Using interactive maps to highlight Limerick’s history

Over the past two years I’ve used various mapping tools to highlight specific aspects of Limerick’s history. The aim was to compress a complex topic into an easy-to-interpret visual.

The Limerick Tornado of 1851

An interactive map based on the writings and research of John Tyrrell, Dept. of Geography, (UCC). This map plots the path of a T4 level tornado as it tore through the centre of Limerick City. The Tornado occurred at 5.20pm on Sunday the 5th October 1851. The weather that day was described as “cold and blowing, with occasional showers” and as “overcast and rather gusty”. Griffin records that the temperature that day varied between 10 and 13 degrees Celsius.

Despite the force of the tornado, and the amount of destruction it caused, there was just one fatality, Thomas Ryan, who was struck on the head by a flying tile. This occurred on Carr Street. The track of the tornado was described as being “zig-zag” and it moved from west to east.

Limerick City Walls (visible)

This project takes its information from the Limerick City Walls: Conservation & Management Plan by Aegis Archaeology Ltd. & Minogue & Associates (2008) which was prepared for Limerick City Council and the Heritage Council.

Death Notices in the Limerick Chronicle (1862)

This map is based on all of the death notices that appeared in the Limerick Chronicle newspaper in the year 1862. It only includes those entries that had links to Limerick. Each marker includes a hyperlink to a scan of the original death notice (which is hosted by Limerick City Library)

Anti-Unionist Riots in Limerick City (1912)

On Thursday the 10th of October 1912, a Unionist meeting was held in the Theatre Royal, Henry St., Limerick City. This was an Anti-Home Rule meeting that afterwards led to a riot in the city that went on for two nights. The riot begun after the police made the rash decision to charge the crowd with a mounted unit. On the second night over 300 extra policemen had to be drafted into the City to restore order. Constables baton charged crowds multiple times and over 85 businesses had their windows smashed. Numerous churches, especially Protestant, also had their windows smashed. This amounted to c. €300,000 worth of damage in today’s money. All sides agree that the damage was caused by gangs of boys aged between 12-15 years old. Order was not returned to the city until Sunday the 13th when the police withdrew to their barracks after assurances by the local clergy.

Limerick’s Casualties during World War One

How do you communicate the scale of Limerick’s loss during World War One? This was one of the most traumatic events in Limerick’s recent history, over 1,000 violent deaths which occurred out of sight of relatives and friends. We have sought to visually represent the scale of the death toll through a series of interactive maps. The map shows the location where each Limerick casualty during WW1 is commemorated. Click on the placemark to identify the casualty. Each placemark is colour coded by age. We have generated individual GPS coordinates for every casualty. These coordinates are not the exact location of their plaque but are instead close to the commemoration site, giving each its own space.

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