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Limerick is Ireland's city of Culture in 2014

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This year, Limerick, the capital of Ireland's mid-west region with it's mix of medieval and Georgian architecture, has been named Ireland’s inaugural City of Culture. During the year there will be more than 200 performances and exhibitions showing off the strong history, great literary and sporting connections and with it's nearness to the 1600-mile stretch of the "Wild Atlantic Way" a drive from Donegal down the coast to Kinsale and Cork, it makes Limerick twice as appealing to visitors.

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The area was conquered by the Vikings in the ninth century, leaving a strong medieval past and rich history in this modern city with it's rural charm and vivid landscape, that vary from the mountains to the Shannon Estuary.

Starting as early as March 13 - 22 the city features "Fuerza Bruta" in it's Irish premier after it's sell out at London's 'The Roundhouse"; and March 16 - 17 a number of parades will take place in the city center including the St Patrick's Day Parade.

Many more events will be held throughout the year among them the 'Hunt Museum' display of artists and craft workers pieces, part of the food, fashion and craft display; Historic Limerick will be featured all year at the Radio House on Dock Road, with the three groups of four programmes focused on famous and historic locations and people throughout Limerick city and county. For an indepth look at the information for the City of Culture and to purchase tickets, visit here.

Here are a few more good reasons: to visit Limerick:

(a) the No. 1 attraction King John’s Castle, offers a sophisticated visitor experience with interactive displays, costumed actors and hands-on exhibits, that enable visitors to try on costumes of the era, brandish swords and shoot cannons

(b) it's nearness to Shannon airport, only a 25-minute drive away;

(c) convenience to the famed Dromoland Castle, an easy day trip for those who want the luxury of country estate accommodations;

(d) a mile-plus-long walkway along the riverfront;

(e) St. John’s Cathedral, with its massive spire;

(f) Michael Flannery’s Pub, known for having one of the largest whiskey collections in the country;

(g) the Hunt Museum, which boasts a private collection of art and antiquities from the Stone Age to ancient Egypt;

(h) the Frank McCourt Museum, honoring the author who wrote so movingly in “Angela’s Ashes”.

American visiting Ireland will need a Passport, they can fly into Dublin which is about a 2 hour drive, or into Shannon about 25 minutes away, and both airports are serviced by Aer Lingus from San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and New York. While many other major airlines fly to Ireland from many U.S. Cities.

Ireland is 8 hours ahead of the West Coast, a time difference that should be included in any plans for travel there. Once there it is easy to get around by air, train, car, bus or with a tour group.

References: Limerick's newsletter; Visiting Limerick; Follow on twitter;

Accommodations; visitorinformation.

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