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Celebrations for Athlunkard Street as 200 years as a cornerstone of Limerick history

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Celebrations for Athlunkard Street as 200 years as a cornerstone of Limerick history. Photo: Dermot Lynch

Celebrations for a cornerstone of Limerick history as music, a parade, and a book launch mark 200 years of Athlunkard Street

Celebrations for a cornerstone of Limerick history as music, a parade, and a book launch mark 200 years of Athlunkard Street
The commemoration of this incredible milestone was accompanied by a fortnight of events highlighting the heritage and spirit of the local community. Photo: Dermot Lynch

Celebrating its 200th anniversary this month, Athlunkard Street has been a cornerstone of history in Limerick since its foundation in 1824.

The commemoration of this incredible milestone was accompanied by a fortnight of events highlighting the heritage and spirit of the local community.

The events began on Thursday, April 25th with a celebratory concert in St Mary’s Cathedral followed by a special event on Friday, April 26 – the actual anniversary day.


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On Friday, a plaque was unveiled honouring the Catholic Young Men’s Institute which was founded by Fr Richard Baptist O’Brien in 1849 on the street and went on to be global organisation.

Other events included a historic walk led by historian John Elliott, and a commemorative Mass presided over by Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy before festivities culminated in a parade to Athlunkard Boat Club for a street party which was a symbol of the enduring spirit of the community.

Perhaps, more poignantly celebrated earlier in the month, local author, Denis O’Shaughnessy, a man who is known as a guardian of Limerick’s past released his latest book, ‘Athlunkard Street, 1824-2024′, on April 19, in St Mary’s RFC clubhouse.

Cllr Olivia O’Sullivan who attended the launch event shared her congratulations on Twitter/X, saying, “Congratulations to Denis O’Shaughnessy on the launch of his wonderful book The Story of Athlunkard Street 1824-2024 in St Mary’s RFC tonight. Full of fabulous stories about this historic street in the parish St Mary’s, the cover is a painting by artist from the area, Jim O’Farrell.”

Historian, Sharon Slater was also in attendance, commenting, “For decades Denis has been telling the stories of Limerick’s past that could easily be lost, a true gentleman.”

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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.