Help us bring Patrick Sarsfield back to Ireland!
In 1691, after having fought bravely against the army of William of Orange, Patrick Sarsfield negotiated the Treaty of Limerick and left Ireland, with thousands of Irish Jacobite soldiers who became known as the Wild Geese. Most of these soldiers, including Sarsfield himself, joined the army of the King of France, Louis XIV, and continued the fight against William of Orange and his allies on the continent. It is there, in what is nowadays Belgium, that Patrick Sarsfield died in the service of France in 1693.
In October 2020, Dr Loïc Guyon (Honorary Consul of France, Associate Professor & Head of the Department of French Studies at MIC, Limerick) decided to launch the Sarsfield Homecoming Project with one objective: to try to locate, identify and bring back to Ireland the remains of Irish national hero Patrick Sarsfield. After nearly 2.5 years of intensive research, Dr Guyon believes that he has now located the site where Sarsfield was buried. His research was published in the form of a long academic article in French, in the Annales du Cercle Hutois des Sciences & Beaux-Arts, in July 2022, and in English, in the North Munster Antiquarian Journal, in May 2023. The site identified by Dr Guyon is located in the city of Huy, in Belgium and, by an extraordinary combination of circumstances, was recently purchased by the city council of Huy. In February 2023, Dr Guyon recruited Aegis Archaeology Ltd, a Limerick-based company with 20 years of experience in conducting archaeological works, to carry out an excavation of the site. Mr Frank Coyne, Director of Aegis Archaeology Ltd, estimated the total cost of the archaeological excavation at approx. EUR90,000.
The project has so far been able to rely on the generosity of Limerick-based American company Carelon Global Solutions Ireland , but we now need your support in raising the necessary funding to bring the project to completion and, hopefully, find and repatriate Patrick Sarsfield's remains to Ireland. Alliance Française Limerick, one of the city's oldest not-for-profit organisations (registered charity number 20037222) and the co-organiser of the annual Limerick Bastille Day Wild Geese Festival, has now partnered with Dr Loïc Guyon for this exceptional fundraising initiative. All of the funding raised will go towards the implementation and promotion of the Sarsfield Homecoming Project and, in particular, towards the archaeological works. Unspent funds (if there are any), once the archaeological works are fully completed (hopefully by the end of 2024), will go towards supporting the work done by Alliance Française Limerick in promoting Limerick's Wild Geese heritage and the historical links between Ireland and France.
The latest updates on the Sarsfield Homecoming Project can be found on Dr Loïc Guyon's social media accounts (@france_midwest on Twitter and Instagram or on Dr Guyon's Facebook page or LinkedIn account ) and will be shared on Alliance Française Limerick's social media accounts (@af_limerick on Twitter and Instagram or on Alliance Française Limerick's Facebook page ). To find the latest news about the project, you can search for the hashtag #SarsfieldHomecoming.
To find out more about Alliance Française Limerick, click here.