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The Historic Connection of Limerick City: A Glimpse into the Thomond Shield Presentation |

The Historic Connection of Limerick City: A Glimpse into the Thomond Shield Presentation

Limerick City, nestled on the banks of the Shannon River, boasts a rich history that intertwines with the tapestry of Irish heritage. Among the numerous events that have left an indelible mark on the city’s narrative, one stands out prominently—the Thomond Shield Presentation of a bygone Sunday evening. This event, witnessed by a diverse and sizable audience from across Munster, unfolded with the presentation of the Shield to the triumphant Redmonds of Cork, whose prowess on the field garnered them twenty points against Tipperary’s eighteen. However, beyond the athletic achievements, it was the words of Mr J. F. Bigger, MP..A., during his address that added a layer of significance to the occasion.

Mr Bigger, a prominent figure in Irish politics, seized the moment to emphasize the unity among the provinces of Ireland, invoking the symbolism of the Red Hand of the Ulster flag. He noted the respect and honour accorded to this emblem on the platform, attributing it to the recognition that Ulster was as integral to Ireland as Munster, Leinster, and Connaught. The spirited struggle witnessed on that day underscored the resilience and determination of the young men of Ireland. In Mr Bigger’s eyes, Ireland, with such steadfast individuals, had nothing to fear. He encouraged the assembly to mobilize, train, and, if necessary, arm themselves, asserting that they would not allow the scales of power to tip unilaterally.

Amid the fervour for independence, Mr Bigger called for the widening of the “Gates of Liberty” for Ireland. He advocated not for Orange inequality, but for an Ireland free from centre to sea, operating harmoniously for the common good. There was a call for unity, transcending the boundaries of the four provinces. For Mr Bigger, a broken Treaty of Limerick lingered in history, serving as a reminder that the forthcoming treaties should not solely rely on signatures. Prepared for the worst-case scenario, he advocated for an unwavering commitment to securing the entire land, dismissing any notions of compromise.

As Mr Bigger envisioned a prosperous future, he expressed hope for cities like Limerick to thrive tenfold. His aspirations extended beyond mere economic prosperity, encompassing a vision of the four provinces evolving into one cohesive Irish community. He championed the preservation of Gaelic culture and the promotion of local industries, aligning these efforts with the broader goal of fostering a self-sufficient and united Ireland.

The Thomond Shield Presentation, with Mr Bigger’s address as its centrepiece, encapsulated the spirit of a time when Ireland grappled with its destiny. Limerick City, with its enduring connection to this historic event, serves as a symbol of the struggles and aspirations that shaped the course of Irish history. The echoes of that Sunday evening reverberate through the annals of Limerick, reminding us of a pivotal moment when the quest for liberty and unity took centre stage in the hearts and minds of its people.

Weekly Freeman’s Journal – Saturday 30 May 1914

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