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Charles Dickens Limerick Tribute comes to Cruises Street

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Picture above: members of the Limerick Writers’ Centre at the recent launch of their annual review, and inset, Charles Dickens, author of Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, and Hard Times, amongst others Charles Dickens Limerick Tribute

An array of plaques which are paying tribute to famous writers who hold an association with Limerick will be unveiled next week.

On May 6, the Limerick Writers’ Centre will inaugurate a commemorative plaque to Charles Dickens honouring his visit to Limerick in 1858.

While in Limerick, Dickens wrote to his nephew Willis on September 2 of that year, describing it as “the oddest place of which nobody in any other part of Ireland seems to know anything”.

“I read in the Theatre [Royal on Henry Street, now demolished] – a charming Theatre. The best I ever saw, to see and hear in.

“I am bound to say that they are an admirable audience. As hearty and demonstrative as it is possible to be. It is a very odd place in its lower order aspects, and I am very glad we came, though we could have made heaps of money by going to Dublin instead,” he wrote.’

William Wordsworth also visited Limerick in 1829, but only remarked about the weather, and in particular the relentless rain.

The big reveal of this commemorative plaque will be done by actor Laurence Foster and will take place upstairs in Costa Coffee, on Cruises Street at 3pm. 

The chosen venue for the unveiling is the former site of Cruises Royal Hotel, which was demolished in 1991, and where Dickens stayed.

On the evening of the unveiling Foster will perform his one man show of Dickens in Limerick in the newly re-opened Belltable theatre on O’Connell Street.

This tribute to Dickens is a part of a larger project to create a Limerick Literary Trail, to enable and encourage citizens and visitors to discover Limerick through its literary heritage.

A plaque to commemorate the war poet Robert Graves hangs outside the Locke bar; the late poet Desmond O’Grady has a plaque in his memory outside the White House bar; the Angela’s Ashes writer Frank McCourt is remembered by a plaque outside South’s bar, where he famously had his first pint, there’s a plaque in recognition of Richard Harris, the actor and poet outside Charlie St George’s pub on Parnell Street, which the actor once described as his second home – second only to his mansion in Barbados.

Check out The Limerick Writers Centre here

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.

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