Limerick to get official coat of arms

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THE OFFICIAL coat of arms for Limerick city is to be be confirmed at a historic ceremony later this month.

Limerick never had an official coat of arms until Limerick City Council applied to have a grant of arms confirmed. According to Mayor of Limerick John Gilligan the “Arms of the City of Limerick” as we know them today are not heraldically correct.

“The original coat of arms for the city which has been used since at least the 17th century was unregistered and so unprotected from unofficial use,” explained the mayor. “So we applied on behalf of the council to the Chief Herald of Ireland to confirm the council in its right to arms on the basis of long use,” he said.

The arms that are now being confirmed to Limerick City Council show a castle with two towers and the portcullis raised.

The shield is of the 14th century and the motto Urbs Antiqua Fuit Studiisque Asperrima Belli which means “An ancient city well versed in the arts of war” surrounds the shield. The Office of the Chief Herald designed the arms that are now being granted and Chief Herald, Fergus Gillespie will read the proclamation in Irish and in English at a ceremony in City Hall, Limerick, on Thursday, May 28th. Mr Gillespie, the Chief Herald is the holder of the oldest State office, which in its present form has been in existence since 1552.

The function of the Chief Herald is to devise coats of arms, grant them by means of letters patent and record them in the Register of Arms in his office.

Limerick City Council’s document is engrossed on calf vellum and the conditions of the grant appear in both the Irish and English languages.

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