A Sinn Féin councillor has thanked Britain’s Queen Elizabeth for helping Limerick celebrate next year’s centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.
A historic tricolour confiscated by British troops after it was hoisted during a mobilisation of volunteers in Limerick is to be returned for display in the city museum next year — thanks to the British monarch.
After soldiers from the Leinster regiment left the city, they took the flag with them and it ended up in the Imperial War Museum in London in 1935.
Councillor Maurice Quinlivan make some inquiries, and the museum has agreed to return it on a long-term loan.
He said: “There was no uprising in Limerick, but there was a mobilisation of volunteers in the city who made this tricolour. While the flag was in the Imperial War Museum, it was on loan to the museum from the Royal Collection, which is the property of the queen.
“A member of the Limerick City Museum staff here in Limerick told me about this very symbolic tricolour and I worked on trying to get it back. I contacted a number of Labour MPs in London who helped put through a request to the Imperial War Museum for the flag to be brought back to Limerick for next year’s 100th anniversary.
“I had put in place a campaign for the return of the flag, but this was not necessary as the museum in London were very helpful.
“They have agreed to give the flag back to us on a long-term loan, which effectively means we can have it as long as we want.
“To give us the flag back on loan, the Imperial War Musuem had to get permission of the Royal Collection, which is owned by the queen. So she is the one giving us back the flag.”
A condition of the loan is that the flag is kept in a display case, and work is currently being carried out on this.
Mr Quinlivan said: “The Limerick City Musuem is currently housed in Istabraq Hall in Limerick City Hall. The queen has come up trumps in getting the flag back. If she’d give us back the Six Counties now I’d be very happy with her.”
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