Just to show that we can be as parochial as anybody else, this page is dedicated to the most beautiful, and most progressive city in all of Ireland - namely Limerick. And that is not just because the International Songwriters Association was founded here! Click the dot • to visit each site listed.
Limerick may be an ancient city (it's motto, taken from Virgil's description of Carthage, is "Urbs antiqua fuit studiisque asperrima belli" roughly translated as "it was an ancient city, well studied in the skills of warfare" or words to that effect), but Limerick.ie will give you a far better flavour of the city as it is today!
• LIVE 95FM
Live 95FM is Limerick's main commercial radio station, and one of Ireland's most successful broadcasting outlets ever. As a result, Limerick people receive a wide variety of superb programmes, a great sports service and an excellent news department. Even if you can't visit Limerick this year, why not have a listen online to the Declan Copues Show?
• LYRIC FM
Ireland's national classical music station actually operates from Limerick, under the auspices of RTE (Radio Telefis Eireann) featuring skilled presenters like Alan Ryan.
The "Limerick Leader" is Limerick's daily evening newspaper, on sale four nights a week, with its sister paper "The Limerick Chronicle" which is also Ireland's oldest continuously published title (founded 1768), coming out on Tuesday. (To put that "1768" in perspective, the "London Times" appeared for the first time in 1788, while the "The New York Times" did not appear until 1858!). Both the Leader and Chronicle offer excellent entertainment sections and a very informative website.
• LIMERICK ON RECORD
Limerick has always been a great music city, boasting more bands and musicians per head of population than most others. In 2012, local DJ Paddy Brennan, author of "The Golden Era Of Irish Showbands" and founder of the Limerick Rock & Roll Club which has attracted some of the great names of the Rock & Roll era to perform in the city, undertook the mammoth task of compiling a CD comprising 62 tracks recorded by local musicians over the past fifty years, including such Limerick luminaries as Richard Harris, Terry Wogan, The Cranberries, Bill Whelan, Dennis Allen, Mick Hanly and Eugene Wallace. The 3 CD box set quickly became a collectors item with all the proceeds being donated to Limerick's Milford Hospice.
• ANGELA'S ASHES
This worldwide best-seller, by Limerick writer Frank McCourt, tells about a Limerick long since disappeared. Nowadays, there is a wonderful Frank McCourt Museum on Hartstonge Street, and an "Angela's Ashes Trail" which takes in many of the places mentioned in the book. Limerick has a great literary tradition, boasting such names as Michael Collins, Malachy McCourt, Darren Shan, Michael Hogan, Kate O'Brien, Críostóir Ó Floinn, Kevin Barry, John Liddy, Richard Graves, Charles Johnstone, Tomás de Bhaldraithe, Eithne Strong, Gerald Griffin, Michael Hartnett, David Gleeson, Aubrey de Vere, Patrick Westn Joyce, Robert Dwyer Joyce, and of course, the poet Michael D. Higgins (now President Of Ireland).
• THE CRANBERRIES
The Cranberries are Limerick's greatest music industry success - now making a welcome return to the international music scene after a much-too-long time out. Dolores O'Riordan, Noel Hogan, Mike Hogan and Fergal Lawler's output includes such classic songs as "Linger", "Dreams", "Zombie", "Ode to My Family", "Ridiculous Thoughts", "Salvation", "Free To Decide" and "Promises". One of the most successful acts of the 1990's, their latest album "Roses" was recently released to critical acclaim.
• THE RUBBERBANDITS
The Rubberbandits are a Limerick-based comedy hip-hop duo featuring Dave Chambers and Bob McGlynn, and occasionally local DJ Paul Webb, whose first hit was the unforgettable "Horse Outside", a YouTube phenomenon. Since then, they have won a "Best Irish Act" award, and are currently working on a TV series for UK's Channel 4.
• TERRY WOGAN
Terry was born in Limerick, and educated at Crescent College, before moving to Dublin and joining RTE Radio as an announcer. While still working with RTE in Dublin, he hosted some radio programmes in London for the BBC, becoming an instant success. The "Terry Wogan Show" with its audience of eight million listeners, made Terry the most listened-to radio broadcaster in Europe, winning him numerous awards and the admiration of his radio peers. He worked widely on television on such shows as "Children In Need" with Sue Lawley, "Blankety Blank", "Wogan" and "What's On Wogan?", as well as being effectively the face of the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK. This top radio and television presenter (and reluctant pop star with theTop 20 hit "A Floral Dance"!), is yet another Limerick man who remains proud of his roots. And we are proud of him.
• KATHLEEN RYAN
Hollywood movie star Kathleen Ryan spent her years of stardom, not in Tinseltown, but in Limerick, following her marriage to noted local surgeon Derry Devane. While living here, her movies included "Captain Boycott" with Stewart Granger, "Odd Man Out" with James Mason, "Esther Waters" with Dirk Bogarde, "Christopher Columbus" with Fredric March, "Prelude To Fame" with James Robertson Justice, "The Yellow Balloon" with Kenneth More, "Captain Lightfoot" with Rock Hudson, "The Clock" with Douglas Fairbanks Jr and "Jacqueline" with John Gregson.
• RICHARD HARRIS
Actor and singer Richard Harris has long been a Limerick hero - there is even a statue to him on Limerick's main thoroughfare, and another in Kilkee, County Clare, where he often holidayed. Richard was educated at Crescent College, moving to England with the intention of becoming a director. While studying, he put on his own production of "Winter Journey" before emerging onto the West End stage in Brendan Behan's "The Quare Fellow". This success led to his first film part, in "Shake Hands With The Devil" with James Cagney. Subsequent movies include "The Wreck Of The Mary Deare" with Gary Cooper, Charlton Heston and Michael Redgrave, "The Long And The Short And The Tall" with Laurence Harvey and Richard Todd, "The Guns Of Navarone" with David Niven, Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn, "Mutiny On The Bounty" with Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard, "Major Dundee" with Charlton Heston, "The Heroes of Telemark" with Kirk Douglas, "Hawaii" with Julie Andrews, "Camelot" with Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero, "Caprice" with Doris Day, "The Field" with John Hurt and Sean Bean, "This Sporting Life" with Rachel Roberts, "The Molly Maguires" with Sean Connery, "Cromwell" with Alec Guinness", "Robin & Marian" with Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn and Robert Shaw, " Martin's Day" with James Coburn, "Gladiator" with Russell Crowe, "Harry Potter And The Chamber of Secrets" as Professor Albus Dumbledore, "Patriot Games" with Harrison Ford, "The Wild Geese" with Richard Burton and Roger Moore. Twice nominated for an Oscar "The Sporting Life" and "The Field", Richard won both a Golden Globe for "Camelot" and a Grammy for "Jonathan Livingston Seagull". And of course, his iconic album "A Tramp Shining" along with his American Number 1 single "MacArthur Park", helped establish the songwriter Jimmy Webb.
• CONSTANCE SMITH
Constance Smith, born in WolfeTone Street, Limerick, moved to London when she was just 17, having been signed by the Rank Organisation. Her career started in such movies as "Now Barabbas" with Richard Burton and Kenneth More, and "The Mudlark" with Alec Guinness. Soon after, she was contracted to the Hollywood studios of 20th Century Fox, going on to star in such films as "The 13th Letter" with Charles Boyer, "Red Skies Of Montana" with Richard Widmark, "Man In The Attic" with Jack Palance, "The House In The Square" with Tyrone Power and "Treasure Of The Golden Condor" with Cornel Wilde and Anne Bancroft, as well as presenting the 1952 Academy Awards. In 1955. she moved to live in Rome, where she made a number of movies, including "La Congiura Dei Borgia" (playing the part of Lucretia Borgia) and "Il Cavaliere Senza Terra" (playing Laura).
• DARAGH O'MALLEY
Actor Daragh O'Malley is possibly best known for his role as Patrick Harper in the long-running "Sharpe" series, but he has also worked with such stars as Marlon Brando, Debra Winger, Elliott Gould, Richard Attenborough, Johnny Depp and John Hurt, as well as appearing in such legendary movies as "The Long Good Friday" and "Withnail And I". Edcuated at Crescent College, Limerick, his father was the much-admired Irish government minister Donogh O'Malley, while his mother was Hilda, the subject of Patrick Kavanagh's "On Raglan Road". Moving to London, he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. More recently, he has starred in a number of major television series including "Camelot" with Joseph Fiennes, "The Royal" with Wendy Craig, "Heroes And Villains" with Rob Brydon and "Waking The Dead". He is also the founder of the international charity The Sharpe's Children Foundation which fights poverty through education and takes children off the streets of the third world providing them with education.
• BILL WHELAN
Bill Whelan, whose show "Riverdance" has thrilled millions worldwide and whose songs feature in several Richard Harris movies and albums, was born in Limerick, just a stone's throw from Crescent College where he attended school. (Coincidentally, Richard Harris, Daragh O'Malley and Terry Wogan, also attended the same school. Those Jesuits must have been putting something in the water!). Bill's credits include such greats as U2, Van Morrison, Daniel O'Donnell, Mel Torme, Planxty, B.B. King, The Waterboys, Stockton's Wing, Randy Edelman The Corrs, James Galway, Donny Osmond, Michael Ball, The King's Singers and Kate Bush. You can hear his work in such star-studded movies as "Dancing At Lughnasa" (Meryl Streep), "Some Mother's Son" (Helen Mirren), "Dick Francis: Twice Shy" (Ian McShane), and Liam Neeson's classic "Lamb" and he has also received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for his adaption of Gilbert and Sullivan's "HMS Pinafore", as well as a Grammy for "Riverdance". And he has even appeared appeared as an actor playing the part of Ron Dray in the movie "A Bright Shining Lie", starring Bill Paxton.
• LIAM REDMOND
Limerick-born Liam Redmond started his acting career with the Abbey Theatre while a medical student in Dublin, where William Butler Yeats wrote the play "Death Of Cuchullain" specially for him. In 1939, he moved to New York, where he was praised for his Broadway performances in such plays as "The White Steed" and "The Wayward Saint". In 1947, he made his first movie "I See A Dark Stranger" starring Deborah Kerr and Trevor Howard, going on to appear in more than fifty movies alongside such names as Stewart Granger, Elizabeth Taylor, fellow Limerick actress Kathleen Ryan, Dirk Bogarde, Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden, Denholm Elliott, David Niven, Honor Blackman, Van Johnson, Diana Dors, Victor Mature, Janet Leigh, John Mills, Sylvia Syms, Peter Lorre, Anthony Quayle, Van Heflin, Elvis Presley, Gig Young, Joan Blackman, Charles Bronson, Robert Shaw, Kim Novak, George Sanders, Rock Hudson, George Peppard, Anthony Quinn, Roddy McDowall and Suzanne Pleshette. He also appeared frequently on television in such series as "The Avengers", "Daniel Boone", " Wagon Train", "Swizzlewick", "The Revenue Men", "The Gamblers", "You're Only Young Twice", "The Saint" and "Z-Cars".
• JOHNNY DUHAN
Johnny Duhan, without doubt one of Ireland's greatest songwriters, started his career with Limerick band Grannies Intentions, which having moved to London, signed with Deram Records, releasing a number of records including the hit single "Love Is An Everyday Thing". Following the breakup of the band, Johnny worked with guitarist Ed Deane, before signing with Arista Records, and later Philips, eventually releasing a series of stunning songs, many later covered by such acts as Christy Moore, Mary Black, Dolores Keane, the Dubliners and the Irish Tenors. His albums include "The Voyage", "Just Another Town", "Flame", "Don Quixote", "Burning Word", "The River Returning", "To The Light", "Tree", "Current Affairs", "Winter" and "Highlights", while he has also written a number of books including "To The Light", and an autobiography "There Is a Time". By 2014, one of his songs, "The Voyage" recorded by Christy Moore, had amassed over one million YouTube plays.
Although a number of bands emerged in Limerick during the seventies, Reform, comprising Don O'Connor, Joe Mulcahy and Willie Brown, were by far the most successful. With hit singles such as "One For The Boys" and "You Gotta Get Up", the outfit conquered Irish audiences with a series of exciting and innovative performances. Reform broke up in 1984, but thirty years later, Paddy Brennan of the Limerick Rock & Roll Club compiled and released a comprehensvie CD, comprising all of their recorded tracks, including their early demos. All the members are still active on the local music scene, although many fans still wish that Reform would indeed "reform"!
• JIMMY CARR
Dont let the accent fool you - comedian Jimmy Carr is as Limerick as Richard Harris (even if Wikipedia claims he happened to actually be "in London" when the great event took place). Jimmy - one of the most talented stand-up comedians and humorists on the scene today, is also an excellent writer who has penned material for "Bo' Selecta", "Meet Ricky Gervais", Lily Savage and Frank Skinner as well as starring in such shows as "Have I Got News For You", "8 Out Of 10 Cats". "Big Fat Quiz Of The Year", "10 O'Clock Live", "Never Mind The Buzzcocks", "A League Of Their Own", "Late Night" with Conan O'Brien" and "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno.
• MICK HANLY
One of Limerick's greatest songwriters, and the man who was chosen to replace the legendary Christy Moore in Movings Hearts, Mick Hanly's songs include the BMI Million-Air classic "Past The Point Of Rescue", which introduced American country star Hal Ketchum to the top of the US charts and earned Mick his first Gold Disc. Mick Hanly started his career with Monroe, before recording two well-received albums with Donal Lunny, moving on to join Moving Hearts in 1981. His songs have been widely covered by such stars as Christy Moore and Mary Black, and in 2012, he launched the innovative "Coming To A Village Near You", the project where Mick plays gigs in communities and villages throughout Ireland that normally don’t have gigs!
• VINCENT BROWNE
Vincent Browne, described by "The Guardian" as "Ireland's Jeremy Paxman", is the country's most influential current affairs television presenter. Born in Limerick, he started his career with RTE before moving to the "Irish Times" and later the "Irish Press" group. In 1977, he founded "Magill Magazine" which exposed corruption in high places, before taking over as editor of "The Sunday Tribune". Later he presented a radio program on RTE which ran for ten years, while continuing to write prolifically for both the "Irish Times" and the "Sunday Business Post". In 2007, he crossed over to the independent TV3 where his personal integrity and compassion coupled with forensic interviewing skills made his late night show "Tonight With Vincent Browne" essential viewing for anybody interested in current affairs.
• DENNIS ALLEN
Denis Allen, is the Limerick singer/songwriter who wrote and recorded the local anthem "Limerick You're A Lady", which went to Number 1 in Ireland, remaining on the charts for more than a year. The song has since been covered by more than fifty different singers. Dennis started his career with a number of local bands such as The Monarchs and Bojangle, before moving on to a solo career with the Dennis Allen Band. In addition to his songwriting and performing, Dennis also operates one of Limerick's most successful recording studios, Allen Sound.
• EUGENE WALLACE
Eugene Wallace remains far better known in London where he has attained cult status amongst musicians, than in his native Limerick, even though many feel that he was possibly the finest vocalist to emerge from the city. Moving to London in 1971, he initially attracted the attention of Robin Gibb before appearing at the George Harrison-organised charity "Concert For Bangladesh" alongside The Who and Rod Stewart. His first album was backed by such iconic musicians as Phil Collins (who still lists Eugene as one of his favourite singers) and Roger Taylor of Queen. Having appeared in the film "That'll Be The Day" with Ringo Starr and David Essex, he went on to work with Phil Lynnot, Keith Moon and Rick Grech. He also had a successful career recording voiceovers for TV advertising before his untimely death in November 1999, at the age of just 49. Curently the subject of a YouTube campaign to have his albums re-issued, click his picture above to hear one of Limerick's most talented sons.
• APHEX TWIN
Aphex Twin (real name Richard David James) was born in Limerick in 1971, and is now one of the foremost electronic musicians and composers in the world. Descibed by The Guardian as "the most inventive and influential figure in contemporary electronic music", Richard has recorded a wide number of albums under a variety of aliases and for a number of labels, as well as scoring several UK singles hits including "Come to Daddy" and "Windowlicker". He is also the owner (with Grant Wilson-Claridge) of Rephlex Records, one of the most prolific labels in the UK.
• CIARÁN MAC MATHÚNA
Irish traditional music has never lacked dedicated experts, but few had the communication skills and broadcasting talents of Ciarán Mac Mathúna. A native of Limerick City, Ciarán joined RTE in 1954, embarking on what journalist Sam Smyth later called "a mission to collect songs and stories, music, poetry and dance before they were buried under the coming tsunami of pop music". Programmes such as "Ceolta Tire", "A Job Of Journeywork" "Humours Of Donnybrook" and in particular "Mo Cheol Thú" deservedly brought an enthusiastic following, winning him many honours including two Jacobs Awards, the freedom of his beloved Limerick City, and honorary doctorates from both University College Galway, and Limerick University. leading the Irish Prime Minister to remark that Ciarán was "encyclopaedic in his knowledge of Irish traditional music and its artists and for many decades, wherever good Irish music was played and enjoyed, Ciarán was to be found in its midst".
• BOBBY O'DRISCOLL
On a practical note, if you are a gigging musician and you have a technical or sound problem, or simply want to get your recording or band equipment repaired - contact Bob at Monisworth Electronics. Monisworth is owned by one of the finest singer-guitarists in Ireland - Bobby O'Driscoll. Bobby started his performing career with the Intentions (soon to become Grannies Intentions), then moved to The Broadways, Bojangle and later the Dennis Allen Band. He also operated Middle Eight Recording Studios for many years. The man to talk to in Limerick on all matters electronic.
• LIMERICK & SPORT
Limerick is not just about music and acting - it is also widely regarded as the Sporting Capital of Ireland, having produced such internationally acclaimed football stars as Steve Finnan (Liverpool and Ireland - pictured above), Tom Aherne (Limerick FC, Luton Town and Ireland), Tim Cuneen (Limerick FC, Coleraine and Ireland), Al Finucane (Limerick FC and Ireland), Sean Cusack (Limerick FC and Ireland), Johnny Gavin (Limerick FC, Norwich City, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, Crystal Palace and Ireland), Kevin Fitzpatrick (Limerick FC and Ireland), Tommy Gaynor (Limerick FC, Nottingham Forest, Millwall and Ireland), Des Kennedy (Limerick FC and Ireland), Willie Hayes (Limerick FC, Torquay United, Wrexham and Ireland) and Johnny Walsh (Limerick FC and Ireland).
And it is not just in soccer that local sportsmen have excelled internationally. Limerick is the home of Munster rugby, boasting such Irish internationals as Gordon Wood, Tom Clifford, Peter Clohessy, Keith Earls, Jerry Flannery, Anthony Foley, David Wallace, John Hayes, Marcus Horan, Paul O'Connell, Paddy Lane, Pat Whelan, Gerry McLoughlin, Paddy Berkery, Brian Spillane, David Kilcoyne, Ter Casey, Keith Wood, Danagher Sheehan, Bill Mulcahy, Tom Reid, Paddy Reid, Mick English, Paddy Wallace, Alan Quinlan, Tim McGrath and Richard Wallace.
And of course, in boxing, Limerick has produced such internationals as Andy Lee and Willie Casey: in tennis, Conor Niland, John O'Brien and Mchael Hickey: in rowing, Sam Lynch, in hockey, Eddie O'Connor, Stan DeLacy, Eimear Cregan, Marie Bartlett and Rebecca Barry, in weight-throwing John Flanagan, and in long-jumping Timothy Aherne.
Finally, although not (yet!) an international sport, Limerick boasts many stars of the national game of hurling including Mick Mackey, Richie Bennis, Mike Houlihan, Gary Kirby, Mark Foley, Ciarán Carey, Leonard Enright, Pat Hartigan, Eamonn Grimes, Joe McKenna, Tommy Quaid, Jackie Power, Jim O'Brien and Liam O'Donoghue.
Limerick City [From The Strand Hotel]
Limerick is a beautiful and friendly city to stroll around, and although there is an excellent bus system, you will find all of the major attractions within easy walking distance of each other. The only exception is the magnificent University of Limerick (well worth a visit), which is served by bus every ten minutes.
Getting to Limerick is easy. Shannon Airport is a mere twenty minutes from Limerick City Centre, with flights incoming daily from the USA (New York and Boston etc), as well as the UK (London and Edinburgh amongst others). If you happen to be already visiting Ireland, then Irish Rail serves Limerick on an hourly basis from the other two main Irish Airports, Dublin and Cork, with Limerick Railway Station positioned a mere few hundred yards from the city's main thoroughfare.
Shannon International Airport Limerick Railway Station
Most of the best hotels are in the city centre, as are many of the best restaurants and pubs. Some of the pictures on this site for example were taken from The Strand Hotel (in particular the large photo above), while others were shot from the Clarion Hotel.
And now, just a few of our own favourite places.......
King John's Castle Limerick
Pery Square Limerick Limerick City Hall
Thomond Bridge, Limerick
Limerick On The Shannon Limerick City By Night
King John's Castle, Limerick
O'Connell Street Limerick Crescent College Limerick
Fireworks On The Shannon
Limerick Peoples Park Bunratty Castle & Village
Adare Manor, Limerick O'Connell Street, Limerick
Limerick On The River Shannon
• TOP 5 LIMERICK HOTELS
Limerick has a number of quality hotels offering top international standards in both comfort and friendliness. Here are just five of our favourites....
Savoy Hotel, Limerick Clarion Hotel, Limerick
Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick Strand Hotel, Limerick
Absolute Hotel, Limerick
• TOP 10 LIMERICK FOOD & DRINK
Piccola Italia Bobby Byrnes Pub
There is no shortage of top restaurants and pubs in Limerick. Indeed Limerick boasts more quality outlets than most other European cities.
As regards food, Limerick caters for every culinary taste, ranging from Irish to Chinese to Italian to French to Lebanese, and in addition to the stand-alone restaurants, each of the five hotels pictured above can boast an internationally-acclaimed award-winning dining room.
In revent years, the best pubs have also got in on the act, and the food in many of them (Bobby Byrnes, Dolans, and Souths for example), is remarkably good and available throughout the day.
In addition, you have places like Chez Le Fab, which combines coffee with a French-style market, all housed in an iconic building on historic Arthur's Quay.
Our personal favourites would have to include the following......
South's Pub Hamptons Restaurant
Nancy Blakes Pub
Freddy's Bistro Restaurant The Cornstore Restaurant
French Table Restaurant Chez Le Fab, Arthur's Quay
• FURTHER INFORMATION
ISA • International Songwriters Association (1967) Ltd
Well that's our little overview of Limerick. If you would like to know more, please contact us.
However, we very much regret that since 2004, due to time and space limitations, the International Songwriters Association is no longer in a position to personally welcome visitors to Limerick, or to make hotel reservations etc.
Instead, we recommend you visit www.limerick.ie (which is the official site for Limerick and its environs) for information and assistance.
Meanwhile, if we can advise you or help in any way, you just have to ask Jim Liddane, who lives in Limerick, and who is (according to himself anyway), an expert on the place!
Drop him an email, and he will happily reply.
Probably at inordinate length.
PO Box 46 • Limerick City • Ireland • Tel 061-228837 • Fax 061-2288379
ISA Website http://www.songwriter.co.uk • Editorial E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
International Songwriters Association Limited
Registered In Dublin, Ireland • Company Number 38917
Registered Address • High Chaperal, Raheen Heights, Limerick City, Ireland
Postal Address • PO Box 46, Limerick City, Ireland