Limerick Civic Trust is delighted to be bringing back its Autumn Lecture Series this September which will take place in the unique setting of St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick.

The event is in conjunction with the Kemmy Business School, Limerick Institute of Technology, The Irish Examiner and supported by Limerick City & County Council. It is a six-part series of public lectures to be delivered by internationally renowned commentators and thought leaders in their field. The opening lecture is booked for the 14th of September and will be followed by a series of lectures over the following Thursday evenings.  This year we have confirmed the following speakers for the series:

14th September – Speaker: Stephen Green, former chair of HSBC – moderator Quentin Peel

21st September – Speaker: Shaykh Dr. Umar Al-Qadri, Chair Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council (IMPIC) – moderator Professor John O’Brennan

28th September – Speaker: Jodie Ginsberg, Index on Censorship – moderator Patrick Comerford

5th October – Speaker: Simon Carswell, Irish Times – moderator Dr. Michele O’Dwyer

12th October – Speaker: Ian Ritchie, International Architect – moderator Prof. Vincent Cunnane

19th October – Speaker: Roger Madelin, International Regeneration Architect – moderator Dr. Philip O’Regan

You can find further information on each lecture and speaker here

This year proceeds from the series will go towards the restoration works on St. Munchin’s Church with the aim to open the church as a museum by summer 2018.

Tickets can be purchased through and will also be available on the door.

For further information please contact or call 061-313399

Thank you to our event and lecture sponsors:

Event Sponsors:




Lecture Sponsors:

UL President Calls on Limerick to Support University

Dr Desmond Fitzgerald, the newly appointed president of University of Limerick, spoke of his ambitions for the University at the Limerick Civic Trust’s May business lunch and called on the City to support the University.

Over 80 business people attended the event which took place at No.1 Pery Square to hear the internationally renowned academic.

During his first public address in Limerick since he was announced as incoming president, Dr Fitzgerald set out his vision for the University noting that it has been “a power house in terms of its impact on the economic, social and cultural development of the region”. He commented on the movement 40 years ago to put a university here and said “we need that spirit again so the University can move forward in challenging times.

He also noted that the University of Limerick has supported the rejuvenation of Limerick in recent years and “now the city needs to support the university. A great city needs a great University.(more…)

Kemmy Painting Presented to Kemmy Business School

Limerick Civic Trust commissioned a painting of Jim Kemmy, the former mayor of Limerick, for the Kemmy Business School (KBS) at University of Limerick which was named in his memory.

The powerful portrait, painted by Limerick Civic Trust’s in-house artist Marjorie Daly, was unveiled by Jan O’Sullivan, T.D. at a special ceremony with Dr Philip O’Regan, Dean of KBS.  Amongst the guests were family and friends of the late Jim Kemmy, the artist and the Labour party.

The new painting now hangs outside the Dean’s office.

UL-Kemmy-Portrait-045a-webFollowing the presentation, David O’Brien, CEO of Limerick Civic Trust, said, “Limerick Civic Trust and UL have collaborated on a number of projects over the years and on a visit to the KBS last year I noticed a gap! This painting will hang at eye level and afford passers-by the chance to get up close with big Jim. We are delighted that Marjorie has done such a wonderful job. Jim Kemmy was a champion for Limerick and social justice – it seems fitting that he takes pride of place in a business school carrying his name which prides itself on having the credentials for business ethics and community spirit.”

Limerick Civic Trust undertakes projects that make places more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive.  Whether it’s improving or maintaining a graveyard, river walk, community garden or city street, the Trust’s work aims to promote civic pride.  The Trust also undertakes conservation and preservation projects as well as Educational and Research work.

End of Year Reflection

On behalf of the management and staff of Limerick Civic Trust, I would like to wish all our members, friends, associates and supporters the very best for Christmas and the New Year.

We are particularly pleased with the positive feedback from our recent events, especially the Christmas Lunch, and the discussions that have followed. Central to these discussions is the future of the historic fabric of the city and county and how we might better engage with the public, business professionals, the state and its officials. We intend to build on this in 2017 through a variety of conduits and we will keep you posted on progress.

In addition to our ongoing efforts to clean our city’s streets, restore key sites and improve river walks, graveyards and public spaces, we are aiming for 2017 to be a year of growth and development. The core remit of the Trust is the conservation of our heritage, in all its many guises, and the protection of our environment through civic pride. More than ever, we require external support to help us realise these goals. So next year we will be increasing our membership drive and actively seeking public and private assistance.

There are over seventy people involved in the delivery of the Trusts ambitions and I would like to thank each and every one of them for their invaluable contributions. Whether they were involved in the restoration of the church at Mount Saint Lawrence, the maintenance and cleaning of the canal, the graveyards, or working in Bishop’s Palace and supporting the changes, their assistance and hard work helped us promote the good name of the Limerick Civic Trust. Last, but not least, there is the board, who give so much of their time and effort to guide and support the management of the Trust under the leadership of our Chairman, Brian McLoghlin.

Every best wish for Christmas and the New Year and we look forward to being in touch more regularly over the course of 2017.


P.S.: Please click here to see the gallery of photographs taken at the Christmas Business Lunch.

Purple 4 Polio – Limerick Civic Trust to Plant 5,000 Purple Crocus Bulbs

Limerick Civic Trust will plant 5,000 purple crocus corms at various locations around Limerick in support of the Rotary Club of Limerick & Shannon’s Purple 4 Polio campaign.

Earlier this year Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland launched the Purple4Polio campaign, which encourages everyone to join together in the final push to eradicate polio worldwide. One initiative involved teaming up with the Royal Horticultural Society’s Bloom Groups to transform public spaces and brighten up local communities by planting five million purple crocus corms across Britain and Ireland.

The Limerick Shannon Rotary Club have donated 5,000 Crocus bulbs to the Limerick Civic Trust, which are to be planted as part of a End Polio Now campaign, pictured with members of the Limerick Civic Trust was Limerick Civic Trust CEO, David O'Brien with James O'Donnell, Limerick Shannon Rotary and Tom Burke, President of Limerick Shannon Rotary

The Limerick Shannon Rotary Club have donated 5,000 Crocus bulbs to the Limerick Civic Trust, which are to be planted as part of a End Polio Now campaign, pictured with members of the Limerick Civic Trust was Limerick Civic Trust CEO, David O’Brien with James O’Donnell, Limerick Shannon Rotary and Tom Burke, President of Limerick Shannon Rotary

Not having the resources to plant the crocus corms, the Rotary Club of Limerick Shannon enlisted the support of Limerick Civic Trust.

David O’Brien, CEO of Limerick Civic Trust, said, “We are delighted to support the Rotary club and the Purple 4 Polio campaign. We already maintain many open green spaces and gardens across the city so this is a natural extension of our work. Plus, it’s a very worthy cause and our whole community gets to benefit. It will be wonderful to see the crocuses bloom next spring.”

The Trust will plant the bulbs on the Canal Bank walk, the Mill Road flower beds, Kings Island Community Garden and other open green spaces that they currently maintain. The Crocus corms must be planted by November to ensure early spring flowering to maximise their impact.