Clarion Hotel Limerick
Phone: (353) 61 444100
Fax: (353) 61 444101
In 1650 Fr. David Wolfe, a native of Limerick, who had known Saint Ignatius Loyola in Rome, came to Ireland as Papal Nuncio. He established a church and school in Limerick. Fr. Wolfe himself was executed in 1588. However, the Jesuits managed to maintain their connection with Limerick through some bad times. In 1859 they opened their school in the Crescent and in 1869 their present church was opened and dedicated to the Sacred Heart. The facade dates from 1900 and the church is well decorated inside. The side altar of Our Lady of Lourdes was the first such in Ireland. In the 1960s the adjoining Crescent College was closed, and the teaching staff moved to a modern comprehensive school in the southern suburbs.
St. Alphonsus founded the Redemptorists order in 1732 in Italy. In 1854 they moved to their present home in the city of Limerick and became known locally as "The Fathers". Thomas Hardwick designed Mount St. Alphonsus and William Corbett built it of local limestone in 12th-century Gothic style. The church has highly decorated side chapels, which were later additions. There are beautiful mosaic walls, stained glass windows, a host of statues and ornamental floors. The church is famous for its annual novena held in June, which attracts a very large congregation.
The Presbyterian community in Limerick dates from the 1640s. Their earlier churches were located in the old English town. In 1817 they built a church of cut stone in Upper Glentworth Street, close to the Dominican Church, but set well back from the present building line. However, due to the large number of Scottish soldiers stationed in Limerick at the end of the nineteenth century, the present fine church opened in 1901. The older church is now a printing works. The later church was lately deconsecrated and the Presbyterian and Methodist communities now worship in Christ Church on O'Connell Street. The former Presbyterian Church in Henry Street, near Jury's Inn, has been converted internally into offices, but as it is a listed building, the magnificent external construction of red brick and Portland stone has thankfully remained intact.
Built in 1838 by the Pery Square Tontine Company, this row of six terraced houses is regarded as the foremost surviving example of Georgian architecture in Ireland today. Most of the original woodwork, plasterwork and marbling remain intact in these beautifully preserved buildings. The impressive front doorways are expertly crafted from cut limestone. Other examples of Georgian architectural features can be found in the rear gardens. Ring for further details.
O'Connell Street is the main road through Limerick and is named after Daniel O'Connell, a political leader who died in 1847. Although the name is serious, this street is known for being fun because of its shopping and restaurants. Department stores, such as Roches Stores and Brown Thomas, as well as unique shops, such as O'Mahony's Bookstore and White Gold, line the street. Don't forget to grab a drink and a bite to eat at nearby Brazen Head Sports Bar as well.
The Augustinians are the longest-established religious order in Limerick. They have been here since 1215, in the Fish Lane area of what was the old English town. They stayed there until they were expelled during the reign of Henry VIII. Thereafter they had a precarious existence in the city until they returned to Fish Lane in 1740. However, they moved again, to nearby Creagh Lane in 1788. The Augustinians acquired an ailing theatre in 1823, located on their present location, and adapted it for use as a church. This stood until the present church was opened in 1942. This building is of Hiberno-Romanesque design, in carved limestone. It occupies a prominent position in O'Connell Street. An engraved lintel stone from the old Fish Lane priory is inserted into the front wall, facing O'Connell Street.
The Franciscan Church is situated in Lower Henry Street, close to Sarsfield Bridge. The Franciscans had settled in Limerick in the late 13th century in Jail Lane, outside the city walls in the old English town. Although expelled during the Reformation, they managed to continue to meet secretly in Limerick. In 1782 they opened a friary in Newgate Lane, near the present City Hall. In 1824 they moved to their present location in Henry Street, close to the site of Wellesley Bridge, (now Sarsfield Bridge), which was not yet built. The present church was commenced on this site in 1876 and opened in 1886. It is of neo-classical design, featuring a portico of Corinthian columns, which project over the pavement. The mosaic over the High Altar is a replica of that in the Franciscan church in Assisi.
On the approach into the city of Limerick you cross over one of the city's most famous bridges, from which spectacular views of the cityscape can be seen. To the right appear the buildings of medieval Limerick city itself and to the left you can see the Curragower Falls. Sarsfield Bridge spans the broad River Shannon. Built in the early to mid-19th century, the bridge was modelled on the Pont Neuilly on the River Seine at Paris. It was named Sarsfield Bridge in memory of the heroic defender of Limerick, General Patrick Sarsfield, who was responsible for lifting the first siege of Limerick in 1690.
The Tait clock was erected in 1867 as a tribute to Sir Peter Tait, then Mayor of Limerick. He founded the Limerick Clothing Factory, which became a huge success and provided a considerable amount of employment. The clock itself is a Gothic octagonal tower clock, with four faces. Its silhouette enhances Limerick's skyline, and can be seen from quite a distance.
The Dominican parish church of Saint Saviour is situated in Baker Place at the upper end of Glentworth Street. The Dominicans were originally established in the old St. Dominic's Abbey, whose ruins are now preserved in the grounds of Saint Mary's convent, near King John's Castle. Though expelled in 1541, they continued in Limerick, often secretly. They returned to an open existence in 1730 and in 1815 they moved to Baker Place. The church here was renovated in 1863 and again in 1870. One of the side chapels commemorates Terence Albert O'Brien O.P. Bishop of Emly, who was hanged by the Cromwellians in 1651. This was carved in Flanders in the 17th century, and was looked after by the Dominicans during penal times.
Situated on the Ennis Road, this wooden church was designed by the Derry architectural practice, Corr and McCormick. Built in 1950, it was intended to be a temporary structure; however, it still stands today and is in excellent condition. This church also contains many examples of modern Irish Christian art. The stained glass window in the baptistry, for example, showing "The Baptism of Christ" is by Evie Hone, who also created the large window depicting "The Last Supper" and "The Crucifixion" for the chapel at Eton College. The teak statue of "Our Lady of Fatima" on the tower was carved by Oisin Kelly, who also sculpted "The Children of Lir" in Dublin's Garden of Remembrance. Other works include "The Annunciation" by Imogen Stuart; "The Deposition from the Cross" by Andrew O'Connor;" The Sacred Heart" and "Our Lady" by Yvonne Jammet; "Saint Anne" by Eamonn Costello, and a baptismal font by T. Quinn.
In the heart of the city at the end of O'Connell Street stands a full-size statue of Daniel O'Connell. O'Connell was a Member of Parliament whose main claim to fame was that he succeeded in achieving Catholic Emancipation in Ireland in 1829. In Irish history he is known as the "Liberator". The commemorative statue of this popular leader was commissioned in the early 19th century. It was designed by the Irish sculptor John Hogan. The statue is also seen in the well-known film Angela's Ashes.