2013-08-16 12:50:32 - As Limerick’s hurlers prepare to do battle with neighbours Clare in Sunday’s All-Ireland Hurling Senior Championship Semi-Final, the County Limerick town of Kilmallock will be recreating its own battle scene as part of Kilmallock's Walled Town Day.
Hundreds of people are expected to to step back in time for the annual event and experience a glimpse of life in medieval Ireland tomorrow (Saturday, 17 August).
Medieval battle recreations and the public opening of King's Castle and Blossom Gate are amongst the highlights of Kilmallock's Walled Town Day, celebrating one of Ireland’s most intact Walled Towns.
Renactors will bring the town’s medieval heritage to life during the festival, which is being organised by the Walled Towns Committee of Kilmallock Tourism Development Ltd and funded by the Irish Walled Towns Network, Ballyhoura LEADER and Limerick County Council.
Other events featured during the recreation and celebration of 12th to 16th-century Kilmallock include a guided walk, medieval themed music by harpist Brenda Malloy and
the Buttevant Singers, arts and crafts demonstrations and displays, a tug of war competition, a treasure hunt, a themed parade, and children’s activities.
Kilmallock was once regarded as one of the most strategically important towns in Ireland due to its medieval wall defences, castles, gatehouses and magnificent churches. The town walls, 70% of which remain standing today, have contributed greatly to Kilmallock’s direct involvement in almost every Irish conflict since medieval times. The fortress town was burned during the Desmond Rebellion and the local Dominican Priory was attacked and destroyed during the Irish Confederate Wars.
Since the commencement of the Kilmallock Town Walls Conservation & Management Plan and Kilmallock Walled Town Public Realm Plan in 2009, Limerick County Council has restored 285 metres of Kilmallock’s medieval walls.
Sarah McCutcheon, Executive Archaeologist, Limerick County Council commented: “The upcoming Walled Town Day is one of a number of initiatives being developed to promote the town and its rich heritage, which is unique in County Limerick for its range of standing medieval monuments. We are seeking to further enhance the visitor offering with particular emphasis on Kilmallock’s Walled Town status. Hundreds of people attended last year’s festival and we look forward to introducing many hundreds more to what is now regarded as one of Ireland’s most historically important towns.”
Ms McCutcheon confirmed that funding is expected to be made available shortly under the LEADER Programme to undertake tour guide training. She said: “A key step towards opening up the tourism potential of the town is the presence of a team of qualified tour guides. It is anticipated that guides will be ready to provide regular tours of the town using King’s Castle and Blossom Gate as the centrepiece of any public tour.
Meanwhile, Ms. McCutcheon said that plans are underway to establish direct links between Kilmallock and a walled town called Niedernhall in the Hohenlohe Region of Germany, which is twinned with Co. Limerick. She continued: “Representatives from Kilmallock visited Niedernhall in May 2013 as part of the Limerick County Council delegation to Hohenlohe and the towns seem to be a very good match. We’re looking forward to a return visit next year and to start establishing good links. Kilmallock is also a member of the European Walled Towns group who will be holding a symposium in Derry/Londonderry in October.”
Kilmallock's Walled Town Day commences at 10am tomorrow (Saturday August 17th) with the opening of Blossom Gate and King’s Castle which are not always accessible to the public. Kilmallock Historical Society will also be opening the local museum. All three buildings will remain open to the public until 1pm.
A guided walk of the town, commencing from the carpark behind King’s Castle, will take place from 11.00am to 12.30pm, while White Horse Living History Society will accompany this year’s medieval parade from King’s Castle to the grounds of Coláiste Iósaef. Here, there will be medieval re-enactors, a children’s medieval battle, face painting, stocks, kiddies races and archery, as well as a crafts and food fair featuring demonstrations by Eric O'Neill (Blacksmith), Clare Jordan (Potter), Pat Broderick (Sugán maker), Tom Brommel (Homeland Candles) and Kate Ramsey (Fabulous Felt).
At 3.30pm, harpist Brenda Malloy and the Buttevant Singers will perform music from the medieval age. A Tug-of-War competition featuring local GAA and Rugby teams is planned for 4pm, while the day will conclude with a treasure hunt at 4.45pm.
In advance of Kilmallock Walled Town Day and to help children in the local are prepare for the festival, Jane Howe will today (Friday) host a workshop on making a medieval costume at Friarsgate Theatre.
Further information on Kilmallock Walled Town Day is available from www.friarsgate.ie or irishwalledtownsnetwork.ie/page/kilmallock
- Sarah McCutcheon email@example.com
, (087) 2941601
- Caoimhe Reidy firstname.lastname@example.org
, (063) 98727
- High-resolution images relating to Kilmallock Walled Town Day are available from www.dunphypr.com/?p=8632
. For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations on 086-8534900 or email@example.com
- Kilmallock is a founder member of the Irish Walled Towns Network, which comprises 20 members, and a member of the European Walled Towns. The Heritage Council established the Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN) in April 2005. Its aim is to unite and co-ordinate the strategic efforts of Local Authorities involved in the management, conservation and enhancement of historic walled towns in Ireland, both North and South. The Irish Walled Towns Network is formally linked to the European Walled Towns (EWT), the international association for the sustainable development of walled towns, walled cities and fortified historic towns. The Irish Walled Towns Network seeks to ensure that Ireland’s unique cultural and archaeological heritage, in relation to its walled and fortified towns and cities, is protected and managed in a sustainable and appropriate manner in the long term.