I am amazed at how often the descendants of Limerick emigrants come back to Limerick and are shocked that we do not look like the photo above, with barefooted children an women in shawls:
It has been said to me "Oh! I thought you all lived in the countryside", "Wow you have a McDonalds" and one of my favourites is "Where is your castle". These are comments from people who have travelled here by plane, I am not sure where they thought the plane was going to land if we only had fields for potatoes.
Yes, we have a city (with free wifi throughout) with I think it must be hundreds of restaurants though we do tend to like Chinese food here, but there are Thai, Japanese, Italian, as well as many other ethnic restaurants too. We love our food here, we have fresh food markets, we have organic shops, all our major stores stock local produce too. Limerick is not all about the food though, we do have a love of music, not just Trad but we have a major rock and Indie scene and many of our bands have reached international acclaim.
Though we do have horses and traps wandering around the city, they are not suppose to be here but you can never really tell an Irish person what to do. If an Irish person hears a fire alarm they will not stop what they are doing, they will not heed the warning, unless they can see the flames then there is no fire. The rest of the society is like that too, we have guidelines but these are often bent.
I am glad that Limerick does not look like the picture above, it looks rather grimy and probably quite smelly to me. The barefooted children don't fill me with nostalgia but with sadness about the fact that they were probably one of the many who had to leave our city if they survived to adulthood. The Castle is now in use again and is a beautiful attraction, which as a local I have even attended.
I see lots of images of Limerick's Past every day with my work on Limerick's Life but I must admit I will takes our hot and cold running water and health care system what Ireland was like 100 years ago. Below is my Limerick.