A History of Limerick Branch
The branch first came into being in 1922, making us one of the oldest in the organisation. Although founded in the wake of the turmoil of the War of Independence (Anglo-Irish War) and during the birth pains of the fledgling Irish Free-State, these early years saw the branch flourish with as many as 400-500 members. While this may perhaps reflect the magnitude of the city's sense of loss to the First World War, it may a be a greater testimony to the very real needs of Limerick veterans and their families for fellowship and practical support in a very poor city.
The branch continued strongly until the 1950’s when there was a gradual change in Republican sentiment nationally. In August 1957, the Limerick War Memorial was blown up and so began a steady decline in the membership. The outbreak of ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland after 1969 accelerated this, ultimately leading to the closure of the branch and sale of the Legion Club in the city. A new War Memorial in Pery Square dedicated to those who lost their lives in 1914-18 and 1939-45 was erected in the 1970s’.
Our first Remembrance Parade took place at the Limerick War Memorial in 1990 and the occasion was videoed.
And so it was that Limerick Branch arose from its ashes. In our early years the membership rose to 120 but with the gradual passing of Great War veterans we now hold steady about 75. Our re-birth was supported by other established branches in Ireland, both North and South. All offered their fellowship, many also made offers of funds. We also received funding from through the Area Chairman - from the earlier sale of the Club in Hartstonge St.
We acknowledge our debt and extend our gratitude to all those who helped us.
[Thie author is grateful for the assistance of Mr. Paddy Lowe, Branch Chairman, photo courtesy of Limerick Museum.