Muskets flared but mood was festive at the Wild Geese festival

MUSKETS flared and sparks flew but there were no arguments that the Limerick Bastille Day Wild Geese Festival was one of the best yet. 

Organised by Alliance Française Limerick, the events in the city festival were as sell-out as it was held for its fifth year.

1,000s of Limerick people turned out and French Ambassador to Ireland HE Vincent Guerend attended two days of this year’s festivities with events that ranged from a gala 8-course Bastille Day Banquet in Limerick’s iconic Milk Market to visiting the International Rugby Experience and attending a talk by Irish/French rugby referee Tady Walsh.

The city’s annual summer festival commemorating Limerick’s Wild Geese heritage and celebrating the friendship between Ireland and France (our closest EU neighbour) took place across July 15 and 16.

Before the event, Limerick city francophiles had sold out some of the most anticipated events but there was still plenty happening that the public could attend without booking.

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One of the highlights was the banquet at the Milk Market, with an eight-course menu designed by the crème de la crème of the food scene, including Country Choice, The French Table, Green Acres, Angel Dust Patisserie, Bon Appetit Creperie, Wilde Irish Chocolates, and Harpers Coffee.

The Flight of the Wild Geese, a film entirely written, directed, shot on location and produced by teachers Fionnula Bromell and Diarmuid Hickey from Corpus Christi Primary School in Moyross told the story of the 1690 and 1691 sieges of Limerick, starring fifth-class pupils in the roles of the Jacobites, the French, and even the Williamites.

The festival ended with a farewell to the Wild Geese on the Shannon River, organised in partnership with the Curraghour Boat Club and an evening at Mickey Martin’s pub. 

A reenactor from En Garde dressed as Patrick Sarsfield, boarded a boat, and was rowed to France (or nearly to France) while muskets and guns were fired by Jacobite troops from the shore.

The festival was organised by a committee for Alliance Française Limerick with the support of the French Embassy and the Limerick City and County Council’s Festivals and Events Grant Scheme.