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Admiral Scully's dart claims lordship of river

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  • Admiral Scully's dart claims lordship of river

    By Marie Hobbins
    CHOREOGRAPHED to blend in with the city's Riverfest last bank holiday
    weekend, a centuries' old ritual, revived by Mayor Diarmuid Scully
    marked another wave of development highlighting the river Shannon as the
    leading focal point it has become in the dramatic turnabout of Limerick
    city.

    Two days into the pulsating programme of of Riverfest events, the
    ancient ceremony of casting a silver dart into the river, which for
    centuries has signified the people of Limerick's lordship over the
    river, was performed in some significant style by Mayor Scully in his
    titular role as Admiral of the Shannon.

    At 8pm on Friday, April 28, the mayor, viewed by thousands of Limerick
    citizens and visitors enjoying the medley of Riverfest attractions, cast
    a silver dart into the river, which, complying with tradition. was
    flowing at high tide.

    As befitted the ceremonious occasion the casting of the dart did not
    take place from any modest vessel but was performed with some
    appropriate pomp and dignity from the deck of the navy vessel, the LE
    Niamh as it sailed into Limerick Docks.

    "The Silver Dart ceremony, which dates back several centuries has its
    origins in medieval Venice and is performed by the Mayor of Limerick in
    his role as Admiral of the Shannon and although it has been 50 years
    since a silver dart was cast into the river the ceremony was revived to
    serve as an appropriate starting point for Riverfest which centred the
    majority of its activities along the banks and quays of the Shannon,"
    said Mayor Scully.

    On board the LE Niamh, which was officially adopted by Limerick City
    Council in 2002 was a deputation of officials from Quimper in Brittany
    with which Limerick city is twinned.

    The adoption of the LE Niamh by Limerick City Council was historical in
    that it marked the first occasion in which a city adopted a ship for the
    second time. Previously Limerick had adopted the LE Deirdre, a ship that
    is no longer in service.

    In early 2002 the LE Niamh became the first Irish navy ship to proceed
    east of the Suez Canal or cross the equator. In association with
    Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs the ship paid a
    goodwill visit to Asia which formed part of the Government's Asian
    Strategy.

    That visit was recognised as a great success which significantly
    increased awareness of Ireland in the various Asian countries it sailed
    to.



    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.
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