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Limerick Wild Geese Festival 2024 celebrates long-standing friendship between Ireland and France

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Limerick Wild Geese Festival 2024 – Pictured at the inauguration of the gate at the Sarsfield statue at Cathedral Place which was attended by Vincent Guerand, Ambassador from France to Ireland and John Moran, recently elected Mayor of Limerick.

Limerick Wild Geese Festival 2024 was organised by Alliance Française Limerick

Fifth annual flag raising ceremony was supported by the Defence Forces

The Limerick Wild Geese Festival returned this past weekend with lots of festivities in the Treaty City and kickstarted with a special whiskey tasting with a French touch and meeting of the Limerick & Clare Wine Lovers Club. 

On the morning of Saturday, July 6 with the inauguration of the gate which has been restored by a group of local volunteers on the railing of the Sarsfield statue at Cathedral Place. Peter Fitzgerald O’ Shaughnessy and Cole Hayes saluted and waved flags at the event, which was attended by Vincent Guerand, Ambassador from France to Ireland and John Moran, recently elected Mayor of Limerick.

One of the most anticipated events was a Wild Geese Themed banquet which took place this year in the Limerick Protestant Young Men’s Association (LPYMA) building on O’Connell St which has been especially restored to its former glory for the occasion. The banquet included a drinks reception sponsored by Mickey Martins, a six-course menu prepared by chef George Casey, wine sponsored by O’Briens Wine and musical entertainment including soprano Eve Stafford. The event was a huge success with tickets sold out a week in advance. Among the 100 guests attending the event were Mayor of Limerick John Moran and his husband Damien, Vincent Guerand, HE Ambassador of France, Dr Loic Guyon, French Consul to the Midwest, Mr Pat O Sullivan, Consul of Poland, TD Brian Leddin, Dr Pat Daly, Cllr Maria O’Donoghue, Cllr Olivia o Sullivan and Senator Maria Bryne. 


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In the sunshine, on Sunday, July 7, there was a parade of reenactors and veteran associations led by the City of Limerick Pipe Band which walked from King John’s Castle to the UN memorial in front of St Mary’s Cathedral for the fifth annual flag raising ceremony supported by the Defence Forces. The ceremony is a commemoration of the Flight of the Wild Geese and a celebration of the long-standing friendship between Ireland and France. New this year, the Curraghower Singers performed the national anthems at the ceremony. A concert then took place inside St Mary’s Cathedral starring the Lorcán Mac Mathúna Trio, who have turned writings by Irish poet Aogán Ó Rathaille into songs and French-American singer and musician Zoé Basha, who performed some Jacobite-inspired songs as well as her own compositions blending traditional Appalachian, Occitan and Irish singing with jazz blues.

Festival founder and honorary consul of France Loïc Guyon said, “I am really glad that the Wild Geese Festival, which is organised by Alliance Française Limerick, has become since 2019 one of the highlights of the summer in the Treaty City. This event couldn’t take place without our loyal sponsors, institutional and corporate, including the Limerick City & County Council, through the competitive Festivals and Events Grant Scheme, the French Embassy, the University of Limerick, Heavey Technology, Arup, Carelon and, for the first time this year, Conradh na Gaeilge. I would also like to express our gratitude to all the “Friends of the Festival”, over 30 of them, who support us every year and whose list can be found at the end of the programme. Last but not least, I’d like to thank wholeheartedly my fellow members of the organising committee Michelle Daly-Hayes, Randel and Lorna Hodkinson and Paul O’Brien who have been working so hard over the past few months to put together such an exciting programme of events celebrating Limerick’s history, its heritage, its vibrant cultural life and its strong bond with France.”

Link to the full programme HERE 

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.