News and Events

Limerick students learn to dish the dirt!

King John's Castle Big Dig

Almost 200 students from three Limerick primary schools, St John’s, St Mary’s and JFK Memorial School, were given a unique opportunity to ‘dish the dirt’ at a special archaeological dig at King John’s Castle, Limerick, thanks to an initiative organised by Shannon Heritage, who manage the famous visitor attraction.

As part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme, Shannon Heritage enlisted archaeologists from the Irish School of Archaeology in Dublin to give the children a chance to experience what it is like to be an archaeologist by learning how to excavate the remains of a Viking House.

During their dig for treasures and artefacts dating back over 1000 years, they learned about the living history and lifestyles of their Viking ancestors through the eyes of real archaeologists!

“A number of archaeological excavations have been undertaken at King John’s Castle in the past unearthing over 1,000 artefacts and some of these are on display here at King John’s Castle, including a pistol used in the 17th century siege of the castle. We are delighted to be able to offer the children an opportunity to experience the excitement of uncovering ancient treasures for themselves,” says John Ruddle, Chief Executive, Shannon Heritage.

Also on the day, the winners of the recent King John’s Castle Warhorse Schools Competition were announced. Students were invited to come up with a design concept for decorating the live size warhorse, a piece of art which has been drawing much attention from visitors to the Castle. The winners were: Conor Hourigan from JKF Memorial School and Sally-Ann Kirby of Laurel Hill Colaiste.
“We undertook the competition as part of the launch of our new Education Suite and Programme designed to enhance school tour visits to the Castle and we are very excited with the positive feedback to our new facility,” says Linda Hall, Shannon Heritage Education Co-ordinator at King John’s Castle.

The castle’s new education suite and associated programmes facilitate educational assess at all levels in a practical and fun environment. The programme now enables teachers and groups leaders to access the new Education webpage on the Shannon Heritage website at

For further information please contact:
Nandi O’Sullivan – 086-2371519. Email: