Arts & Culture

Limerick is a modern city with a rich medieval past and steeped in culture. Limerick was named Ireland’s first National City of Culture in 2014. Two years later it was shortlisted for the 2020 European Capital of Culture title.

Royal de Luxe, Limerick City of Culture 2014

Some of the highlights from Limerick’s year as National City of Culture - which attracted over 250, 000 visitors to the region - included spectacular performances by international acts Fuerza Bruta and Royal de Luxe as well as a huge number of events in the city’s open spaces and beautiful parks including the opening ceremony for the Special Olympics.

Art - EVA International, Ireland’s biennial of contemporary art is hosted in Limerick every two years. Since its foundation EVA international has worked with some of the world’s leading artists and curators bringing outstanding exhibitions to audiences on the west coast of Ireland. 

Limerick is also home to the Hunt Museum exhibiting some of Ireland’s greatest private collections of art and antiquities dating from the Neolithic period to the 20th Century and Limerick City Gallery of Art which is the largest contemporary art gallery in the Mid-Western Region, annually exhibiting national and international artists in a diverse exhibition programme.

Medieval History - Limerick is one of Ireland’s most historical cities and is also known as the The Treaty City, so called after the Treaty of Limerick singed on October 3rd 1691.

The 13th century King John’s Castle sits proudly on the banks of the River Shannon in the heart Limerick and is an iconic Limerick land mark along with The Treaty Stone, which takes back 500 years. The medieval King John’s Castle also houses the fascinating interpretive centre where touch screen technology brings 800 years of history to life in a captivating historical exhibition. 

Churches - Limerick is also home to St Mary’s Cathedral, which, founded in 1168, is the oldest building in Limerick and still in daily use. Built in 1859, St John’s Cathedral has the tallest spire in the country which stands out majestically against the horizon. 

Food - Limerick City’s award winning Milk Market attracts 12,000 visitors each Saturday morning where a mouth-watering selection of fresh natural produce and stunning handcrafts are available in an historic stone building that was once a corn market.

Limerick has also set out its stall to become an Irish street food capital following the addition of the Limerick Street Food market on Harvey’s Quay boardwalk. Locals and visitors can enjoy a delicious al fresco dining experience every Wednesday when some of the world’s best loved street foods are available to enjoy along a stunning riverside setting.

Music - Limerick has a rich tradition of literature, culture, arts and music. It is home to leading cultural institutions including the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Lyric FM and several major performance spaces including University Concert Hall and The Lime Tree Theatre. The Belltable Theatre, The Big Top and Dolan’s Warehouse are hugely popular live music venues. 

Sporting Capital - Limerick is very much recognised as a capital of sport. The city is nationally acknowledged as having excellent sporting infrastructure and conferencing facilities. Its love of rugby is world renowned and Limerick is very proud of Thomond Park; the home of Munster Rugby and the spiritual home of Irish rugby.

Limerick also has the 50,000 capacity Gaelic Grounds, which is home to the county’s other great sporting passions, hurling and Gaelic football and Markets Field is home to Limerick Football Club. Other top of the range sporting facilities are available at the University Sports Arena which has Ireland’s largest sports complex and a 50m Olympic sized swimming pool, and Limerick Racecourse and Greyhound Stadium.

Festival City - Limerick attracts more than 50,000 visitors to Riverfest, its May Bank Holiday festival when the city becomes a mecca for families, foodies, fun runners and water sports enthusiasts. Other popular Limerick festivals include: the Pig ‘n Porter Tag Rugby Festival, The Foynes Airshow,  Eigse Michael Hartnett Poetry, Arts and Literary Festival, Limerick Choral Festival, The Fresh Film Festival, and The Richard Harris International Film Festival to name but a few.

Flying High - Fidget Feet, Ireland’s leading aerial dance company has provided a unique addition to the cultural fabric of Limerick since establishing its permanent base in Limerick, The world class aerialists regularly perform in many of Limerick’s street theater larger public parades and festivals. 

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