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Heraldry of the World
Irish heraldry portal
Civic heraldry of Ireland
Araltais in Éirinn


County : Limerick

Arms (crest) of Limerick

Official blazon

Gules a castle domed within a cross patonce atop argent the towers and curtain wall masoned sable above the port voided of the field its half-raised portcullis of the second three crosses pomée voided of the third. Motto: Urbs Antiqua Fuit. Studiisque Asperima Belli.


These arms have been used since the 1600's but were officially granted only on May 29, 2009

The arms show a representation of King John's castle, built by John Lackland, John I of England, who for a time ruled the English kingdom from the castle.

The motto "Urbs Antiqua Fuit Studiisque Asperrima Belli" translates as "There was an ancient city well versed in the skills of war" which is from the period of the Cromwellite invasion to the Williamite wars (i.e c 1650 to 1690) but also acknowledging that the town (and later city) of Limerick was subject to many incursions and sieges since it's founding by the Vikings in 812.

Historically the arms were often shown quartered with the English lions (referring again to King John). The lions have also been attributed to signify the O'Brien clan. The famous Irish chieftain Brian Boru's personal standard was three gold lions on a crimson background, a modified version was adopted as the clan coat of arms.

Coat of arms (crest) of Limerick

The arms as used on a JaJa postcard +/- 1905
Coat of arms (crest) of Limerick

The arms in the Coffee Hag albums +/- 1935

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Literature : Background from Brian Shanahan