Limerick

Limerick, city (1991 pop. 56,083), seat of Co. Limerick, SW Republic of Ireland, at the head of the Shannon estuary. The city has a port with two docks. The primary imports are grain, timber, and coal; exports include produce and fish. Limerick's industries include salmon fishing, food processing, flour milling, computer manufacture, and lace making. It was occupied by the Norsemen in the 9th cent., became the capital of Munster under Brian Boru (c.1000), was taken by the English toward the end of the 12th cent., and was James II's last stronghold in Ireland after the Glorious Revolution. The city has three sections—English Town, the oldest, on King's Island; Irish Town to the south; and Newtown Pery, S of Irish Town, founded in 1769. Preserved in Limerick is the Treaty Stone on which was signed (1691) the treaty granting the Irish Catholics certain rights, chiefly the guarantee of political and religious liberty. The repeated violations of this treaty during the reigns of William III and Queen Anne caused Limerick to be called City of the Violated Treaty. Of notable interest are a Protestant cathedral (12th cent.; originally Roman Catholic), a Roman Catholic cathedral, and the castle (begun 1210) of King John. Limerick is the site of a teacher's college and the National Institute for Higher Education, a branch of the National Univ. of Ireland.

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