An Inter-Faith Walking Tour of Limerick
The mosque in Dooradoyle, the site of former synagogues on Wolfe Tone Street, and the old Jewish cemetery in Castletroy were all visiting points during an Interfaith Walking Tour in Limerick organised as part of the diocesan Ministry Training and Education programme on 12th February.
The group of clergy and readers met at the Limerick Islamic Cultural Centre and Mosque at Old Dooradoyle Road, established by local Muslims in Limerick. The centre is a converted detached, single-storey bungalow on the Dooradoyle Road, across from the Crescent College Comprehensive. Jumu’ah (congregational) prayers are performed at this mosque each Friday and members also receive Quran lessons.
The group then visited places associated with Limerick’s Jewish Community in Limerick, which was once centred on the Wolfe Tone Street area. Although there is no formal Jewish community centre in the Mid-West region today, a number of Jewish families and individuals are living in the area.
Jews began to settle in Limerick in about 1881, and for a period in the 1890s there were two congregations at Nos. 63 and 72 Wolfe Tone Street, then known as Collooney Street. The sites visited included No 18 Wolfe Tone Street, where Limerick’s rabbi lived from 1889, and the former Model School where the Jaffe and Stein families were beaten up in 1892, the former synagogue at Hillview on Wolfe Tone Street, and the site of the former Ashkenazi Orthodox synagogue at 63 Wolfe Tone Street.
From the former Model School on O’Connell Avenue, the group visited the Redemptorist Church at Mount Saint Alphonsus, where Father James Creagh of the Redemptorists preached his violent anti-Semitic sermons in 1904. The boycott that followed caused serious suffering and hardship among the Jews of Limerick.
After lunch in Annacotty, the group visited the Jewish Cemetery in Castletroy which is maintained voluntarily by Limerick Civic Trust. The graves visited include the grave of Limerick’s last rabbi, Simon Gewurtz from Bratislava and the grave of Stuart Clein, who died on 5 March 2012 and who was the last person buried in the cemetery.
At the end of the day, the group also visited Kilmurry, a closed Church of Ireland parish church in the Castletroy area.
The next training day is on Monday 12 March 2018, in the Rectory, Askeaton, Co Limerick, on the topic ‘Maintaining a sustaining a life of prayer.’ Two sessions are offered: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
This full-page news report is published in the March 2018 edition of ‘Newslink,’ the magazine of the Church of Ireland United Dioceses of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert (p. 12)