The Treaty of Limerick ended the Williamite War in Ireland between the Jacobites, supporters of King James II, and the supporters of William of Orange and concluded the Siege of Limerick. The treaty really consisted of two treaties (the military and the civil), both of which were signed on 3rd October 1691.
This also became known as the Broken Treaty, although the military agreements were completed the civil agreements were vague and left open to interpretation which in turn caused great hardship for non-Protestant citizens of Limerick during the Penal Law period.
Chipping at the Treaty Stone
In the 1850s the Treaty Stone was located on the opposite side of the bridge in front of what is now Jack Mondays coffee shop and was used as a step to mount horses.
There were often news reports of people taking chippings out of the Treaty Stone to keep as souvenirs. The following report came from the Limerick Examiner, in May 1851.
“THE TREATY STONE – Some few evenings since, an interesting looking young woman, apparently a native of a country district, was observed hammering the “Treaty Stone”, at Thomond-bridge, with a two pound iron weight, and on being questioned as to her motive, she stated that she had a brother in New Orleans, and that he had written her for a small piece of the Limerick “Treaty Stone”, telling her to kiss it before transmitting it to him, so that he might not only have it for that reason, but also to exhibit it to his friends in America. Having procured a “bit” of the stone, the young woman went away, apparently much delighted.” – LIMERICK EXAMINER, May 1851
In 1863, a fund was started to stop souvenir hunters from eroding the stone. In 1865 it was raised onto a pedestal and moved to the opposite side of the bridge. The pedestal was erected by John Rickard Tinslay, Mayor of the city at the time.
In 1990 the Treaty Stone was moved further down Clancy Strand during the term of Mayor Gus O’Driscoll as it had become a hazard to road users.