St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick , also known as Limerick Cathedral , is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Limerick, Ireland, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is in the ecclesiastical province of Dublin. Former Cathedral of the Diocese of Limerick, it is now one of three cathedrals in the United Dioceses of Limerick and Kill.

Ecclesiastical History

From the foundation of the Irish Reformation

Limerick Cathedral (St Mary’s) is dedicated to the Virgin Mary was founded in 1168 and is the oldest building in Limerick that are in everyday use. [1] It is the only complete uppsättningenmisericords left in Ireland. [2]

In 1111, the Synod of Ráth Breasail decided to “St. Mary’s Church” would be the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Limerick. According to tradition Domnall Mór Ua Briain, the last king of Munster Founded the present cathedral on the site of his palace at Kings Island in 1168. [3] The palace was built on the site of the Viking meeting place, or “Thingmote” – the Vikings’ most western European stronghold. [1 ] This had been the center of government in the early Middle Ages Viking town. Parts of the castle can be incorporated into the current structure of the cathedral, especially the great west door, which tradition claims was the original main entrance to the Royal Palace. [4] West door is now used only on ceremonial occasions. [5] The bishops of Limerick for centuries knocked on the door and through it as part of his installation ceremony. According to tradition, during the many sieges of Limerick defenders of the city used the stones around the western door to sharpen their swords and arrows, and the marks they made in stone can be seen there today. [5]

The tower of St Mary’s Cathedral was added in the 14th century. It rises to 120 feet (36.58 meters).

From the Irish Reformation of the 19th century

There are five chandeliers, hanging from the ceiling. These only lit on special occasions. The larger three of the five were in Dublin and presented in 1759 by Limerick Corporation. [4] The bell tower has a peal of eight bells, six of which were presented by William Yorke, mayor of Limerick in 1673. An active team of bell ringing traveling the country to compete in other campanologists. [1] St. Mary’s got his organ in 1624, when bishop Bernard Adams donated a. It has been built over the centuries and last renovated in 1968 and 2005.

In 1620 the English-born Judge Luke Gernon, lives in Limerick, wrote a flattering description of the cathedral:

“Not great, but GRACEFUL, and the Bishop of Providence rather embellished in, and delightfully served with singing and agencies” . [6]

During the Irish Confederacy war, the cathedral was short in Catholic hands.The Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Arthur, buried in the Cathedral of 1646th

In 1651, after Oliver Cromwell’s forces captured Limerick, the cathedral was used as a stable by the Parliamentary army. This abuse was short-lived, but was a similar fate struck by some of the other great cathedrals during the Cromwellian campaign in Ireland. [5] The troops also removed the cathedral’s original 13 feet before the Reformation altar of the cathedral. Altar was only found in the 1960’s. It is the largest such altar in Ireland and Britain, carved from a single limestone block. [3] The altar is now no longer used for communion services, but is still in its historic place in what is now the chapel of the Virgin Mary.

In 1691, the cathedral suffered great damage, especially on the east end, over Williamite Siege of Limerick. After the Treaty of Limerick, William granted £ 1,000 towards repairs. There are cannonballs 1691 in Glentworth Chapel inside. [4]

From the 19’s to the 20’s

In 1968, the Irish government ordered two stamps to commemorate the cathedral’s 800 year anniversary. An image of one of the stamps shown above. In 1991 there was a major £ 2.5 million restoration program that ended in 1996 with the excavation and restoration of the floor and installation of underfloor heating. [1] Restoration continues today to a lesser extent.

From the 20th century to the 21st century

Today, the cathedral is still used for its original purpose as a place of worship and prayer for the people of Limerick. It is open to the public every day 8:30 to 5:30. After the retirement of Sir Maurice Very Rev’d June 24, 2012 announced Bishop Trevor Williams appointment of Rev’d Sandra Ann Pragnell as Dean of Limerick and Rector of Limerick City Parish. She is the first female dean of the cathedral and rector of the parish of Limerick. The cathedral grounds is UN Memorial Plaque with the names of all those Irish men who died while serving in UN peacekeepers. [7]

See also

  • Dean of Limerick, and Ardfert List of deans in Limerick (and Ardfert)


  1. ^ Jump up to: abcd Harvey, Rev. Patrick and Moloney, Donal. A Guide to the Cathedral Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Limerick. Limerick. Print.
  2. Jump up ^ “St Mary’s Cathedral – Church of Ireland • churches” 07.23.2004. Pulled 01/12/2015.
  3. ^ Jump up to: ab Talbot, very Rev. Maurice. Monument of St. Mary’s Cathedral. Print.
  4. ^ Jump up to: abc Mulvin, Linda. History of the Cathedral of St. Mary of Limerick.
  5. ^ Jump up to: abc “St. Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick | Church of Ireland “ Pulled 01/12/2015.
  6. Jump up ^ Gernon, Luke A Discourse of Ireland in 1620, edited by CL Falkiner 1904
  7. Jump up ^ “UN Memorial Garden, St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick.” Pulled 01/12/2015.