Virtual Table Quiz Fundraiser Announced!

Grab a drink, a snack, three of your cleverest pals, and join us for a night of fun from your own home. Limerick Civic Trust needs your help to bridge our fundraising gap during this pandemic, and what better way to support the vital work we do on the historic streets of Limerick than enjoying a night of friendly banter and competition with your friends!

The quiz will take place by Zoom. Sort out three friends (coming alone is also fine – we will team you up!), and email with the pun-tastic name of your team. One person from that team then will be tasked with emailing the answers to each round on the night. All instructions will be provided, but don’t worry, it will be a very simple format 🙂

We miss all our friends and supporters, and are really looking forward to reconnecting with you on the night of Thursday the 28th of May. See you then!

New: Book Sale Preorders Available

We are delighted to announce the relaunch of the sale of one of the classic publications by Limerick Civic Trust – The Pery Square Tontine, written by James McMahon in 1999. This thorough study of the extraordinary history of the terrace of six houses on Pery Square, Limerick City, built from 1834 to 1838, has proven difficult for many to purchase since its last print run.

You can now order a copy with post and packaging to Ireland included, for just €10 (contact us if you need it posted elsewhere and we will post at cost before you pay).

To order – just click here – and pay €10, leaving a note with the name of the book, and the address you would like it posted to, if different from the main address entered. All orders will be shipped as soon as restrictions ease.

We are really looking forward to distributing this wonderful work of scholarship again! By buying this book, you are supporting the work that Limerick Civic Trust does, and we thank you so much for that.

Limerick Civic Trust Announced as Local Champion in Community Response to COVID-19 Crisis

David O’Brien, CEO Limerick Civic Trust. Photo: Cian Reinhardt

Limerick Civic Trust has been announced as the Local Champion for Limerick City and County. The initiative, brought together by the Government of Ireland, The Wheel, and Irish Rural Link, aims to ensure that no area or household is left behind during the COVID-19 crisis, and Local Champions have been created in every county. The Local Champion works as part of the Local Authority response, and sits on the Local Authority COVID-19 Community Response Forum. 

Discussing the role, Limerick Civic Trust CEO, David O’Brien, said, “We are delighted to take on this role for Limerick, and consider it to be within the remit of the long record of civic duty that the Trust has carried out in the city and county. In full partnership with state agencies, Limerick Council, and community organisations, we will help to streamline the community response so that vulnerable people receive timely and quality information and support from their own homes.” 

People who do not have a family member or neighbour living nearby, and who need to cocoon, are urged to contact Limerick’s Local Champion, Limerick Civic Trust, who will then link them with the service that is most appropriate for their needs. Family members are also invited to get in touch if they are concerned about a relative living locally who may need help. Please use the email or the phone number 086 0281828.

COVID-19 Update

At Limerick Civic Trust, we are actively monitoring the current situation in Ireland with regards to Covid-19 and have undertaken all recommended precautions with regards to the health and safety of our own staff, volunteers, and partners.

We have contingency plans in place to ensure that we are operating as normal. Our management and supervisory staff are working as normally as possible, remotely when possible and can be contacted via email or their mobile phones. Applying the highest level of caution, we have suspended our normal practice of meeting the public face-to-face.

Our contact details are:
Bishops’ Palace,
Church Street,
King’s Island,
Limerick, Ireland.

Phone: +353 (0)61 313 399

And our friends at The Wheel have a lot of practical advice HERE.

Christmas 2019 Update

What a year! As a very busy 2019 draws to a close, it is worth taking one last look at what was achieved. Limerick Civic Trust opened The People’s Museum of Limerick at No. 2 Pery Square in May, and we are still fundraising for this project. More details on how you can support this below. We also launched the Renaissance Fund – a new idea that would accommodate the repurposing of historic buildings before they become dilapidated. It is hoped that 2020 will see strong fundraising on this project, as it is needed more than ever before in the current climate.

In regards to the Community Employment Scheme that the Limerick Civic Trust sponsors, we renewed our contract with the Department of Employment and Social Protection for the year, and increased the number of participants from 68 to 74. In 2019, they completed over 65,000 hours of labour to the maintenance and restoration of the historic environment of Limerick City and County, with the support of the department, the supervisors, and the board of the Trust.

Other key events which happened during the year were the Halloween Tours from the Bishop’s Palace in October, for which we thank Fiona Kiely, the launch of the People’s Museum also in October, the beginning of the Leonard Lectures series in November, the opening of two important art exhibitions by artists Thomas Ryan and Tom Greaney (the former of which garnering national press attention with the Trust appearing on the RTE News twice), and the close of the year with the Annual Christmas Business Lunch which this year featured speaker Paddy Cosgrave of Web Summit fame.

There is a such a huge number of people to thank for all their contributions but I would like to highlight the generosity of Mark Carey of Careline, Frank Keohane of Litho-Circuits, the Countess of Dunraven, the Earl of Limerick, Ellen McCourt, and very importantly our Chairman, Thomas Wallace-O’Donnell, who has ably steered us through a very difficult period.

Finally, thank you to Dr Rose Anne White who came on board halfway through 2019, and has had an enormous positive impact on Limerick Civic Trust and its future growth.

Thank you so much for all of your support in 2019, and we look forward to continuing our work in 2020. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at the Trust.

David O’Brien, CEO.

2019 Christmas Business Lunch Will Host Paddy Cosgrave

We are delighted to announce this year’s Christmas Business Lunch will have Paddy Cosgrave as speaker.

You will enjoy a delicious lunch at No. 1 Pery Square Hotel & Spa, listen to Paddy talk about his experience in founding Web Summit, and meet likeminded people with an interest in sparking business in #Limerick.

All of your ticket fee will go straight into maintaining, restoring, and bringing awareness to Limerick’s historic streets and monuments. Limerick Civic Trust is an independent non-profit charity, and has been carrying out this kind of work in Limerick since 1983.

Email to book your spot, and thank you for your support.

Renaissance Fund Launched to Revitalise Georgian Limerick

Limerick Renaissance Fund to Resource Built Heritage Refurbishment Projects & Support City Living


Limerick Civic Trust, an independent, non-profit making voluntary society, has announced details of the Limerick Renaissance Fund, an evergreen revolving fund that will be used to restore and renovate historic buildings in the City of Limerick with a focus on urban regeneration.

Limerick Civic Trust has established the Fund to support the renaissance of derelict and under-used properties in the Newtown Pery area of Limerick through redevelopment for use as mixed commercial and residential.

David O’Brien, CEO of Limerick Civic Trust, explained the inspiration behind the fund, “Limerick’s Georgian Quarter is an architectural gem and the biggest in Ireland outside Dublin but it needs an overarching plan in regards investment, preservation and restoration, enabling it to be repurposed and used for modern living and commercial activity. The potential of Georgian Limerick is well-documented, so are the hindrances. The Limerick Renaissance Fund will breathe new life into historic buildings, thereby securing their future but also bringing life back into the city centre and improving the attractiveness of the area as a destination – a Magnet City.”

Limerick Civic Trust will work closely with Limerick City and County Council, government bodies and private property owners to identify suitable buildings for development.

“Through the Fund we will work with the owners of derelict and underused properties, some of whom may not have the resources to restore the buildings and find that developers are not offering them the necessary incentive. We can narrow the gap and offer a viable solution.  Some owners would get a greater portion of the market value when the building is repurposed or sold and are reassured by working with a local heritage-focused body,” Mr O’Brien noted.

The Limerick Renaissance Fund is aligned to and will support the Georgian Neighbourhood Limerick project which is being driven by the Urban Innovation Department of Limerick City & County Council.

Rosie Webb, Senior Architect for Economic Development, Limerick City & County Council, said, “The Georgian Neighbourhood is not just a place – it’s a new way of living. People are waking up to the value inherent in these buildings, both in terms of heritage, and in terms of the possibilities they hold for the future.  We welcome the launch of the Limerick Renaissance Fund, it is a much needed incentive and will enhance and support the measures we have already put in place to help people renovate or refurbish a Georgian building.”

Agreeing, Mr O’Brien said, “Together we can support new city centre living models while simultaneously conserving Ireland’s built heritage for the benefit of today’s city and future generations. The revolving endowment model means the Fund will sustain itself from project to project as all monies provided by the fund would be invested in heritage buildings destined for resale and returned to the fund upon successful disposal.”

The launch of the Limerick Renaissance Fund comes on the 250th anniversary of the launch of the plans for Newtown Pery.  In 1769 Edmund Sexten Pery commissioned an Irish engineer Christopher Colles to design a town plan on his estate which is now known as Newtown Pery.This land had belonged to the St Mary’s Monastery and St Francis Priory before the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1538. A direct descendant of Edmund Sexton Pery is now leading the fundraising element of the Renaissance Fund. Edmund Pery, Earl of Limerick, has already commenced work in securing grants/funding along with corporate and philanthropic donations in Ireland, UK, EU, and USA where the template for this initiative is the Historic Charleston Foundation’s revolving fund set up in 1957 for very similar purposes.

Thomas Wallace O’Donnell, Chair of Limerick Civic Trust, said, “Demand for high quality urban accommodation is not being met.  As a trusted heritage developer we can kick-start the restoration of derelict buildings, thereby improving the fabric of our city centre neighbourhoods. The operating model proposed is an ideal mechanism to support the focus on urban regeneration while enhancing Ireland’s built heritage and we are very lucky to have Edmund promoting our ambitions both here and beyond our shores.”

The Limerick Renaissance Fund will source derelict building projects from the both national and regional public bodies and state agencies, private individuals, and in the case of abandonment, will claim title to properties under existing regulations.

All net development proceeds will be reinvested in the Fund.


For further media information, please contact Edwina Gore, Gore Communications, 087 6295323

About Limerick Civic Trust

Limerick Civic Trust, which was formed in 1983, is an independent, non-profit making voluntary society.  It is mainly supported through donations from local government, industry, business, and individuals.  Its mission is to protect and enhance Limerick’s heritage and environment through conservation and preservation, improving civic amenities and education and research.

The Trust undertakes projects that make places more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive.  Whether it’s improving or maintaining a graveyard, a riverside 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.

How Revolving Funds Work

Revolving funds are used to gain control of historic properties through purchase or donation. Once the property has been rescued, the fund protects the property with permanent covenants while seeking a sympathetic purchaser. When the property needs emergency attention, or when the magnitude of the rehabilitation job is a deterrent to buyers, some funds will do renovations prior to resale, acting as developer of last resort. Most well established funds attempt to intervene on behalf of endangered properties earlier, avoiding last minute rescues in favour of thoughtful negotiations with interested parties. Many revolving funds focus on the needs of a particular neighbourhood as part of their stated mission. Revolving funds also vary on whether they purchase buildings outright or use options and other strategies to hold properties until buyers are found.

The Limerick Renaissance Fund will acquire, refurbish and turn over city centre large-scale, single Georgian properties sensitively to meet the needs and demands for growth and densification in city centre living over the coming decades.

Trust to Transform Culture House into a Museum

Limerick Civic Trust has warmly welcomed the decision by Limerick City & County Council to award the lease of Culture House at No. 2 Pery Square to the organisation. Councillors approved the proposal for Limerick Civic Trust to transform the building into a visitor attraction at this month’s metropolitan district meeting.

Speaking on behalf of the board of Limerick Civic Trust, David O’Brien, CEO, said “We are confident that No. 2 Pery Square will become a top visitor destination on its own right while also becoming a window into the larger Midwest tourism experience.”

The plan is to turn No. 2 Pery Square into a People’s Museum of Limerick.

“In preparing our proposal, Limerick Civic Trust consulted with the Waterford Experiences and The Little Museum of Dublin on their offering, experience and operation. We also drew on the collective experience of our Collections Committee, which boasts a former CEO of Shannon Heritage and the HR director of Shannon Development. We believe that a Limerick visitor experience based on stories and items of local interest will be a great addition to the local tourism offering,” he continued.

While the core remit is to open No. 2 Pery Square as a museum, the building will also be used as a venue for permanent and regular exhibitions and one-off events.

Limerick Civic Trust is hoping the new People’s Museum will open early summer this year. However, they are waiting for a licence giving formal permission to access the building and gardens so they can carry out some essential maintenance works in advance of the opening.

In the meantime, the Trust is working on securing working capital, hiring staff and planning the museum’s offering, branding and marketing.

No. 2 Pery Square is one of a terrace of six Georgian Style houses built by the Pery Square Tontine Company in 1838 to the design of the famous Limerick based architect James Pain. For buildings of similar size, this terrace is by far the best example of Georgian architecture in Limerick and possibly in Ireland.

“No. 2 Pery Square is an architectural gem and deserves to be opened to the public. The building played a key role in the year of Limerick City of Culture.  There is an opportunity to build on this and reflect on the efforts made over the last number of years,” concluded Thomas Wallace O’Donnell Chairman of Limerick Civic Trust.



’45 for Valour’ Now Exhibiting at Bishop’s Palace

’45 for Valour’ exhibition which was hosted by the Limerick Museum during November has now transferred to Bishop’s Palace, the headquarters of Limerick Civic Trust.

Trish Taylor Thompson’s seminal work ’45 for Valour’ honours the forty-five soldiers of Irish descent who were awarded the Victoria Cross for their bravery and heroism during the Great War. A graduate of LSAD, Trish Taylor Thompson’s practice is influenced by the symbolism of botanicals. Through the motif of the common poppy, she explores the importance of remembering. Themes of commemoration and memorial are at the heart of this important work that has stimulated dialogue in addressing the controversy around the wearing of the poppy in Ireland. The forty-five paintings, oil on linen, are a memorial to the soldiers who risked their lives fighting with extraordinary valour and selflessness during wartime. ’45 for Valour’ marks the anniversary of the beginning and the end of World War I.


There is also a Limerick connection. Although the majority of the forty-five soldiers were awarded their medals posthumously, two of the Victoria Cross recipients include Limerick born stretcher-bearer Private Michael James O’Rourke who survived the war and died on 6th December 1957 at the age of sixty-nine. Private Henry Edward Kenny was born to Limerick parents in England and died on 6th May 1979 at the age of ninety.


The American humanitarian and educator Moina Michael first introduced the idea of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance by selling silk poppies as a means of raising funds for Veterans of War in the United States following their homecoming from WW1. In 1921, her efforts resulted in the poppy being adopted as a symbol of remembrance for war veterans by the American Legion Auxiliary, and by Earl Haig‘s British Legion Appeal Fund (later the Royal British Legion) later that year.


For further information about the artist visit