Plans to bring Patrick Sarsfield back to Limerick take step forward

Fabienne Clérot, John Patrick Shaw, Minister of State Kieran O’Donnell, AI Hélène Dingreville, Honorary Consul of France Dr Loïc Guyon, and Michelle Noone, President of Alliance Française.

PLANS to repatriate a famous Limerick patriot have been given a boost this week with the support of a local company.

Limerick-based healthcare technology company Carelon Global Solutions Ireland has partnered with the campaign to return Patrick Sarsfield to Limerick, 330 years after his death.

Carelon Global, which has a research and development hub at the National Technology Park in Limerick, has come on board as a long-term partner in a move that will provide key financial support for the campaign.

Sarsfield was buried in Belgium, where he was killed in battle, which sparked a campaign to repatriate his remains to the Treaty City.

The campaign, led by Limerick based Honorary Consul of France Dr Loïc Guyon, wants to bring Sarsfield’s remains to the city where he is remembered for leading the proud defence in the Siege of Limerick in 1690, including the famous ‘Sarsfield Ride’, and negotiating the Treaty of Limerick in 1691.

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The funding from Carelon Global, together with crowd funding for the project, will also enable a round of DNA testing with living Irish based descendants of Patrick Sarsfield that will be essential for confirming identity of the remains.

A number of descendants have already come forward and volunteered to participate in the programme.

Ireland Head for Carelon Global Solutions, John Patrick Shaw, said that the sponsorship is a perfect fit for the organisation, with DNA playing a key role in one of the company’s key missions of predicting and preventing health issues. Also, the campaign is led from the company’s Irish home, Limerick.

“We’re delighted to be coming on board as the lead sponsor of this really exciting and important initiative and at such a critical time for the project. This is phase one of our commitment and we intend to support the campaign right through to a successful conclusion.

“When we arrived in Limerick, we were so impressed by the welcome and pro-business focus of the city that we wanted to contribute to the community here and are doing so across a number of streams. The Patrick Sarsfield Homecoming project is one such initiative and one we’re passionate about,” Mr Shaw said.

Dr Loïc Guyon, who initiated and has single-handedly driven the campaign, said: “Carelon’s commitment is hugely important. Up to now, we’ve been trying to raise funds through crowd-funding and that will continue but Carelon’s funding enables us to proceed with the first phase archaeological excavation in Huy this autumn.”

“We’ve a lot of work to do but the priority now is to do these initial archaeological works, gather Sarsfield family DNA testing here in Ireland or perhaps elsewhere in Europe and then, all going well, confirm the remains of Patrick Sarsfield by the summer of 2024.

“We would then be looking at a formal repatriation to Ireland by the end of 2024 or early 2025,” Mr Guyon concluded.