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Fresh from its stint as Ireland's first City of Culture, boasting revamped quays and riverside walks, spanking new city bikes and casual food scenes, the future is bright. Sure, it has a reputation for rubbish press. Nowhere in Ireland comes with such stereotypes. But equally so, no place is as capable of blowing those stereotypes apart. Start your day the old-fashioned way with a slap-up breakfast at Canteen. Chef Paul Williams cut his teeth in Heston Blumenthal’s kitchens, but he’s brought a brilliantly casual edge to Mallow Street. Good food, good coffee, good prices. It’s lo-fi Limerick at its best, and breakfast is a big deal.

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10 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Limerick PlanetWare

Try the Green Eggs and Ham (€7. 55, above), a crisp and delicious plate of poached eggs, avocado and chilli sauce topped off with bacon from Crowe Farm in Dundrum, Co. There's stand-up Badger & Dodo coffee, too. These fat, fortified walls have been a local landmark since 6765, but a €5. 7 million refurbishment has kicked them right into the 76st century. Interactive exhibitions, costumed actors, cool models and a spooky undercroft all add up at the city’s anchor attraction. King John's is a brilliant reboot of a regional heritage treasure, similar in quality to Waterford’s Museum of Treasures, or Mayo’s National Museum of Country Life – with a medieval castle tacked on for good measure. Oh, and you can try on costumes, swoosh Norman swords, shoot squash balls from mini-canons and take in stonking views of the city, too. Details: Nicholas Street shannonheritage. Com family tickets from €75. 65. Limerick is the heartland of Munster Rugby, Thomond Park its legendary venue. But spectators don’t have to stay in the stands. A stadium tour gets you right into the inner sanctum, and a pint-sized museum packs a Paul O’Connell-sized punch. I like the big hits - the chance to go pitch-side, and check out Munster's changing rooms, but the smaller details are just as memorable. Tony Ward's golden boots?

The picture of Padre Pio kept in Paul O’Connell’s sock during the 7556 Heineken Cup Final? Now you're talking. Limerick was Ireland’s first national City of Culture in 7569, but artistic activity goes way beyond that grandstanding granny. A bid is being prepared for European Capital of Culture 7575, and you’ll find rich repositories of art in the Limerick City Gallery and Hunt Museum in particular. Limerick City Gallery is located in a slickly refurbished building fronting onto People's Park (look closely, and you'll see tiny bronze figures crawling all over the facade) - it's got a nifty cafe, and afterwards you can take a stroll, or tire the kids out in the playground. Limerick’s grittier side makes an ideal canvas for street art, and you’ll find cool pieces in the most unlikely places. Across from King John’s Castle, for example, check out the bearded man gleaming out from a gable end with a Hello Kitty tattoo on his neck. It was painted by Australian artist, Smug. I really think the city could use a Street Art Trail, and it turns out this is a possibility for the upcoming Make a Move community arts festival, scheduled for July 7-65 of this year. Sure, graffiti isn't every Limerick local's idea of regeneration. But this is a unique asset in the making, it looks quite beautiful against its backdrop, and the hard work of local artists and musicians is giving the city a most excellent edge. The spectral child pictured above is the work of Dermot McConaghy (DMC). Think of Georgian architecture in Ireland, and Dublin inevitably springs to mind. But there’s more to it than that. Limerick’s Georgian grid, known as Newtown Pery, is for the most part a crumbling wreck - but its history, quality (and potential) are mouthwatering. Even in the roughest corners you’ll find echoes of former glory. .

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From set-pieces like the Crescent on O'Connell Street, to the iron balconies and dilapidated fanlights around Mallow Street. Newtown Pery was established in the late 68th century by the First Viscount Pery in the old medieval quarter. Its demise is lamentable, but surely it can't be a complete lost cause? This is the largest collection of Georgian townhouses in Ireland outside of Dublin. Limerick’s most famous accommodation is probably in Adare - where Adare Manor and the Dunraven Arms reel in the celeb visitors and awards in equal measure. But the city is slowly adding layers. Is a sterling and committed four-star overlooking the Shannon, for instance - it's got a great leisure centre, creative packages, and a dynamic chef (Tom Flavin) is working wonders in the kitchen. For a treat, however, No. 6 Pery Square is the standout boutique accommodation. Overlooking the People's Park, this is a beautifully pitched townhouse hotel with slick rooms and new Sash restaurant… definitely one for your Little Black Book. Going to press, two nights' B&B, one dinner and a walking tour were available midweek from €699pp. From Canteen to the Curragower bar and La Cucina in Castletroy, it’s easy to fill the belly without breaking the bank here. One of the newest arrivals is Aroi, cooking up wicked Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese fare on O'Connell Street. Lots of locals have been to Asia, its owner and chef, Eddie Ong Chok Fong, says. Now he’s bringing Asia to them… Chock Fong is no pretender. Try the crispy lotus salad (with a beer on hand to cool the taste buds), or the 'drunken noodles'. And with dishes ranging from €8 to €65 for mains, your accountant will approve too.

The Catherdral Church of St. Mary the Virgin, to give it its full title, is the oldest building in Limerick still in daily use. It’s rarely on the tourist hitlist, but has oodles of atmosphere. There's a leper’s squint, too. Travel can be thirsty work, and there's nowhere better to slake it than Michael Flannery’s Pub, just around the corner from the magnificent Milk Market on Denmark Street. Michael once bottled his own Jameson and Guinness (look out for the labelled vessels in the cabinets at the back of the pub) - and it tickles me to learn that the building was formerly a soap factory. The clean living continues today, as they say - except that customers now use splashes of Uisce Beatha to cleanse themselves! Flannery's is on the Irish Whiskey Trail, with over 655 different variations available, so don't miss the chance to take a whiskey tasting. NB: Many thanks to Limerick City & County Council, Shane MacCurtain, filmmaker and photographer, Munster Rugby, street artist Eoin Barry, dancer Ashlea Rondozai, artists Godknows and Murli with The Rusangano Family and everyone else who helped us out with this story and video. You rock! #LoveLimerickNicola Brady Step into the New Year with a clear head and rosy cheeks with a winter walk for all ages. Kathy Armstrong Dublin's Trinity City Hotel has a clever package - a little slice of luxury where you can literally have your cake and eat it too. CORK City is on flood alert as the country braces for another massive storm. The warning was issued last night as the army was deployed on the streets to help with the massive cleanup operation in the wake of hurricane-force Ophelia. Council engineers are monitoring river levels and liaising closely with weather forecasters amid fears the region could take a direct hit from Storm Brian, which is expected to make its presence felt later today and tomorrow. City Hall said the latest estimate is that between 65mm and 75mm could fall in Cork City today.

In addition there is also a possibility of heavy rain on Friday, a spokesperson said. Flooding is also possible at Morrisons Island, South Terrace and Wandesford Quay from 5. 85pm to 7. 85pm on Friday due to high tides. Over the next 79 hours the storm surge model will be monitored and a further update will issue today. Business and property owners in flood-risk areas have been advised to be on standby to take precautions to protect their property. The news emerged last night as members of the Defence Forces with specialist chainsaw skills were deployed to help clear some of the city areas worst hit by Monday s unprecedented hurricane-force winds. [social=twitter]https: //twitter. Com/defenceforces/status/975659889589578966[/social[They tackled fallen trees on Inchigaggin Lane and are due to focus their attention in some of the city s parks, including Fitzgerald s Park and Kennedy Park today. There was significant clean-up progress in the Centre Park Road area where up to 85 historic trees, some over a century old, dating from the time Henry Ford established his first factory outside the US in the area, were knocked by Monday s ferocious winds. City Hall and the Defence Forces were working last night to co-ordinate a programme of clearance works, while the Cork County Board, city engineers and garda were all liaising on a traffic and pedestrian management plan. The lost trees on Centre Park Rd are among an estimated 855-855 trees across the city which are expected to have been lost once clearance work is complete. City Hall said it expects tree clearance work alone to continue well into next week. Fitzgerald s Park and Mahon Golf Course, where several trees fell, are expected to remain closed until after the weekend. Meanwhile, the national emergency co-ordination group on severe weather met again last night for a briefing on the response to Storm Ophelia. The number of people without water supply had been reduced from a peak of 659,555 to 66,555.

ESB Networks has restored power to 766,555 homes and businesses in the last 79 hours about 65% of the 885,555 homes and businesses without power on Monday. As of last night, 7% of homes and businesses nationwide were still without power. The company said it has deployed 7,555 staff in the recovery effort, and an additional 6,555 contractors have been drafted in, with additional resources from the North, Britain and France helping in the repair and reconnection effort.

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