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Fortifications in the Shannon Estuary and Galway Bay by Paul M. Kerrigan

Fortifications in the Shannon Estuary: Limerick Castle

Limerick Castle, in which barracks had been erected in the middle of the eighteenth century, was partly reconstructed at this time. The gatehouse towers were rebuilt at the upper level in regular masonry with externally splayed gun-embrasures in the parapets to allow for the use of artillery at roof level. The masonry parapet with brick-lined musket-loops on the south-west tower most likely also dates from this period. The gun-embrasures and musket-loops are similar in character to those at Athlone Castle, constructed in the early nineteenth century as part of the programme of defence works on the middle Shannon.

In the journal of his tour of inspection in 1806, Wellington noted the strategic importance of Limerick as the left flank of the Shannon in the event of an enemy landing on the west coast in Clare or Galway. Farther north along the river, between Portumna and Athlone, fortifications were under construction after 1803 to defend crossing places at fords and bridges. In 1811 the barracks in Limerick accommodated some 1,200 regular troops, and those in temporary barracks in the city amounted to over 1,600. While this was somewhat smaller than the garrison at Cork, it was more than twice the force at Galway.[7]


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