Limerick – you’re a gem.
But jam-packed with shams, greasy chips, giant grannies and Top Pizza, there’s so much to this city that the capital couldn’t possibly hold a candle to.
Sorry Dubs, but there’s no arguing with a list like this…
1. Tommy Mac the accordion player
There isn’t a person in Limerick who hasn’t stopped to have a few words with this local hero. He’s been playing cúpla tunes for ten years now on the ESB box just off Cruises Street.
I honestly don’t think I’ve ever understood any of his jokes.
2. Moody Cow Milkshakes
The whole of Limerick became milkshake addicts when Moody Cow first opened in 2010. The 150 flavours do not disappoint.
Why of course I’ll have a Curly Wurly Liquorice Allsorts Shake topped with Oreo Biscuit and Weetabix.
3. The ridiculously long school skirts
Nobody knows why this is specific to Limerick, but if you’ve ever had to endure wearing these “floor polishers” in the summer you’ll know all about it.
They are guaranteed to turn heads whenever you had to see outside the county in your uniform; the closer they were to touching the ground, the cooler.
— emma o kelly (@emma_okelly) January 8, 2016
4. Wearing pyjamas under your school uniform
But there are some pros to having such long skirts – such as wearing pyjamas underneath them in the winter!
As long as your mother didn’t find out that was.
5. Spotting Willie O’Dea
A normal conversation when you meet your mates for a few usually begins with: “You’ll never guess who I just ran into there! Willie O Dea!”.
And if you get really lucky, you’ll catch him at Mass.
6. Silke’s stationery shop
Everyone knows Silke’s.
Everyone loves Silke’s.
Tackies are your ultimate accessory for Limerick living; everybody had many pairs of tackies when they were growing up. Occasionally, they still sport a pair or two.
And as Limerick people will understand: it’s so strange when people call them runners.
8. A Giant Granny
Nobody else understands the pride that the Giant Granny brought to us Limerick folk.
The 25-foot puppet paraded around the city for three whole days during the City of Culture in 2012 bringing crowds which had never been seen before in the Treaty County.
Here she is in Antwerp.
9. The Energizer Disco
You were guaranteed the shift at the “giza”.
Set in your stereotypical GAA clubhouse, the Energizer had all the necessary requirements of your standard teenage disco – cans of Fanta for a euro, laser beam lights, a huge queue for the toilets and a closing time of midnight.
It was always the cool kids who were the reps, selling tickets to their mates by the lockers at lunchtime, and you’d scavenge €15 from your parents to pay the ridiculous door fee. But you know what? It was worth it, because once a month you could let go of all that pre-Junior Cert exam angst.
10. A bus full of potatoes
You may have been casually browsing the internet a few times in recent years only to discover memes and amazement at this bus full of potatoes.
This, of course, happened in Limerick.
A Limerick bus full of potatoes for Saturday morning. pic.twitter.com/VT6xvKDKC8
— Susan Livingstone (@SusanGapYear) September 20, 2014
11. Not the tallest Spire in Ireland, but the best
Dublin can feck off with its ‘spire’.
We’ve got our own down here in Limerick, it’s called St John’s Cathedral, and it stands at a whopping 94m tall – maybe not as tall as Dublin’s famous needle, but a hell of a lot more beautiful.
12. The Curragower Pub
This multi-award winning seafood restaurant is a riverside delight, nestled amongst Limerick’s medieval quarter.
Across the river from King John’s Castle, the Curragower serves a vast range of seafood with a side dish of stunning views.
13. The Bee Garden
That’s right, there’s a garden for bees in the city centre.
A garden. For bees.
Saving the world, one bee at a time.
Limerick hosts a series of festivals ever year but none of them are quite like Riverfest.
The streets surrounding the River Shannon are jam-packed with market stalls, multiple events and musicians. But the highlight of the festival is definitely the fireworks display on the closing night.
— Limerick.ie (@Limerick_ie) May 3, 2016
15. The Irish/Munster rugby team, casually strolling around town
Sure aren’t they all from Limerick anyways?
And you’ll definitely remember when Paul O’Connell paid a visit to your primary school. The mammies were delighted to get a photo with him.
Disclaimer: sometimes ‘casually spotting’ developed into ‘following around’.
16. Vast difference between the county and city accents
Dubliners like to assume that all Southern Irish accents are the same.
Hell, Dubliners like to assume that all non-Dublin accents are the same.
But, as per usual, they are very wrong. The Limerick City accent – or The Rubberbandits accent, as you could call it – is distinguished with phrases such as “copper piiiipe!” and “that’s Limerick Citay!”, and is a thing of beauty.
The county accent is softer with rolled r’s such as people from “Crrrrrrrroom”. And is also a thing of beauty.
17. The Crescent Shopping Centre after school on a Friday
Nothing could ever match the anticipation during the last few minutes of your final class on a Friday, after which you’d take the 304 downtown and hit up McDonald’s or Subway to kickstart your weekend.
18. The Milk Market
A solid here in Limerick.
Every Saturday morning you can feast your eyes on the best of Limerick’s home grown and homemade tasty treats, with a bit of music on the side on occasion.
19. Get Smart Clothes Shop
If you wanted an absolutely stunning luminous skin tight dress to wear to the Energizer then this is your place!
Located just off Thomas Street, this tiny shop is jam-packed with short skirts and tight tops as well as the beady eyed security guard on the lookout for scallywaggery.
That’s right. How could you forget that unnerving stare?
20. Coqbull’s Chicken Wings
If you’ve been looking for the best chicken wings in Ireland, and you’ve been looking in Dublin, then you’ve been looking at the wrong side of the country.
Check out Coqbull, located on Thomas Street. It also has a mean selection of craft beers to wash your chicken wings down with.
21. Top Pizza after a night out
Located in the nightclub zone in the heart of Limerick City, Top Pizza is where bad nights out are cured and good nights are made even better.
On occasion, we’ve all snuck off early from the club, purely to beat the queue and tuck into some Top Pizza.
Top pizza is the best nightclub in Limerick
— Sean Ryan (@SeanRyan_94) November 1, 2014
22. Richard Harris
Did anyone ever tell you that multi-award winning actor Richard Harris (aka the original Hollywood wild child and the original Dumbledore) is from Limerick.
Well now you know. And don’t worry, if you ever forget we shall remind you.
23. The Rubberbandits prank calls
Before they were famous, making videos with Russell Brand and whatnot, the Rubberbandits were known in Limerick for their infamous prank calls.
And they were utterly ridiculous.
There were balloons burst in ears, aero bars melting in the back pockets of pants, rare Polynesian wasps loose in AIB and Tommy Bread.
Pure. Comedy. Gold.
24. Peter Pan and the Coca-Cola Slide
Every birthday before you were ten was held in Peter Pan. The ball pits, the slides, the bouncing castles, the tunnels, oh the joys.
But the ultimate challenge was, of course, bracing the Coca-Cola slide. A vertical drop of what seemed like miles followed by a slide into the ball pit of happiness. Fear, joy, wonder, condensed into one single experience.
25. Lucky Lane
This well-hidden gem of a shop on Catherine Street is where you find all your bits and bobs. Highly quirky, highly adored.
26. Spotlight Stage School
Everyone appeared in at least one of the Spotlight Productions at some point in their young adolescent life.
After months of persuasion, mam, dad, granny, grandad, the cousins and all the aunts and uncles would come along to see you be a tree for a few minutes. Red carpet living.
— SpotlightStageSchool (@Spotlight_Limk) May 21, 2016
27. Bellissimo’s Hairdressers
Want a half-price chop? Head to the academy for a cheap but cheerful new do by the Shannon.
The gals don’t want to admit it, but it’s true.
28. The wooden dancing Leprechaun man
Bizarre but true. This fella plays old Irish Celtic style music while his home made wooden leprechaun pranced about in a non-rhythmic and random manner.
You’ll usually find him beside Supermac’s across from Brown Thomas (a juxtaposition that, in itself, could only ever happen in Limerick) – but let it be known, he’s no Tommy Mac.
29. William Street’s €2 Shops
There is no other place in Ireland that has a higher concentration of pound stores than William Street in Limerick City. Dealz, Guineys, Euro2, Shoe Zone – they are all there in their masses.
A fine street for an aul’ bargain.
30. Julie Kilmartin’s
Probably the most hated name in Limerick if you’re a student, as Spin South West and Classic Hits 4FM blare out her ads morning, noon and night telling of her Easter Revision Course Giveaways.
But all in all, the social side of Julie’s was always good craic. Chicken fillet roll from Spar anyone?
31. Crush 87 Nightclub
32. The walk by King John’s Castle
The many bridges crossing the Shannon in Limerick provide for beautifully scenic river walks that you just can’t get anywhere else (including Dublin).
Clancy Strand is the perfect example – quiet, a sun trap and with views of King John’s Castle. To die for on a summer’s evening.
33. ‘Stab city’ jokes (yawn)
Never has a Limerick person revealed where they are from without it being followed by a predictable and unfunny stab city joke.
It would probably be easier to say you’re from the moon. Definitely less explaining to do.
34. Donkey Ford’s fish and chips
There is no better chipper in Ireland.
A bag for the chips and a bag for the grease – they know how to do it right down in Donkey Ford’s.
— Emma (@Emma_Mc_Guire) May 25, 2016
35. The O’Mahony’s school book queue in September
Childhood in August was spent in fear of the queue that would take up the entirety of the ground floor of O’ Mahony’s bookshop come early September.
Buying school books became an expedition, laced with the sadness that could only accompany a return to school.
36. The Sin Bin
The Sin Bin was once the transitionary nightclub between the Energizer days and the over-18s establishments.
According to the ID I used, I could drive a lorry. May it rest in peace.
37. Bobby Byrne’s shop after school
Just a quick stroll down the hill and you had the best potato wedges in Limerick at your fingertips. Just don’t tell Mammy that you’ve been eating rubbish before your dinner.
Needless to say, it’s unreal.
— Ro (@ronandusty) April 30, 2014
38. Everything being ‘unreal’
“Them tackies are unreal!”
“Those chips from Donkey Ford’s are unreal!”
“Man, your new hairstyle from Bellissimo is unreal!”
Case in point.
39. When the roof was blown off the Rowing Clubhouse in the storms
Ask anyone in Limerick and they’ll all tell you that our city was worst affected by Storm Darwin back in 2012.
Half the city was underwater, bricks from buildings were falling on the streets and even a roof was blown right off a local rowing clubhouse!
40. The many great lanes for shifting
So ye met at the Energizer, he got your number when the music stopped and ye’ve been texting for a bit. It’s time to meet up in town after school (after a trip to Bobby Byrne’s of course).
Thankfully, Limerick hosts the finest selection of lanes for getting the shift. No matter where you are in the city, there’s at least three within a twenty metre vicinity – if you haven’t visited Augustinian Lane, you haven’t lived.
Limerick is full of shams.
Shams wear air max and remind everyone how unreal they are every five minutes. Shams are what make Limerick great.
42. The Torch Players
The Torch Players, a local amateur theatre group, recently put on a show in the Belltable in the city centre.
It is a guarantee that everyone in Limerick knows at least one person in the Torch Players. And thus, the place was packed with all went to see their friends and family in the show.
43. Savin’s Music Shop
Any Limerick child who ever did any sort of music lesson has heard of Savin’s.
It’s your one-stop-shop in Limerick for all your instruments and all the accessories that need to come with. Need a tin whistle for a third class Christmas production? Get it in Savin’s.
Need a drum kit to lower the surrounding property values? SAVIN’S!
44. People’s Park
Located in the Georgian sector of the city, People’s Park is definitely a place where the Shannonsiders hold many fond and not-so-fond memories.
Your first break up, the Easter egg hunts and perhaps the odd can or two behind the trees at the back.
45. The fountain across from the Tutorial College being filled with suds
This was a common sight on a Saturday evening when you were emerging from the Tutorial after a long hard day of study.
You wished you had as much free time as the kids who actually went to the bother of putting the washing-up liquid in there. Shcamps.
46. The buzz around the city before and after matches in Thomond Park
As a result of Limerick being big enough to accommodate international and provincial rugby matches but small enough to fully feel their presence, it gets the best of both worlds.
That is a city filled with hopeful fans merry on their way to Thomond Park before the match, and toasting a victory afterwards in one of the city’s many watering holes.
47. … in fact, the buzz around the city on ANY day
For a city that gets such stick from outsiders, we sure have a hell of a lot to be proud of in our gorgeous little city.
Small but mighty, besieged but invincible – there really is no place like Limerick.