Why I Love Limerick (and Why You Should, Too)

by Brenna Holeman

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One in the perks of being a Community Manager for Expedia is that, once in a while, I get to be involved in some of their campaigns. When my colleagues from Expedia IE asked me if I’d like to go to Ireland this autumn I immediately said yes; having been to Ireland four times before, including last year’s TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange), I’ve long had a fascination with the country.

One of the reasons I love working for Expedia (other than the obvious… see above) is that they do so many cool campaigns to inspire people to travel. One of their latest is to explore Ireland from top to bottom, and they’ve sent dozens of bloggers and writers to different locations around the country to find the best of each place. I was given a list of locations to choose from, and immediately one place sprung out at me: Limerick.

I didn’t know much about Limerick; I knew about the famous five-line poems and Angela’s Ashes, but that was about it. I had actually seen the outskirts of Limerick years ago as a teenager, when I cycled through a few Irish counties on a family holiday. I also knew, vaguely, that Limerick had a bit of reputation in Ireland and elsewhere. Because of it, I think that some people choose Dublin or Galway or Cork as a holiday destination instead.

So, mind open and camera ready, I was eager to see Limerick for myself. I made sure to go there with a blank slate, to let the city write its own narrative for me. And, in only a few short days, I found a whole lot to love about Limerick. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider going there yourself. Please note that everything listed here is found within about a square mile, meaning it is incredibly easy to walk around and find your way.

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Outside the Hunt Museum 

The things to do. I didn’t realise how many things to do there are in Limerick until I got there. In only a few days, I checked off some of the major sites, but I barely scratched the surface. I first went to the Hunt Museum, as every list I looked at for things to do had this museum listed, and for good reason. It has a great collection of art and artifacts from around Ireland and the world, most of which were once part of the Hunt family’s private collection. After my visit there I had tea and scones in the café overlooking the river, and just as I was about to leave I heard musicians warming up. Upon asking the front desk what was happening, I learned that members of the Irish Chamber Orchestra were playing a special free show. They played for about an hour, and it was a beautiful accompaniment to the rainy day. Apparently this is quite a common event not only at the Hunt Museum but at other venues around town; Limerick was named Ireland’s first National City of Culture for 2014, and I’m sure the amazing list of cultural events going on in the city will carry into 2015.

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King John’s Castle

I’ll be honest – castles don’t really excite me very much. Give me a modern museum, I’ll be in there for hours, but castles and the history of battles don’t really do it for me. Much like the Hunt Museum, every list of recommendations for Limerick included the King John’s Castle, so I figured I’d put aside my bias and check it out. I have to say – I was extremely impressed. A mix of the remnants of the original 13th century structure and new, 21st century additions meant that the museum was extremely interactive and visual. There were buttons to press and TVs to watch and even characters to interact with on screens… just the kind of things to keep someone like me interested in the history of this truly incredible landmark. Not only that, but if you climb up to some of the towers of the castle, you get the most gorgeous views of the city, the river, and the surrounding countryside. I don’t normally recommend castles, but if you’re in Limerick, you have to visit this one. If you’re already a fan of castles, I’d even recommend going to Limerick specifically to spend an afternoon here.

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The Milk Market

Everyone I spoke to in Limerick recommended the Milk Market to me. Although it’s open on other days, the day to visit is Saturday, when it’s bustling with stalls, buskers, and families. Whether you’re there to buy your weekly fruit and veg, pick out a few local handicrafts, or grab a bite, the Milk Market is the place to be in Limerick on a Saturday. If I had more money and more time I would have left with armfuls of local food and crafts.

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Local crafts at the Milk Market

The Food. I’m well aware that British and Irish food doesn’t have the best reputation in the rest of the world. This must be leftover from decades ago, because I am finding nothing but excellence in the restaurants I visit. Limerick was no different. While I only had a few days, I managed to sample some amazing (and classically Irish) meals.

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If you’re in the mood for a full Irish breakfast (how could you not be?), I recommend Bobby Byrnes. At only €7.50, you get a plateful of eggs, beans, grilled tomato, black pudding, white pudding, sausage, bacon, chips, toast, and refillable coffee. More than anything, though, you can tell that the pub is a place born out of love; opened in 1963, the pub has seen generations of families coming in throughout the years. Maura from customer relations told me that people love coming to the pub because it’s so personal and familiar, and I instantly felt that – immediately upon walking in, I was greeted with a warm welcome, and the service was fantastic. I’d go back to Limerick just to go here again.

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I also couldn’t pass up the chance to get some traditional Irish stew. After a wander around St. Mary’s Cathedral (also worth a visit), I was feeling a bit chilly, so popped into the nearby Locke Bar. In the summer I imagine this is a beautiful place to be, as you can sit outside near the water. In the colder months, however, the pub is welcoming and warm; I opened the door to the sound of Irish fiddles, as they have live music almost every night. I ordered the lamb stew, which came piping hot and with a pile of mashed potatoes in the middle. It was so good and so filling that I actually went back for lunch the next day.

Finally, if you are looking for something sweet, I highly recommend The Stormy Teacup. If you love tea, you will love this place. It has just about every tea you can imagine, and the café is adorable; think twinkly lights, lots of used books, and cozy communal tables. I ordered a chai tea latte and it was, hands down, the best I’ve ever had in my life.

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Letting the Guinness settle

The Drink. When you think of Ireland, a lot of you (okay, maybe just me) immediately think: whiskey. Then your next thought will probably be (again, might just be me): Guinness. And what do you know… whiskey and Guinness just happen to be two of my favourite alcoholic beverages! In fact, whenever I’m at my local pub, I only order one of those two things. It’s gotten so bad that when I walk in the door they start pouring my pint before I even order it. Don’t judge me.

Anyway, I was mildly excited to sample a few tipples in Limerick, to say the least. The first thing I did upon arriving at my hotel was order a Guinness, beautiful and creamy and perfect. It wasn’t the last pint I’d have, and for good reason: Guinness really is better in Ireland than anywhere else in the world. For those who have never tried Guinness or fear that they won’t like it, I urge you to give it a go. It tastes like heaven and burnt barley, which I promise is delicious. Guinness’ slogan is “Guinness is good for you”, which, it turns out, is true: studies claim that Guinness can be good for the heart, and has anti-oxidant compounds. I’m not sure that that excuses me from drinking three pints of it a day, but a woman can dream.

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I also tasted some of Ireland’s famous whiskeys at Flannery’s Bar. Although they are known for their whiskey tastings Sunday to Thursday, I just went into the bar on my own and ordered a whiskey sampler. At €14, you get to try three of the best Jameson whiskeys in the country, and, if you’re a whiskey fan, I highly recommend it. Even if you’re not, I had a great time chatting with the staff and patrons of Flannery’s. Even though it’s one of the better known pubs in Limerick, everyone still had time to talk, laugh, and, of course, share a drink. I was also told to check out Cobblestone Joe’s, but I didn’t have time to visit!

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Buskers at the Milk Market

The people. Without a doubt, the people are what made this trip so special for me, and so memorable. Everyone, and I mean everyone, treated me with kindness, hospitality, and genuine interest. From the bus drivers to the bartenders to the people I asked for directions, everyone was sincere in their care and their helpfulness. Three things really stand out in my mind from my interactions with the people of Limerick.

Firstly, because it’s worth mentioning, every single business or restaurant I contacted on social media immediately responded, retweeted, or even emailed me personally with tips and advice. After only one tweet to the tourism board, I got a direct message and then a very helpful email from Kathy, who told me everything that was happening that weekend. She even gave me her personal phone number just in case I had any questions or concerns, which is above and beyond what I would expect. I mention this because I so often turn to social media to chat to local businesses or tourism boards directly only to be met with crickets – Limerick was the complete opposite of that. I was almost overwhelmed with social media suggestions, all from people who are proud of their city and excited to show it off. To me, that speaks volumes.

The second thing that really stands out is my encounter with Maura at Bobby Byrnes. I had just finished my Irish breakfast when I asked the server if it was all right to take photos of the restaurant. I casually mentioned I was going to write about it, but I didn’t say for who or why. A few minutes later, Maura came over to my table and introduced herself, welcoming me to Limerick. After chatting about the pub for a bit, she then went over the map with me and pointed out some of her favourite spots. Even though I told her I wasn’t reviewing the restaurant specifically, she was incredibly helpful and wanted to make sure I would have a great stay in the city.

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All smiles at the Milk Market

The last memorable encounter was actually my first encounter with someone at all. Upon landing at the airport, I was asked by an  immigration officer what I was doing in Limerick for the weekend.

“Well, I’m actually here to write about it,” I answered. His whole face lit up.

“Ohhhh!” he exclaimed. “You have to go to the castle, and of course the Hunt Museum…” he listed a few places I had to see, happily giving me directions for the buses. I normally don’t have good and/or memorable experiences with customs officers, but this man was so excited to welcome me to his city.

“Just be good and write about our city honestly, but I bet you’ll find you love it all the same,” he said in that beautiful Irish lilt, handing back my passport with a wink.

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Tempted to buy potatoes at the Milk Market, because… it’s Ireland

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“Stop, look”

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I only had a short time in Limerick and I know that I barely got a taste of what the city has to offer. Forget what you may have heard about the city’s reputation – this is a place that’s full of culture, cuisine, and some of the friendliest and most sincere people I’ve met in my travels.

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Have you ever been to Limerick? If not, would you like to go?

Many thanks to Expedia IE for asking me to be a part of their Expedia Explores campaign across Ireland. You can check out more of the locations using the #ExpediaExplores tag on Twitter. Another huge thank you to Failte Ireland for welcoming me to Limerick. 

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Camille December 10, 2014 - 2:54 am

A good market and welcoming people are two things that really make a place!

Brenna Holeman December 10, 2014 - 1:41 pm

I totally agree!

Dermot Power December 17, 2014 - 8:22 pm

Hello Brenna, Thanks for the lovely review of our city and the people, it means a lot to get good publicity for once.

Brenna Holeman December 17, 2014 - 10:09 pm

Thank you very much, Dermot!

John Davis December 10, 2014 - 8:34 pm

As someone who grew up in Limerick before emigrating to the US, I would like to thank you for going to Limerick with an open mind and seeing it for what it truly is, a beautiful city full of wonderful people. it is a hidden gem in the crown of Ireland and your review brought back some incredibly fond memories of the town I love.

Brenna Holeman December 10, 2014 - 9:38 pm

Thank you so much for your comment, John – I agree that Limerick is an amazing city. I hope that more people will check it out for themselves!

Gary Mc Donagh December 11, 2014 - 11:37 pm

Great comment John, From one Limerick man to another its really cool to see our city shown in a good light.

Kate December 10, 2014 - 9:59 pm

Thank you for writing such an honest post. I was born here and have lived here my whole like and it gets very tiring hearing the same old bad reputation about the place. I really hope you enjoyed your time here. We always welcome tourists. And yes, the Milk Market is the place to be.

Brenna Holeman December 10, 2014 - 11:30 pm

Thank you so much Kate, I had a wonderful time! I would really like to go back to the market, it was lovely.

Noel O'Connor December 10, 2014 - 10:32 pm

I loved your write up about our city, sometimes we locals actually take for granted that we do have a city on a par with any in Ireland, in terms of culture,museums, music and great places to eat and drink. Memories of any visit really comes down to the people you meet during your time in any place on earth, and we are lucky to have friendly, chatty and very witty people. Great to hear you had a positive, and enjoyable time.

Brenna Holeman December 10, 2014 - 11:31 pm

Thank you so much, Noel! I totally agree with you, my best memories always stem from the people I’ve met during my travels. You have an awesome city!

John O'Loughlin December 10, 2014 - 10:41 pm

I’m glad you enjoyed our town. Do come back, we’re friends now so you kinda have to 🙂

Brenna Holeman December 10, 2014 - 11:29 pm

Sounds like a plan!

Helen December 10, 2014 - 11:08 pm

I love Ireland, but have never been to Limerick. This really makes me want to go!

Definitely going to head back there next year! 🙂

Thanks for the inspiration!

Brenna Holeman December 10, 2014 - 11:29 pm

Yes, it is such a great little city! Maybe we should head there together next summer. 🙂

Aisling Tierney December 10, 2014 - 11:38 pm

This is brilliant – I grew up in Limerick and even worked at the Hunt Museum a few years back. It’s one of my favourite museums in the world – the collections are so diverse. I’m so glad you had a good and, I believe, accurate experience of some of the highlights. Next time hop out into the countryside. If you like archaeology you can’t walk for tripping over it.
*side note: the road sign you saw “STADFÉACH” means “stop look”! 😉

Brenna Holeman December 11, 2014 - 2:05 am

Thank you so much, Aisling! I would definitely like to visit the countryside next time I’m there; as I said, I cycled through it, but that was many moons ago.

And I’ll update the photo caption, thank you for letting me know!

Con Dee December 10, 2014 - 11:42 pm

I love my native Limerick and it’s people.

Brenna Holeman December 11, 2014 - 2:05 am

I understand why!

Missy Beaudelot December 10, 2014 - 11:50 pm

I came to Limerick to study in UL two and a half years ago. I’d never visited before I moved there, because Dublin was just closer and where my family is. But I’ve fallen head over heels for the little city, for the reasons you’ve mentioned, and more. Limerick is not the Stab City everyone associates it with. There is so much more to it than the bad reputation it has and thank you for writing such a beautiful article about the place I now call my home.
You’re always welcome!
PS: If you’re into music, I highly suggest you visit Dolan’s pub next time. It’s Limerick’s best music venue and you can find everything from local gigs to Ireland’s biggest one-day bi-annual metal festival there. Enjoy!

Brenna Holeman December 11, 2014 - 2:06 am

That’s so awesome Missy, I’m happy you’ve found a home there! And thanks a lot for the recommendation, I will have to check it out next time.

Louise December 11, 2014 - 12:57 am

Hi Brenna,

Thank you for writing such a beautiful piece about my hometown, it made me cry happy tears 🙂 I cannot wait to drive home for Christmas next week!

Safe travels!

Louise x

Brenna Holeman December 11, 2014 - 2:04 am

Aww, I’m glad you liked the article, Louise! Have a wonderful Christmas.

Deirdre M. McCarthy December 11, 2014 - 2:10 am

Hi Brenna,
Thanks for loving the city of my birth! You got to experience the city like a true blue Irish woman! Thanks for putting us on the map! So many people I meet (I now live in the US for the past 28 years!) just drive through Limerick, and it makes me so sad that they missed out on a fun experience. You made me well up with tears of joy at all the great comments. I only wished you had popped into my family pub called Nancy Blakes. My mother started the pub many moons ago and my bro runs it now. I have many fond memories of that street I grew up on. Thanks a million for your honest and accurate view of the city I know and love. Happy Christmas to you and your clan!

Brenna Holeman December 11, 2014 - 6:36 pm

Thank you so much for your nice comment, Deirdre! I will certainly have to check out your family’s pub next time I’m there. Happy Christmas to you, too!

Louise Harrison December 11, 2014 - 11:41 am

Hi Brenna
Thank you for your lovely article.
I am a freelance journalist, I grew up in Limerick and I love writing about all the positive things that are happening in Limerick, and there are so many.

There are numerous choirs, drama and musical groups, amateur and professional. There is always something happening. The Lime Tree Theatre and University Concert Hall have packed schedules and experiencing a concert in St Mary Cathedral where you visited is a magical experience.
The art gallery at Perry Square is also not to be missed.

So glad you had a great experience.

Best of luck with your writing career and thank you


Brenna Holeman December 11, 2014 - 6:38 pm

Thank you so much for this comment, Louise! I would love to visit more galleries and performances in Limerick one day. All the best to you, too!

Jose December 11, 2014 - 11:49 am

As a Spanish living in Limerick i have to say i totally agree with this post, every single day i’m discovering new things to do and more reasons to stay here. 🙂

Regards and sorry if i’ve too many mistakes.

Brenna Holeman December 11, 2014 - 6:37 pm

That’s so great, Jose! I hope you continue to enjoy your time there.

Laura December 11, 2014 - 11:51 am

I really need to get myself over to Ireland. I have met so many good Irish friends on the road and they talk so passionately about their home – I need to get there to visit them! The people often make the place and it seems like the people of Limerick are pretty amazing – helpful before and during your visit and look at all your comments from the people that live there! I think I need to pay a visit ASAP.

Brenna Holeman December 11, 2014 - 6:37 pm

Yes – you really do need to go! It’s such an amazing country; there is so much to do, and, as you can see, the people are lovely.

Laura December 11, 2014 - 1:33 pm

Hi Brenna,
Thank you so much for taking the chance and coming to visit Limerick. Like some of the others commenting here, I have lived here all my life. There are so many good things about the city that people who aren’t from here generally overlook, due to bad press coverage. I’m so happy that you took the time to see past that image and make up your own mind about it. The world needs more open-mindedness like yours, I hope you make it back here in future for another trip!

Brenna Holeman December 11, 2014 - 6:41 pm

Thank you so much for this comment, Laura! I really did have a lovely time and I’m sure to visit again soon.

Mary Alice Ahlgren December 11, 2014 - 1:50 pm

I was lucky enough to live in Limerick for 1 1/2 years in the mid 1990’s. I consider it one of the highlights of my life. It was a wonderful welcoming place. The Irish were so kind to “the Americans”. We learned from each other from culture to religion.

Brenna Holeman December 11, 2014 - 6:40 pm

That’s wonderful – thank you for sharing, Mary!

Gerry o'donoghue December 11, 2014 - 10:00 pm

I too was lucky enough to live there from 1978 to1987, absolutely love the city and the people, made some great long lasting friendships there. Terrific article well done

Brenna Holeman December 12, 2014 - 1:54 am

Thank you very much, Gerry! Glad you liked the article.

Dominique December 11, 2014 - 4:48 pm

Dear Brenna,
Thank you so much for including a visit to The Hunt Museum on your itinerary! We’re delighted you had a nice time and enjoyed the Irish Chamber Orchestra concert – we love them too!

We hope you’ll visit Limerick again soon! If you do, drop us a line and we’ll be sure to have someone on hand to give you a special tour (and a piece of rhubarb tart)!

Best wishes,
Curator of Education and Outreach (and Rhubarb Tart Addict)

Brenna Holeman December 11, 2014 - 6:40 pm

Oh wow, that would be great! I will certainly get in touch when I’m back in the city, thank you very much. Rhubarb pie is my absolute favourite so I think I need to try that tart ASAP…

Cora December 11, 2014 - 5:46 pm

I spent many summers in Limerick visiting my Mom’s family and have been back for weddings as an adult. It is a place close to my heart full of warmth, tradition and wonderful down to earth people. Great article.

Brenna Holeman December 11, 2014 - 6:39 pm

Thank you so much, Cora!

Jack December 11, 2014 - 10:02 pm

I have to be honest and say that Limerick is the least interesting of the Irish cities.

Dublin is by far the most worthwhile, with Galway a very close second, for atmosphere, history, arts culture and fun.

Cork would be third as it is an independent ‘republic’ in its own right, historic and unique.

Limerick is in contrast a more bland and soulless kind of place, and its reputation for crime and undesirable individuals isn’t made up you know !

Much of the 2014 ‘city of culture’ is a political stunt, funded by central government grants due to the fact that several senior influential politicians claim Limerick as their home. In many ways Limerick has to buy culture, the other 3 cities have it in buckloads.

If you have a weekend to spend in an Irish city, its a coin toss between Dublin and Galway. Limerick just isn’t in the same league.

Brenna Holeman December 12, 2014 - 1:45 am

To each their own, Jack! It seems as though you’re in the minority here. I disagree with you on every point, but thanks for your input.

Anne. December 14, 2014 - 12:50 am

I agree with Jack, there just isnt very much to Limerick, I lived there for years and knew some decent people at first, most of the people I met generally were not very nice, filled with hate and sadness which they took out on who they could. I wouldnt live there again. And sad to say there is no shortage of criminals there that the authorities wont deal with, it would make the place so much better if they did.

Brenna Holeman December 14, 2014 - 3:30 am

I’m sorry you feel that way, Anne – as I said to Jack, to each their own! No city in the world is going to feel like home for everyone, but I believe the outpouring of positive comments regarding Limerick speaks for itself.

Josef K December 15, 2014 - 1:38 pm

..when someone leaves a line as ridiculous as ‘ there isn’t very much ‘to’ ..Limerick..then clearly their opinion is worthless.

Deirdre M. McCarthy December 15, 2014 - 12:51 am

I’m sorry but I must disagree with Jack. I grew up in Limerick and now live in the US and each time I come home to visit the city looks fantastic and so welcoming. I have to agree that the passport check lads are the best. I always look forward to the chat with them when I’m home. Limerick has so many wonderful shops and businesses there and of course it has the odd bit of trouble that goes with any large city but it certainly does not deserve the negative publicity. I’ve never been afraid to walk any street there.The old days of Limerick are over! Dublin has never given Limerick it’s due! Shame on them! They should be ashamed of themselves for not covering Limerick events during it’s 2014 reign as Limerick National City of Culture. They seem to have sour grapes over this title. I only wish you could have visited Nancy Blake’s Pub while you were there! Brenna thanks so much for your wonderful visit to my city where you saw what we the locals see and experience daily. I would hug you if I could. Happy Christmas!

John December 15, 2014 - 3:42 pm

Jack must be a tad delusional. Dublin is fine if you don’t mind walking through a dirty city ravaged by stumbling drug addicts on every corner. Give me Limerick City any day over that cesspit.

Brenna Holeman December 15, 2014 - 4:34 pm

I said it to Jack and I’ll say it again – to each their own! I personally love Dublin as well – in fact, I’ve yet to meet an Irish city I don’t like.

Brenna Holeman December 16, 2014 - 1:22 am

I have to disagree with some of what you said, John – I have been to Dublin four times and always had a great time. Again, though, to each their own!

Jack December 11, 2014 - 10:39 pm

Interesting how you screen out comments which don’t agree with your own opinion.
How very democratic….

Brenna Holeman December 12, 2014 - 1:49 am

You do realise it is standard practice to screen all comments on blogs, right? This prevents spam, which I receive a lot of. I publish all comments that are from “real” people, regardless of opinion. I was out having a few pints of Guinness at my local this evening, which is why your previous comment was only approved now. In other words… chill out.

Tony December 15, 2014 - 4:56 pm

Limerick is Irelands most historic City, it has much more to offer than Cork Galway Dublin or Belfast. It’s unfortunate that every time there’s a good story about Limerick bitter people like Jack and Ann crawl out of the woodwork. Galway is a good party town but it doesn’t have anywhere near the history of Limerick, neither does Cork or Dublin. In fact Brian Boru ruled Ireland from Limerick before he was hacked to death in Dublin. The two thing that Cork Dublin and Galway people have that Limerick hasn’t are rather large egos and the ability to see right up their own arses.

Both Dublin and Cork for years tried to destroy Shannon Airport and Limerick in order to promote their own airports and Cities. They used their media to slander, lie and abuse us. But we never laid down like they thought we would. Deliberate underinvestment by Dublin had a terrible effect on Limerick and poverty laid the foundations of criminal gangs, gangs which have now been smashed. In the last four years there has been 240 murders in Dublin as apposed to one in Limerick. We kept our sense of humour during the campaign of lies, prejudice and hatred and I’m glad to say that Limerick is an egoless place, just full of normal good humoured people.

Passenger numbers through Shannon Airport are rising now that it is free from Dublin interference. The colleges here are amazing, more and more companies are setting up here, the future is bright for Limerick.

To the Jacks and Annes of this Country remember this:

It’s not those who inflict the most but those who suffer the most that will eventually conquer.

Brenna Holeman December 16, 2014 - 1:21 am

Thank you for your input, Tony. As a tourist, I have been to all of the cities mentioned and enjoyed my time in them very much. I would like to keep this place a positive one – let’s focus on Limerick and how amazing it is!

Deirdre December 31, 2014 - 2:46 pm

Dear Brenna,

Thank you so much for your honesty. I agree totally with
Tony. The anti-Limerick, anti Shannon airport campaigns are completely linked. Dr. Ed Walshe, former President of Limerick University said years ago that the Limerick/Shannon area are the only real competition for the Dublin area. Ever since, the Dublin lobby have tried to destroy them both.

Under no circumstances do they represent ordinary, decent Dublin people. This is why you will rarely hear Limerick people have a go at Dublin. We just take it on the chin and know that the ‘facts’ will come out eventually.

The statistics consistently show that Limerick is the most prosperous place in the country after Dublin. The spin and hype like to give the opposite impression. Unfortunately spin is always more sensational.

It’s a tonic to see a journalist be positive and I hope you always will be. You will be a happier person. It’s hard on journalists who are sent out to look for bad news. They must suffer from a lot of stress, which can’t be good for you.

You will always be welcome here. I hope you have a healthy, prosperous and wonderful New Year, and all your dreams come true!

God Bless

Christine Logan December 11, 2014 - 11:35 pm

Lovely piece about Limerick. We live in the US now but my husband is from there. We go back every so often. It is often underrated and overlooked in most tour books. It is small and so full of culture. We have never visited the Hunt Museum but will next time we go!

Brenna Holeman December 12, 2014 - 1:50 am

I agree that it is underrated! The Hunt Museum was really nice, I would recommend it for your next visit. Thanks for your comment Christine!

Gary Mc Donagh December 11, 2014 - 11:55 pm

Hi Brenna, Thank you for showing our city in such a positive way, It truly is an undiscovered gem in the Emerald Isle “pun intended” and this year 2014 Limerick has been the European city of culture which has also shown people our Fab city but it is very nice to hear from someone who has enjoyed their visit

Brenna Holeman December 12, 2014 - 1:51 am

Thank you very much, Gary – it is so nice to hear from so many people who are obviously very proud of their city!

Patrick Quaid December 12, 2014 - 3:03 am

Hi Brenna,
Awesome review. I grew up in Limerick before leaving for the UK and then Canada. I love Canada and it is my home now, but Limerick will always be in my bones. Left when I was 18 and miss it terribly. The craic is mighty for sure, North Americans come close, but not quite the same. There is also a sense of loyalty that I find missing here….Limerick for all its reputation….you always had friends and family that have your back. Luimneach…..my home…my educator…my friend. A lot of good friends still there….thanks for the kind review!

Brenna Holeman December 12, 2014 - 1:56 pm

I totally know that feeling – the feeling that a place will always be in your bones. I am like that with my hometown of Winnipeg. It’s a really nice feeling to have, I think, knowing that there will always be a place that feels like home. I’m glad you still have such great memories of Limerick!

Arnold December 12, 2014 - 11:43 am

Limerick is now got added to my dream destination list, thanks to your post. Great writing. 🙂

Brenna Holeman December 12, 2014 - 1:54 pm

That’s great, Arnold! I hope you get there soon.

Jean December 13, 2014 - 12:44 am

My daughter attends UL and I too have come to love Limerick and all it has to offer. I feel very much at home when I am there!!

Brenna Holeman December 14, 2014 - 4:08 pm

That’s great! Thanks for your comment, Jean.

Bryan December 13, 2014 - 2:28 am

As a young person who has only left Limerick in the last three months after growing up there my entire life i feel like Limerick is a place that anyone from there will always hold deeply in their heart and souls.
Reading this review made me miss my hometown and even more that i wont be surrounded by family(who are all limerick/clare by the way) for christmas. I think why people who aren’t from Limerick and may have only been there once or twice recommend Cork, Galway and Dublin beacuse they don’t realise that Limerick is so compact it makes it much more homier and traditional with a warm welcoming vibe. I think your a great writer for putting aside all the propaganda of limerick and coming at it with an honest opinion it made me feel great about the place where I am from….
Thank you..

Brenna Holeman December 14, 2014 - 4:09 pm

Thank you so much, Bryan, I really appreciate that comment. I hope you get to visit Limerick again very soon!

seanie morrison December 13, 2014 - 9:17 pm

Hi Brenna, I was saddened at Jacks comments I would ask him to walk a mile in my shoes (now that I have shoes) I wish St. Marys park ( the Island Field) a happy almost 80th birthday. I was informed that I was so close to be the first born in the Island 1935. I have travelled the world since age 16 including being called a veteran of foreign wars when I visit the USA from Canada. I am in the process of finishing my memoir which of course includes Gerald Griffin school around the corner from the milk market, and the lock bar. and of course St. Joseph’s industrial school in the now beautiful village of Glin Co. Limerick, I am an abused survivor but I love my City of Limerick and I don’t have a rear view mirror. Jack, sit back and enjoy the ride, theres a good lad.
The memoir (The Black Suitcase) pulls no punces blow for blow

Brenna Holeman December 14, 2014 - 4:11 pm

Wow, what an incredible life you’ve lived. I’m sure your memoir is fascinating! Thank you for your comment, Seanie, I really like the idea of “not having a rear view mirror”.

jackie December 14, 2014 - 6:56 pm

Thanks for your review of the city and I totally agree with you, having lived here all my life Limerick is a very interesting city, historically and culturally. We have had to endure many years of Dublin based media reports focusing on the negative aspects of the city, while the darker side of Dublin, Cork and Galway went unreported in the Dublin based media. They were painted as superior. We the ordinary people of Limerick have also had to endure years of terrorizing from gangs but we the citizens of this city joined together with other agencies to have these gangs stopped. Limerick is now safer than it ever has been, and we are now quiet rightly showcasing our city as a welcoming and very interesting city.

I think you must have the most interesting job ever. Well done and please come back again.

Best regards

Brenna Holeman December 16, 2014 - 1:25 am

Thank you very much, Jackie! I agree that your city is very welcoming and very interesting. I hope to be back in Limerick soon!

World First Travel Insurance Blog » Blog Archive Travel Blog - The best travel writing on the Internet December 15, 2014 - 12:03 pm

[…] If Denmark isn’t your cup of tea the maybe Limerick will be. Brenna Holeman  of This Battered Suitcase has written a great review of her trip there. It was the Irish breakfast that sold it to me! It looks delicious. Take a peek at Why I love Limerick (and why you should too). […]

Mary Alice Ahlgren December 15, 2014 - 5:16 pm

I had the lucky opportunity to live in Limerick for 1 1/2 years in 1995-7. Our American company had a branch in Limerick so my husband was transferred there. It is now considered to be one of the highlights of my life. We found the people and city so welcoming. I joined the International Women’s Organization (IWO) and that even expanded my opportunity for wonderful experiences. We made Irish friends that went beyond the “tourist” friendliness. They welcomed our American family into theirs and helped us really understand their culture as we shared ours. The City of Limerick held such interesting and rich places to visit and plenty of restaurants and shopping. One restaurant even had a typical Thanksgiving dinner each year! I particularly loved the antique stores downtown and came home with several jewelry pieces, which I treasure. I am surprised to say that I have never returned there but I will one day. Of that, I am certain.

Brenna Holeman December 16, 2014 - 1:24 am

That’s wonderful, Mary – thank you so much for sharing your story here. I hope you get back soon!

Denis Mulcahy December 16, 2014 - 9:45 am

Lovely to see such comments on Limerick. Brenna, thanks for sharing your experiences in Limerick and encouraging more people to visit our lovely city.

Brenna Holeman December 16, 2014 - 11:07 am

Thank you very much, Denis!

The World First Wander – The best travel writing on the Internet | USA Insurance Buzz December 16, 2014 - 12:25 pm

[…] If Denmark isn’t your cup of tea the maybe Limerick will be. Brenna Holeman  of This Battered Suitcase has written a great review of her trip there. It was the Irish breakfast that sold it to me! It looks delicious. Take a peek at Why I love Limerick (and why you should too). […]

James December 16, 2014 - 6:47 pm

Hi Brenna,
Great post about Limerick. Wonderful photos too. Well done!

Brenna Holeman December 17, 2014 - 1:27 am

Thank you very much!

Meaghan Denomme December 17, 2014 - 12:23 am

I love Limerick! I went a few years back to visit a friend who was doing an exchange year at the University of Limerick. He picked me up from the airport, brought me back to campus, and we went to see an opera with his friends. An opera! After a transatlantic flight! I was so awake through the whole thing.
What I remember most was when I was leaving… we got to the bus station, and I had just missed the last bus that would get me to the airport on time for my flight. A few of the other bus drivers got together to help me out. They radioed the bus I was supposed to be on, and found a route and drop point that matched a bus that was just about to leave. So I got on that one, and the driver let off at the side of a lonely road, amongst fields. Basically, the middle of nowhere. He told me everything would be fine. The next five minutes were some of the longest in my life, but sure enough, the airport bus found me, and took me on. Never have I encountered a transit system that would go so far out of its way, and I`ll never forget their kindness.

Zalie December 19, 2014 - 4:13 am

Sounds like a cool place to visit! Honestly, with Irish stew and that accent, you can’t get much better than that!

Brenna Holeman December 21, 2014 - 4:32 pm

I know! One of the best accents in the world…

Mark Deegan December 19, 2014 - 11:43 am

nice honest review. Limerick is a great city ( I’m from there, but have lived away for 20ish years), you’re right about the sights close to the city centre; your readers might also like the following:
Visit Thomond Park when a match is on, tickets should be available for Guinness PRO12 games.
Go to the top of the Arthur’s Quay car park, Limerick has the most beautiful city skyline in the country.
Limerick is great to walk in, but if you are driving; Knappogue, Bunratty, Craggaunowen, Lough Gur, Curraghchase Adare and many more are all within 15 miles of the city and are very reasonable, ( Adare is a village, Curraghchase is a Forest Park and the others are historic settlements and castles). An interesting museum is the flying boat museum in Foynes, when we went my sons (7&3 at the time) started hyper ventilating when they got to “fly” the plane. The tourist info centre in Arthurs Quay, are as you said, very helpful.
Thanks again for a very readable article.

Brenna Holeman December 21, 2014 - 4:31 pm

Thank you so much for the advice, Mark! I really think I need to go back and see more. There is so much to do!

2014: A Year in Review - This Battered Suitcase December 31, 2014 - 2:17 pm

[…] Why I Love Limerick (and Why You Should, Too) […]

Simon Reardon January 3, 2015 - 11:37 pm

Hi Brenna, I am born and raised in Limerick and have lived all my life in the countryside. Thank you very much for writing this heart warming and honest article on my fair city. We have been downgraded by the media in Dublin for many years which of course the people of Limerick feel very bitter about.

The Holiday Hits: Best of December 2014 | Hayley on Holiday January 6, 2015 - 4:38 am

[…] Why I Love Limerick (And Why You Should, Too) by This Battered Suitcase: I have been a fan of Brenna’s writing for a long time. I don’t even know when I began reading her stories but I look forward to each new blog post. I think her storytelling is some of the best in the travel blogging business. I enjoyed reading about the friendliness of the Limerick locals. Having had an Irish boss in Vancouver (yep, an Irishman and an Australian working on an Australian food truck in Canada, make THAT into a joke) I know that they are a friendly bunch. But her description of their hospitality reminded me of my time in the Southern USA, where everyone was just too nice and welcoming. Lovely locals are the best. […]

Claire January 23, 2015 - 12:08 pm

Definitely Limerick has something different. I had the chance to spend a year there studying at the wonderful university of the city, meeting people from everywhere, enjoying the Irish way of life!! Go to Limerick, meet their people and have fun!!

Brenna Holeman January 23, 2015 - 2:44 pm

I agree… Limerick is such a fun city!

Around the World: Beer - This Battered Suitcase March 18, 2015 - 3:09 pm

[…] Limerick, Ireland […]

Emma August 6, 2015 - 10:40 am

Lovely review! I’m going on Erasmus to Limerick to study there for three months, and you made me feel really enthousiastic to go all over again 🙂 Thanks!
I’ll try to visit everything you recommended!!

Brenna Holeman August 7, 2015 - 2:13 am

Oh that’s great, I’m sure you’ll love Limerick!

10 Reasons To Visit Limerick City - Backpacks and Bunkbeds December 30, 2015 - 7:33 pm

[…] kind of changed last year though when a travel blogger friend of mine wrote a post about her own visit to Limerick city, and said post ble….  From reading the post and resulting comments on Brenna’s blog, it became clear that […]

Liz Isaacson September 3, 2018 - 9:48 am

What a great read! My husband are traveling to Ireland next year and not only will be sightseeing but also looking at places where we want to move to. Limerick is on my list among others, but the more I read about it, the more appealing it is to move to over the other places. I can’t wait to visit next year, and will definitely visit the places you recommended. Thanks again for your wonderful review!

Brenna Holeman September 5, 2018 - 4:16 pm

I hope you have an amazing time in Limerick! It really did take me by surprise, it’s a great little city.

Kuniko Poole October 12, 2018 - 1:15 am

I’ve spent the past year in Limerick while I get my master’s degree. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! You’re right, it’s really an overlooked little gem. I also recommend Glen’s Tavern for some amazing Irish stew ?

Bridget Sheehan April 23, 2019 - 2:20 am

Great reviiew.Limerick is not only full of history and beautiful Georgian buildings, it has an understated soohistication and because it is spacious and uncrowded ,it is just a sheer joy to walk its many gorgeous side streets. It is so underrated , which is a pity but it is the most historic city,hence a very interesting place to discover. It is in fact , a gem !

Dolf Patijn May 10, 2019 - 2:39 pm

One place that everyone should visit while in Limerick City is Dolan’s pub. They have music sessions there every night of the week and the pub food is fantastic. They have an upstairs room for small gigs and also The Warehouse attached to the pub for bigger concerts and the Kashbah social club next door. It is an institution in Limerick. One of the best places for food, drink and concerts. Dolan’s also use the milk market and King John’s Castle as a concert venue. And don’t forget County Limerick. Adare is a lovely village that is quite touristy but the rest of County Limerick is reasonably unspoiled and authentic. You have the flying boat museum in Foynes, The Silvermines (mountains) and so much more. Limerick City and County is fantastic. (I should know. I live there. 🙂 )


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