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Limerick Witnessed an Unprecedented Gathering of 50,000 in Support of Home Rule |

Limerick Witnessed an Unprecedented Gathering of 50,000 in Support of Home Rule

In an extraordinary display of solidarity, Limerick became the focal point of Irish political fervour as 50,000 men gathered yesterday in support of the Home Rule Bill. The chairman of the Irish Party, Mr John E. Redmond, Member of Parliament, addressed the mammoth crowd, marking what is being described as a record-breaking assembly in Munster.

The sheer magnitude of this assembly is perhaps unparalleled in the current generation, with individuals pouring into the city from every corner of the province throughout the morning. The influx was so substantial that forty special trains were deployed, accommodating 12,000 people. Cork contributed significantly to the mobilization effort, dispatching 100 buses accompanied by five city bands, while Limerick itself witnessed the united participation of its citizens, corporations, and public bodies. Additionally, substantial delegations from Kerry, Clare, Tipperary, and Waterford added to the colossal gathering.

Mr Redmond’s declaration on the Home Rule Bill, delivered from the Cruise’s Hotel, was met with resounding applause. The Chairman faced a tumultuous welcome as he emerged, with onlookers expressing their appreciation, making his journey to the carriage somewhat challenging.

The procession commenced at 1:15 PM, weaving its way through the city’s main arteries. The route included Patrick Street, O’Connell Street, Wolfe Street, Dock Road, Parnell Street, Wickham Street, Mary Street, O’Connell Avenue, North Strand, Garfield Street, and William Street, concluding at Limerick Market.

Noteworthy was the extensive presence of Nationalist organizations from Limerick and neighbouring areas, marching in full strength. Many carried significant banners with historical significance, having served during the days of the Land League.

The ambiance was heightened by the music of five bands accompanying the procession. As the thousands moved in unison behind Mr Redmond’s carriage, O’Connell Street was lined with spectators. Welcoming the Chairman and Mr Dillon, Mayor of Limerick, along with Mr Nolan, Town Clerk, people from all walks of life waved flags and cheered from the windows of houses along the route.

The enthusiasm reached such heights that, at certain points, the procession had to halt due to the overwhelming number of spectators. At major intersections, the congestion of onlookers significantly delayed the march. The cavalcade, comprising hundreds of participants, featured individuals carrying placards expressing sentiments such as “We Want Home Rule.”

An amusing spectacle unfolded as the Ancient Order of Hibernians (A.O.H.) branches participated with great zeal. The Barrack Street Band accompanied prominent figures, including the Mayor of Cashel, in the carriage following Mr Redmond.

An interesting feature of the event was the participation of the A.O.H. branches, adding an element of levity to the otherwise solemn affair. Two of the divisions within the organization presented an entertaining display, contributing to the overall lively atmosphere.

In conclusion, the unprecedented gathering in Limerick stands as a testament to the widespread support for the Home Rule Bill. The city and its surrounding regions showcased a remarkable display of unity and political solidarity, leaving an indelible mark on the contemporary political landscape of Munster.

Irish Independent – Monday 13 October 1913

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