Through the Ages

Through the Ages: A Riotous Decade – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, December 2017

In previous instalments of the Through the Ages series, we have examined life in Limerick in the early decades of the 19th century. It i s clear from the most recent subjects – the merchant bodies, the construction of Newtown Pery, the first hospitals, the introduction of the police and the banking crash – that […]

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Through The Ages: Our First Modern Hospitals – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, November 2017

There were three major features to the early decades of the 1800s in Limerick: civil unrest, hunger and sickness. The latter is no surprise, given the difficulties faced by the inhabitants of the city. In many parts, they lived cheek-by-jowl, with poor nutrition and even worse sanitation. In the cramped confines of the old town […]

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Through the Ages: Limerick on the The Night of the Big Wind – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, October 2017

Limerick has been struck not once, but twice, by storms in the previous weeks.  Buildings have been damaged, homes flooded and across the country, three people have lost their lives.  Storm Ophelia was considered a once-in-a-lifetime meteorological event, the likes of which we’re unlikely to see again. It was not, however, the worst storm in […]

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Limerick Through the Ages: Agrarian Agitation in Munster – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, October 2017

The aftermath of the 1798 Rebellion saw a flame of agrarian agitation reignite in Cork, Tipperary and Limerick.  This time, however, the rules of the game had changed: lethal force was now an option. As mentioned in the previous edition, late 18th century Ireland was a difficult place for the tenant farmer or labourer, who generally […]

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Through the Ages: The Munster Banking Crisis – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, October 2017

The Napoleonic Wars of 1803 to 1815 saw almost all of Europe go to battle as General Bonaparte led his French Empire against an array of European coalitions.  The twelve-year conflict required enormous supplies, especially of food.  Then, as now, war brings profit as well as devastation. Ireland, commonly referred to as the ‘breadbasket of […]

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Through the Ages: The Origins of Policing in Limerick – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, October 2017

Members of London’s police dressed in early 19th century style Over the last number of weeks, we have traced the tumultuous history of Limerick at the turn of the 18th century. It was a time of great unrest, in which agrarian agitators and nationalist rebels posed a constant challenge to the authorities’ grip on law […]

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Through the Ages: Limerick and the Liberator – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, September 2017

Visitors to Limerick will note, almost immediately, that the beating heart of the city lies in O’Connell Street.  The centrepiece of Georgian Newtown Pery, it was first called George’s Street (probably after King George III) until 1898, when it was renamed during the centenary of the 1798 Rebellion.   The new name was given in […]

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Through the Ages: The Families of Georgian Limerick – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, August 2017

In the last edition, we looked at 18th century Limerick, a period of prosperity in which the city rapidly expanded, both in terms of land and population. Affluent families began to move into urban areas, instead of hunkering down in secure country mansions. This brought a new vibrancy to Limerick, which was transformed from a […]

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Limerick Through the Ages: From Medieval Guilds to the Chamber of Commerce, Published Limerick Life Newspaper, December 2017

In October 1840, an article appeared in the Freeman’s Journal newspaper, recounting a lively meeting of the National Repeal Association in Limerick. Held at the Corn Exchange (in the modern Milk Market), it was attended by the ‘Liberator’ Daniel O’Connell, who was dressed, the journalist wrote, “in a Repealer’s coat of grey frize (sic) with […]

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