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This gave the city its present-day look including the extensive terraced streets of Georgian townhouses which remain in the city centre today. The opening of a number of secondary railways in the subsequent decades developed Limerick as a regional centre of communications. However, the economic downturn in the European conflicts of the French Revolution and Napoleonic eras, and following the Act of Union , and the impact of the Great Irish Famine of caused much of the 19th century to be a more troubled period.
The Limerick boycott was an economic boycott waged against the small Jewish community for over two years in the first decade of the 20th century. It was accompanied by a number of assaults, stone throwing and intimidation, which caused many Jews to leave the city. It was instigated in by a Redemptorist priest, Father John Creagh. During the Irish War of Independence , the Limerick Soviet was a self-declared soviet that existed from 15 to 27 April A general strike was organised by the Limerick Trades and Labour Council, as a protest against the British Army 's declaration of a "Special Military Area" under the Defence of the Realm Act, which covered most of Limerick city and a part of the county.
During the strike a special strike committee was set up to print their own money, control food prices and publish newspapers. By the midth century, Limerick was characterised by economic stagnation and decline as many traditional industries closed or left the city. However, there were some success stories. In , Shannon Airport enabled the opening of the Shannon Free Zone which attracted a large number of multinational companies to the region.
A long campaign for a third level educational institute to be located in the city finally bore fruit with the establishment of NIHE Limerick in which eventually became the University of Limerick in The local government area of Limerick city is under the jurisdiction of Limerick City and County Council. The Council has responsibility for local services such as sanitation, planning and development, libraries, collection of motor taxation, local roads and social housing in the city. The council comprises elected ward Councillors with an appointed full-time CEO as the city and county manager.
Local elections are held every five years and the Councillors annually elect a Cathaoirleach or chairman to chair the council. The Mayoral position is largely ceremonial and has much reduced responsibility following the merger of the Limerick local authorities. Although the Mayor is the city's first citizen, within the council the position is below that of the Cathaoirleach. The current mayor is Councillor Jerry O'Dea. Throughout most of the city's history; from when it gained its first charter, Limerick City had its own local government authority, Limerick Corporation later known as Limerick City Council.
The council was one of the oldest in Ireland and was only exceeded in age by Dublin City Council. The changes came into effect on 1 June following the implementation of the Local Government Reform Act By the s onwards the city had outgrown its boundary considerably; the city boundary was only altered slightly and never reflected the overall urban area of the city. Newer suburban districts such as Dooradoyle , Castletroy — including the University , Gouldavoher, and Raheen were continually administered to by Limerick County Council until the merger of the two authorities in June This local government structure in Limerick caused a number of inefficiencies, most notably in the area of planning.
A number of suburbs such as Westbury and Parteen to the north of the city are governed by Clare County Council.
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Following the merger of the two authorities in a new Metropolitan District of Limerick City was set up that included the city urban area and also settlements close to the city such as Patrickswell and Castleconnell. From , the constituency boundaries changed in accordance with the proposals of the Constituency Commission and the subsequent Electoral Amendment Act Limerick city encompasses the city, the suburban areas of Castletroy and as far east as Castleconnell.
It also includes part of south County Clare. The Limerick county constituency takes in most of the rest of the county. For European parliament elections Limerick is in South Ireland. Shannon Airport records an average of millimetres of precipitation annually, most of which is rain.
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The highest temperature recorded was Limerick is the cloudiest city in the state, averaging only 1, sunshine hours annually, 3. There are on average 62 days of no recordable sunshine, 6 days of thunder, 22 days of hail and 11 days of snow per year. Shannon Airport is located by the ocean at an elevation of 14 metres, so snow is less common at the station than in the city itself.
In , Limerick became Ireland's inaugural National City of Culture , with a variety of artistic and cultural events occurring at locations around the city throughout the year. It is home to a permanent collection of Irish art , which shows works from the early 18th to 20th century. The venue hosts theatre, music, comedy, traditional arts, schools' performances and conferences.
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Limerick is also the home of street theatre companies, including "The Umbrella Project". Limerick's literature scene is supported by projects like the Limerick Writers' Centre, which was established in and runs a range of writing activities in the city. Other Limerick arts groups include Contact Studios, which provides individual studio spaces for visual artists; the Daghdha Dance Company, a contemporary dance company that has adopted a renovated church in John's Square, adjacent to St John's Cathedral , as a performance space ; the Fresh Film Festival , which is held each spring, and includes films made by young people 7—18 years ; Impact Theatre Company; and Limerick Printmakers Studio and Gallery, which provides printmaking facilities, a venue for exhibitions and events and an education programme.
The Limerick Youth Theatre provides young people with an opening into acting and production. The university has a thousand-seat state-of-the-art concert hall that hosts visiting performers. Electronic musician Richard D. James, more commonly known as Aphex Twin , was born in Limerick in Dolan's Warehouse on the Dock Road is a venue specialising in live music, established in Riverfest is a summer festival held annually in Limerick since The festival was held in May and had a record 80, visitors.
A limerick is a type of humorous verse of five lines with an AABBA rhyme scheme : the poem's connection with the city is obscure, but the name is generally taken to be a reference to Limerick city or County Limerick ,  sometimes particularly to the Maigue Poets , and may derive from an earlier form of nonsense verse parlour game that traditionally included a refrain that included "Will [or won't] you come up to Limerick? Student radio station, Wired FM, broadcasts on University Hospital Limerick has a radio station on West Limerick is broadcast from Newcastle West.
There are several seasonal tours, including Angela's Ashes walking tour of Limerick City, historical walking tour, and boat tours along the River Shannon. The city centre is divided between the traditional areas of "English Town" on the southern end of King's Island, which includes the King John's Castle; "Irish Town", which includes the older streets on the south bank; and the current economic centre further south, called " Newtown Pery ".
It contains displays on Limerick's history and manufactures. The Georgian core of the city, with its Georgian architecture in the Newtown Pery, was developed from the mid 18th century. Other buildings of architectural note in the city are St John's Cathedral , designed by the notable Victorian architect, Philip Charles Hardwick. St Mary's Cathedral, at over years old, is one of the oldest in Ireland. The museum was established to house a collection of approximately works of art and antiquities formed by John and Gertrude Hunt during their lifetimes. The main park in Limerick is the People's Park which was opened in in memory of Richard Russell, a prominent local business man.
The park is dominated by the Thomas Spring Rice memorial MP for the city — and has a large collection of mature deciduous and evergreen trees. Limerick city centre changed significantly with the construction of several modern high-rise buildings in the early s, in particular as part of the regeneration of the former docks area along the Dock Road. Suburban houses are generally two-floor semi-detached homes for single families. Limerick city's nightlife is supported by a number of nightclubs and pubs which offer music. For example, Dolan's Warehouse is a small music venue which hosts local, national and international folk, indie, jazz, rock and traditional Irish music acts.
Bunratty Castle in County Clare is another local attraction, and is situated Limerick is known to be the antipodes to the Campbell Islands of New Zealand. Limerick is the third largest city in Ireland after Dublin and Cork with a population of 94, in the urban area  and , in the metropolitan district, according to the CSO census. Limerick has a large stock of local authority housing.
This figure is however no longer accurate given the larger metropolitan district of the city. Limerick is in the region dubbed " the Midwest ". Also known as the "Shannon Region", this is primarily an economic and social concept. The area is the main economic region in Ireland outside Dublin and Cork. As of [update] Shannon Development was mostly concerned with disposing of valuable industrial park properties. Historically Limerick was an agricultural commodity-driven economy, due to its position as the first major port along the River Shannon.
By the middle of the 18th century, Limerick Port grew to become one of Ireland's principal commercial ports, exporting agricultural produce from the most fertile tracts in Ireland known as the Golden Vale as well as produce from the surrounding counties. The city was known for its bacon industry — however this went into decline in the midth century. The fishing industry in Limerick, based on Clancy's Strand opposite King John's Castle and at Coonagh nearby, once employed hundreds of men. As with other cities in Ireland, a number of multinational companies are based in Limerick, and the city is a growing recipient of foreign direct investment.
Dell remains one of the largest employers in the mid-west with over 1, people employed in service and support. The site employs more than 1, people. It is Vistakon's only production facility outside the United States and one of the largest contact-lens manufacturing plants in the world. Cook Medical, the world's largest privately owned Medical Devices company, employs over people in Limerick at the National Technology Park.
The Post Irish economic downturn had a profound effect on Limerick. The announcement in that Dell was to move its manufacturing facility from Limerick to Poland devastated the local economy. As of unemployment had become a major problem across the city with the unemployment rate in the city at The Crescent Shopping Centre is the largest shopping centre in Ireland, outside of Dublin, and the largest in the province of Munster.
The city centre also has a large retail district which includes a mix of more traditional type of shops as well as some modern high street stores.
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Cruises Street is one of the main shopping streets. The city centre saw some works on remodelling in the early 21st century, with pedestrianisation works on Bedford Row, Thomas Street and parts of Catherine Street, as well as widening footpaths on William Street. During the Celtic Tiger years a number of shopping centres and retail parks opened in suburban areas of Limerick.
In addition to the Crescent Shopping Centre, which expanded in the early s, the Jetland Shopping Centre opened in Caherdavin in The Milk Market located at Cornmarket Row in the city centre sells locally produced foods and products and is governed by Limerick Market Trustees. The work involved constructing a large canopy over the existing market premises and was officially re-opened in June The strategy was completed by the Danish Aalborg University.
It is one of Ireland's main airports and is easily accessible from Limerick via the N18 dual carriageway and from other regions via the Limerick Tunnel. It has scheduled flights to European and North American destinations. There is no rail link to the airport. Coonagh airfield, a few kilometres west of Caherdavin , serves small private aircraft. Kerry and Cork Airports are around 1 hour 30 minutes and 2 hours drive away, respectively.
Kerry Airport is connected to Farranfore railway station , from Limerick railway station travel via Limerick Junction and Mallow. Local public transport is provided by several companies. An updated city bus network was introduced in Limerick City in December ,  which introduced new routes. Other rural buses run to towns and villages in the county and to Shannon Airport. These include hourly services to Dublin , Cork , Ennis and Galway. Buses run every 2 hours to Tralee and Killarney.