Limerick’s debt to Patrick Sarsfield is to be celebrated next month in an event the organisers hope will become an annual affair.
Supported by Failte Ireland, Sarsfield’s Day is part of The Gathering 2013 and takes place on Saturday, August 10.
It will feature horsemen riding through the city in Jacobean dress and climaxes with a fireworks display over King John’s Castle in tribute to the blowing up of William of Orange’s siege train in Ballyneety, an act of sabotage that forced the English king to negotiate.
While Patrick Sarsfield gives his names to streets and sporting clubs around Limerick, too little is known of this national hero, according to those behind the Sarsfield’s Day celebration.
“Sarsfield’s Day is primarily aimed at reminding the people of Limerick and Ireland of a largely forgotten figure in Irish history whose achievements as a military commander and patriot are often overlooked,” explained Sean McNamara of event organisers Rapparee Productions.
He continued: “Against all the odds, Patrick Sarsfield successfully prevented William of Orange from capturing Limerick and with his French allies inflicted over 5,000 Williamite casualties, five times greater than those suffered by William’s army at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.