Statue of Gerald FitzGerald,
3rd Earl of Desmond, Newcastle West,
Co. Limerick, Éire

Statue of Gerald FitzGerald, Third Earl of Desmond, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick, Éire

It is easy to overlook the fact now but there once was a church in the heart of Newcastle West between 1777 and 1962 that fell into disrepair and got demolished. Those wondering at the low walls in the area between Desmond Castle and the town's square should realise that they mark out where the structure once stood. What once stood here was a Church of Ireland establishment whose construction was funded by William, 2nd Viscount Courtenay and dedicated to Saint Thomas.

Those low walls are not what you notice around here before anything else: that is the main castle building. After that, there is the bronze figure of the Third Earl of Desmond riding on a horse apparently going at speed. Aside from being a nobleman of note, he also was a poet in the Irish language and disappeared in 1398 without being seen again. The mix of Gaelic and Norman culture ensure that certain myths surround his memory and I wonder now if that is why he was chosen for this bronze casting.

See more photos from this album (Limerick City & County)