Limerick is depicted as poverty-stricken and dilapidated in the renowned Pulitzer Prize–winning memoir by Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes, and the film released thereafter. While much has changed, the third-largest city in the Republic still possesses a rough aura. If driving, the one-way roads and national arteries, such as the N18, are frequently jammed.
The literary Angela's Ashes Walking Tours (061 32 7108) leads visitors around the sights appearing in the book. Tours depart daily at 2:30
The best sights in and around the city include:
The Hunt Museum and King John's Castle
The Hunt Museum (061 312 833,
Farther afield, King John's Castle (061 411 201) off of Nicholas Street has little to offer save its medieval appeal. Additionally, the excavating work, which has unearthed jewelry and pottery, is partially explained in the courtyard, and the visitor center is decent enough with its audiovisual presentation.
St. Mary's Cathedral
The oldest edifice in Limerick, St. Mary's Cathedral (061 310 293) was founded by Domhnall Mór O'Brien and fully erected in the 1180s. The fifteenth century brought a lot of changes to the original structure. The tomb of “the Great Earl,” known as Donal, can be found, as well as the impressive black-oak stalls, where the choir once stood, depicting angels, animals, and griffons. A climb to the belfry, added in the latter 1670s, is possible. Open Monday–Friday, 9:30
Limerick City Gallery of Art
For art and history lovers, the Limerick City Gallery of Art (061 310 633,
Foynes Flying Boat Museum
Located 35km (22 miles) from Limerick City in Foynes, off of the N69 between Limerick and Tralee, the Foynes Flying Boat Museum (069 65 416,
The Pan-American luxury plane called the Yankee Clipper, also referred to as a “flying boat,” was the first to land at Foynes. Complete with a Wright Twin Cyclone engine, the plane served the famous and influential. The “flying hotel,” as it was later called, was used extensively during World War II. Famed passengers include Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.
Adare and Lough Gur, County Limerick
Adare is considered by many (and is advertised as) the “Prettiest Village in Ireland.” Historical pundits might not agree due to its overly English influence, but the village has a lot of appeal nonetheless. Fully restored in the 1820s and 1830s, sites in town include the Trinitarian and Augustinian priories with the nearby Adare Castle, Desmond Castle on the River Maigue, and St. Nicholas Church with the Chantry Chapel. The Heritage Centre Tourist Office (see “Traveler's Tidbits” in this chapter) has exhibitions and guided tours.
Off the N20 between Limerick and Cork, located near Croom and Bruff, is the Lough Gur, home to a 5,000-year-old Neolithic settlement and the impressive Great Stone Circle. Over thirty ancient sites can be found around the shores of this lake. The burial mounds and prehistoric sites make up this archaeological reserve. The Lough Gur Visitor Centre (061 360 788) offers detailed insight into the tools, weapons, and livelihoods of the times. Open May–September, daily, 10