Visiting Limerick Colbert Station, Ireland: gracious, stone structure dating from 1858

Flag of the Republic of Ireland
Flag of the Republic of Ireland | Source
Colbert Station on Parnell Street in Limerick City
Colbert Station on Parnell Street in Limerick City | Source
Cornelius Colbert
Cornelius Colbert | Source
Map location of Limerick City, Co. Limerick, Ireland
Map location of Limerick City, Co. Limerick, Ireland | Source

Solidity and memories of another era

The building in Limerick (Irish: Luimneach ), Ireland, now operated by Irish Rail (Irish: Iarnród Éireann ) was opened in 1858, for the Waterford and Limerick Railway, and served to replace a previous, wooden structure dating from 10 years previously.

This fine, two storey structure exhibits repeated arching at its main frontage, flanked by two symmetrical wings. While lacking the pediment so common to many Georgian buildings, is characterized by a solidity so common to early to mid-Victorian era buildings.

The building underwent a program of renovation in 1996. Some of the railroad network previously accessible via Limerick Colbert Station has been dismantled. The main line to Dublin (Irish: Baile Átha Cliath) runs via Limerick Junction (Irish: Gabhal Luimnigh), which is actually in County Tipparary (Irish: Contae Thiobraid Árann).

The station is named for Cornelius Colbert (Irish: Conchúir Ó Colbáird ; 1888-1916), a local, County Limerick (Irish: Contae Luimnigh) man executed for his part in the Easter Rising (Irish: Éirí Amach na Cásca), 1916. This name change was effected on the 50th anniversary of the Rising, in 1966. It may be noted that various, major railroad stations in Irish cities that were originally built under British rule have been named for Irish Republican figures; these include Dublin Connolly, Dublin Heuston, and Cork Kent stations.

While the era of British rule was soon to recede after the upheavals of the Easter Rising gradually ushered in a Republican era, the events of 1916 are themselves nearly a century old; which serves to show how much time has elapsed since this solid building, still used for its original purpose, was erected. (Canadians may also wish to reflect that Confederation was only 9 years old in 1858, and Americans may recall that the Civil War was still three years in the future.)

September 6, 2012

Also worth seeing

In Limerick City itself, visitor attractions include King John's Castle, the Thomond Bridge over the Shannon, the Treaty Stone, and some fine church architecture.

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How to get there: Aer Lingus flies from New York and Boston to Shannon Airport, from where car rental is available; a bus link between Shannon Airport and Limerick City is also available. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. You are advised to check with appropriate consular sources regarding border crossing visa requirements for citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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