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In the heart of Ireland, a city with a rich and tumultuous past, the echoes of history resonate, urging its inhabitants to remember and reflect. Limerick, a place steeped in the struggles for religious and national freedom, stands as a poignant reminder of the challenges faced by the Irish people. As the annals of October unfold, so does the story of Limerick, a city that witnessed a pivotal moment in Irish history.

On a Thursday in October, a gathering at the Theatre Royal in Limerick served as a platform for those who oppose home rule. The event, marked by fervent speeches and passionate sentiments, also inadvertently delved into the historical wounds of the past. The meeting, sparked by contemporary political issues, inadvertently drew attention to the Treaty of Limerick, signed in the month of October in a bygone era.

The Treaty of Limerick, inked in October 1691, had promised Roman Catholics certain religious privileges. However, the subsequent events that unfolded revealed a stark betrayal of those promises. Limerick became a symbol of resistance, a last stand for faith and fatherland against the forces of the time.

In retrospect, the pages of history tell a tale of broken promises and the imposition of discriminatory laws. The Penal Code, described by Edmund Burke as a “machine of wise and elabourate contrivance” for the oppression and degradation of a people, cast a long shadow over Ireland. Dr Johnson’s observations about the severity exercised against Catholics in Ireland resonated as a poignant commentary on the historical realities faced by the minority.

As the Orange tradition looks to the Boyne for inspiration, the call to “Remember Limerick” emerges as a rallying cry for Irish Catholics. The struggle for freedom waged within the walls of Limerick becomes an enduring testament to Irish valour, Catholic perseverance, and the historical injustices perpetrated against them.

While commemorations of events like the Battle of the Boyne abound, the call is made for Irish Catholics to forge a historical rallying point around Limerick. The date of the Treaty of Limerick, the 3rd of October, or a day in close proximity, is proposed as a time for reflection and remembrance. It is envisioned as a day to gather in spirit around Limerick’s storied walls, not in despondency but in pride, celebrating the sacrifices of those who braved all for faith and fatherland.

The plea for remembrance extends beyond mere recollection; it is a call to educate future generations about the price paid for religious and national freedom. By sharing the stories of Limerick’s struggle, it is hoped that the spirit of resilience and the quest for justice will be passed down through the generations.

As Limerick takes a special place in this call for remembrance, the city is urged to lead the way in fostering reflection and gratitude within the Irish nation. The scars of history may remain, but the call is for a collective effort to forgive from the heart while ensuring that the sacrifices of the past are never forgotten.

In the spirit of “Remember Limerick,” let October be a time for the Irish people to unite, not in savagery or grossness, but in a solemn remembrance that honours the legacy of those who fought for a free Ireland.

Dublin Leader – Saturday 26 October 1912

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