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King John’s Castle

Our last tour

The first time we arrived in Limerick we walked by King John’s Castle and had dinner across the river. We decided that this time we would get a guide to take us through Medieval Limerick and finish up the day with a walk through the castle.

Our tour guide, Nolan, was wonderful; 75 years old and the father of 7 children, he had every necessary trick up his sleeve to keep us all in line. We learned that Limerick received its charter as a city 20 years before London. We also learned about the long travail of Irish suppression; and of the internal divide between the Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants. Of real interest were the roles of politics and power in the strengthening and widening of the divide.

As we toured the medieval streets, one site of interest was St. Mary's Cathedral, 850 years old this year.

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Nolan ended his tour at King John’s castle, but not without some thoughts on museums and tourist traps! Which we ignored...Yes, Sir Robert the knight, what happens with too many war hammers to the head, and knights without necks...

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Once in the castle Aidan came upon a “minstrel” from whom we learned all sorts of things! (One of the best bits of info was his learning to play the harp from YouTube?) He was a fount of info about the guilds, the life of minstrels, who could read and write in medieval Ireland, about clothes making,…he was wonderful!

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After leaving the minstrel, we had a short time to rush through the castle itself.

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In our rush we met up with some fellow Americans, a father and his daughter on a visit to Ireland before the daughter begins college at Cal Poly Tech. The father was kind enough to take our photo.

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Posted by Jeanny Preston 14:15

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