The role played by 4,000 Limerick men during World War One was the subject of a Heritage Week event held at St Mary’s Cathedral in Limerick last evening.
Journalist and author Kevin Myers, who has spent over 30 years researching this almost hidden history of Ireland’s involvement in World War 1, delivered the talk in front of 320 people, among them serving and retired members of the Irish Defence Forces.
The public lecture coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign which claimed the lives of 800 members of the Royal Munster Fusiliers, 75 of whom were from Limerick.
Among the Limerick men killed during the ill-fate campaign were 8 natives of the village of Coonagh who died when their ship was torpedoed. Conservative estimates suggest that one in four, or 1,000 of Limerick’s 4,000 listed men died in the First World War.
Kevin Myers last year launched his first book on the subject. Ireland’s Great War is published by Lilliput Press.
Last evening’s lecture was hosted by Limerick Museum and Archives which is also hosting Stand Up and Fight – an exhibition of photographs, firsthand accounts and artefacts relating to Limerick’s military history – in City Hall, Merchants Quay, until early December.
Items on display include flowers sent home by a Limerick soldier from the front at Ypres to his mother in Limerick, an oar from one of RMS Lusitania’s lifeboats, cannonballs and musket balls from the Siege of Limerick, pikes used in the era of the United Irishmen, a bloodied apron worn by a Limerick nurse while serving in a First World War field hospital, German and Allied military militaria, and rare photographs of the American Civil War, Boer War and First World War.
See www.limerick.ie for more.