There are few more stirring, quiet chapters in Ireland’s history than the Williamite campaign in the closing years of the seventeenth century. The sieges, the forays, and the fights, until Limerick was subdued and Ireland “pacified,” are among the imperishable records of the struggle, the incidents of which are as fascinating and full of glamour for Irishmen as perhaps annals can be. When James II returned after the Battle of the Boyne, the battle lines shifted west and south, and Athlone and Limerick made names for themselves which are lasting. Twice were the two cities laid siege to, and the defense of bridge and fortress not less glorious than Sarsfield’s stand at Limerick.
At Athlone, and again at Limerick, the Irish troops made good their character for fighting stoutly and handsomely behind stone walls. Dean Storey writes of them grudgingly, and they were the subject of admiration by French and Spanish officers who saw with gratified surprise what stuff the soldiers were that fought for King James and the cause he represented. It was only fitting that the excursion of the Limerick Gaels to Athlone on Sunday should have revived old associations, and the descendants of the men who garrisoned and defended their beleaguered old towns made the visit one of more than passing interest.
The visitors had a great and hearty reception, and though the weather was unfavorable, it made some amends towards evening, and the promoters were able to hold a most successful open-air meeting before the time for parting came. There were cheers for Limerick and cheers for Athlone, and there was an immense crowd of people to see the train off for Limerick, with an enthusiasm about it in which love of country was the keynote, and the stirring memories of the past the incentive for such a fraternal display.
The local Technical Education Committee had an important meeting on Monday. They are slowly but successfully getting their scheme into working order and have already done some good work. On Monday, they proceeded to arrange the curriculum for the approaching session and agreed to advertise for additional teachers, and when these appointments are made, everything will be pretty well in readiness for the resumption of business. The classes in Carpentry, Joinery, and Plumbing were added to the curriculum, but members representing the trades objected to having pupils other than the sons of tradesmen admitted to the classes in question. In the end, the committee fell in line with their views, save for Mr John Guinane, who objected and promised to raise the question at the next meeting.
On Sunday, the Feast of the Assumption was solemnized at St. Mary’s Parochial Church with a very impressive ceremony, in which the members of the Corporation, the several parochial sodalities, and the great body of the parish took part. High Mass was celebrated, and the procession took place subsequently, with the popular pastor, Rev. Denis Shanahan, entertaining a large company later on. The church is an old and interesting one, and St. Munchin’s, across the water on the Clare side of the river, dates from the Penal days when fanaticism and ascendancy were rife here, and all over the land.
There has been a good deal of nervous feeling caused by the reported outbreak of typhoid simultaneously in different parts of the city. Remedial measures have been adopted, under the direction of Sir Acheson Lefroy, a Government Board Medical Inspector. There were 18 cases of illness reported. In all, there were thirty cases notified to the authorities during the week.
The Corporation Council, at their meeting last Thursday, agreed to the terms of the Limerick Artisans Dwellings Company for the purchase of the sites in Glentworth Street, cleared some time ago for building. The price is £1,000, with £500 to be paid down and the balance by installments. Alderman Daly was for having the full amount paid or having interest accrued until such was done, but the Council majority, if a small one, rejected his proposition. There is a great dearth of workspaces and dwellings in the city, and rents are accordingly abnormally high for people. Immediate action taken with regard to the Nicholas Street area will, it is to be hoped, give an impetus to the erection of new dwellings, not alone in the old town but in other parts of the city where there would be
Alderman Daly’s notice of motion at the Corporation meeting to confer the freedom of Limerick on the Boer leaders, De Wet, Botha, and Delarey, will be for discussion at the next sitting of the Council, and no doubt, be agreed to without dissent. On their contemplated lecturing tour through the United Kingdom, the Boer leaders are expected to visit Limerick, and the occasion will be availed of to present them with the freedom of the city at a special meeting of the Borough Council for the purpose.
The late Mr Thomas Nevins was better known in Dublin and America than he was in Limerick, and when he became the owner of the Clare estate at Mount Shannon some few years ago, he came as a stranger to Limerick people. He worked his way to wealth by industry and self-reliance, but his occupation of the estate of the notorious Earl of Clare, the Union Earl, was not for long.
It is only recently that Mr Nevins buried his daughter, Mrs. Day, at Mount Shannon. The mausoleum is in the demesne, and the temperature of the death chamber is kept at freezing point. It was prepared by the direction of Mr Nevins, and it is in this chamber that his interment will take place.
Mount Shannon was the residence of John Fitzgibbon, the first Earl of Clare, in the early Georgian era. It is beautifully situated overlooking the Shannon and lies off the Dublin road, about midway between Limerick and Castleconnell. The village faces the demesne wall, and the canal runs between.
In the days when O’Connell was agitating Ireland and came to Limerick through politics or on his way to Derrynane, he would stay at Annacotty, where the trades and markets had erected a triumphal arch and escorted him in a procession to Limerick.
There is to be a great “feis” in Kilmallock on Sunday and another in Limerick on the Sunday following, the 7th of the month. The Rev. Father Shanahan, Adm., St. John’s, is to preside at both gatherings. The Rev. gentleman is a cultured Irish scholar and has thrown himself into the patriotic movement for the revival of the language with commendable zeal.
Northants Evening Telegraph – Saturday 23 August 1902