I was in Limerick at the weekend for a #JaneAusten200 event organised by Rose Servitova, author of The Longbourn Letters: Jane Austen Afternoon Tea at 1 Pery Square. Jane died in 1817 at the appalling age of 41, hence the 200 year commemorative marking.
We had delicious cakes (blackberry & pear crumble, lemon & pineapple panacotta, tiny scones, choc pistachio) and great entertainment from costume experts, a historian who spoke about Jane's would-be fella, Tom Lefroy of Limerick. We also had a talk on tea, sweet songs from the Regency period, and the wonderful Miss Bates (of Emma fame) came to visit too.
The event was livestreamed and there are now videos of it here. Rose has many more events planned, up as far as December, so keep any eye on the Jane Austen 200 Limerick Facebook page for details. Janeites in Dublin and Cork are also having events, so there's plenty to entertain the Irish Austen-lover for the 200 year celebrations.
We stopped off in Bunratty along the way and spent the afternoon in Limerick city. Great shopping, though the plentiful charity shops are overpriced compared to my midlands home. We ate at Aroi, which was my regular spot when I did the short story project with Limerick School of Art. It was as good as I remembered. I enjoyed the Limerick City Gallery of Art, especially the gorgeous landscapes in the permanent collection. I also got a new tattoo from an amiable Gaeilgeoir from Kerry called Liam. And we stayed the night in Kilmallock, a handsome walled town with lots of intact medieval buildings.
The weather was fab and we really enjoyed exploring the friary and town gates and sweet houses. Ireland is a wonder at the best of times but when the sun shines, there's glory.