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    This oil by John Frederick Herring senior will be at Conal Meyler’s stand at the National Antique Fair in Limerick today and tomorrow.

    In terms of antiques, vintage and collectible items Limerick has it all this weekend.  Whether you choose to walk, drive, canter or gallop to Limerick Racecourse it is the place to be for an enormous indoor gathering of the Irish antique trade.Despite the size of the facility organiser Robin O’Donnell has been forced to limit dealer attendance as he is inundated with requests from people wanting to be part of it.The racecourse has proven to be an ideal venue for Ireland’s biggest antiques, art and vintage fair, extremely popular with both dealers and the public.  This is the fourth two day event to be held here by Hibernian Antique Fairs. This time around around 80 dealers will be in attendance.There will be some new faces present at a fair offering a vast range spanning everything from art and antique furniture to jewellery, sculpture, silver, vintage fashion and accessories, glass, porcelain, vintage toys, coins, banknotes, militaria and all sorts of other collectibles.Fairs are the go to place when shopping for antiques.  It is very difficult to maintain an antique shop and the cost of overheads has led to closures.  Retail is struggling in our era.Robin O’Donnell has been running these events since 1988.  The first one was at the former Jurys Hotel on the Ennis Road.  Later it moved to the former Limerick Inn also on the Ennis Road then to the South Court Hotel. There is room for expansion at Limerick Racecourse where upper floors could be made available.  This is likely to be  something that someone younger will have to take on.  New blood is needed to sell old stuff. Robin O’Donnell reckons the time is right for a new generation to bring it to the next level.Treasures Irish Art of Athlone will be among a number of dealers showing art and sculpture, there are various antique furniture specialists and no shortage of jewellery, silver, old Irish glass, porcelain and collectibles as well as Rolex watches, vintage fashion, hats and accessories.  It is a fair with something for everyone with a tremendous range of items across varying price brackets available all weekend.  Opening times are from 11 am to 6 pm today and tomorrow.

    Some opal rings among the baubles at Courtville Antiques

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