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New coat of arms for 'ancient' city

A CITY has unveiled its new coat of arms after the original, which dates back to the 17th century, was found to be unregistered.

Chief Herald of Ireland Fergus Gillespie unveiled the coats of arms at a special meeting of Limerick City Council yesterday. The city's mayor, John Gilligan, said the local authority applied to have a grant of arms confirmed after it was discovered that the original was unregistered and unprotected from unofficial use.

"I'm honoured and delighted to receive the document vesting rights to the use of the coat of arms on behalf of the people of Limerick," Mr Gilligan said yesterday.

The new coat of arms resembles the one which it replaced. A castle with two towers and the portcullis raised are placed on top of a red shield which dates back to the 14th century. The crest, pictured, also bears the Latin motto: 'Urbs Antiqua Fuit Studiisque Asperrima Belli' which means 'An ancient city well versed in the arts of war'.

Mr Gillespie said yesterday's ceremony was "one of the most important things he has done in his career to date and an absolute honour".

"It was felt by Mayor Gilligan that it was time to set the city's coat of arms in stone by putting together a legal description and by confirming it by means of patent," Mr Gillespie said.

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