Navy ship diverted from Limerick Riverfest for emergency mission

Irish Navy ship the LÉ James Joyce arriving at Limerick Docks for last year's Riverfest

WITH Riverfest set to attract tens of thousands of people to Limerick this May Bank Holiday weekend, there will be some notable absentees from the line-up.

The crew of the Irish Navy ship that was to have been one of the top attractions of the festival have been diverted to an emergency operation off the West coast and will be unable to attend the event.

A statement from the Irish Naval Service confirmed that “the naval vessel due to attend Riverfest has been tasked with dealing with an emergency operational issue and is unable to attend Riverfest.”

Limerick Festivals and Events Officer Eugene Crimmins said it was unfortunate that the naval vessel had to be removed from the list of attractions so close to the Riverfest weekend.

“However it is out of our control and we completely understand the need for the Irish Naval Service to respond to the emergency situation off the Irish Coast. It won’t stop us from having an amazing festival weekend with so much still on offer for young and old to enjoy.”

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Arthur’s Quay Park is currently undergoing a transformation in to the Riverfestival Village with vintage amusements, live entertainment and good food across the weekend.

The Panoramic Wheel will offer 360 degree views of the city after relocating from Arthur’s Quay Park to the Potato Market.

The River Shannon is at the centre of the festival programme with magnificent stunt performances from world renowned fly boarders.

Riverfest turns up the heat on Friday night with a spectacular Rogu fire show and the popular Riverfest BBQ on the Boardwalk will serve up delicious treats on Saturday.

The zipline over the River Shannon was a popular attraction at Riverfest last year.

The courtyard at King John’s Castle is preparing for an invasion of music fans attending a sold out Hermitage Green concert on Sunday night.

Have a blast with the Riverfest Spectacular Fireworks Display, a real family favourite, also on Sunday night.

Sports fans will have plenty to shout about in Limerick this weekend.

At the Markets Field on Friday night, Treaty United take on Kerry FC in the League of Ireland while Limerick are in action against old rivals Clare in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship on Saturday night.

The Regeneron Great Limerick Run on Sunday has attracted more than 10,000 participants from 20 countries as well as from every county in Ireland.

Mayor Francis Foley said that with a favourable weather forecast, the tide is in Limericks favour allowing a greater number of activities to take place on the River Shannon.

Public Realm works on O’Connell Street will be suspended for the weekend with visitors invited to experience the improved pedestrian areas and greater accessibility created by the nearly completed works.

Limited on-street parking is available and a number of car parks will be open across the weekend.

A Garda traffic management plan will be in operation for the Munster championship match between Limerick and Clare at 7pm on Saturday evening.

On Sunday there will be a number of road closures to facilitate the Regeneron Great Limerick Run.

Download the festival programme here

The Riverfest fireworks display lit up the city skyline last year.