Thursday, 12 November 2020

Visiting the cathedrals
and churches in Limerick
city and county

Inside Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick … marked its 850th anniversary in 2018 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017; click on image for full-screen vision)

Patrick Comerford

Since moving to the Rectory in Askeaton, Co Limerick, I have enjoyed visiting cathedrals, churches and church buildings in Limerick city and county, writing about them and photographing them.

As the years move on, it has become difficult for some readers to find these postings on this site, and my last listing of these churches and buildings, fist compiled on 1 June 2017, had not been updated since 1 January 2019. Since then, the number of churches and church sites I have visited has continued to grow. So this posting offers links to these and similar postings.

I plan to delete the earlier list later this evening, and intend to update this list as I write about more churches and buildings, indicating the date of the latest update at the end of this posting, and to provide an additional link in the toolbar in the banner at the top of the front page of this site.

Limerick City:

Cathedrals:

1, Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick (Church of Ireland), 23 February 2016; and here, 19 February 2016.

2, Saint Mark’s Chapel and the mediaeval chapels in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick, 2 August 2019.

3, Saint John’s Cathedral, Limerick (Roman Catholic), 26 May 2017.

Church of Ireland Churches:

4, Saint Michael’s Church, Pery Square, 3 January 2018.

5, Saint John’s Church, John’s Square, 27 May 2017.

6, Saint Munchin’s Church, Church Street, 27 May 2017.

7, Saint Nicholas Church (site), Nicholas Street, 22 May 2017.

8, Trinity Episcopal Church, Catherine Street, 13 February 2017.

9, Site of former Saint George’s Church, corner of George’s Street and Mallow Street, 10 January 2018.

10, Saint Michael’s Church, Pery Square, 3 January 2018.

11, The windows in Saint Michael’s Church, Pery Square, Limerick, 22 March 2018.

12, Kilmurry Church, Castletroy, 13 February 2018.

Roman Catholic Churches:

13, Church of the Sacred Heart (Jesuit), The Crescent, 28 April 2017.

14, Mount Saint Alphonsus (Redemptorist), Upper Henry Street, 3 June 2017.

15, Saint Michael’s Church, Denmark Street, 24 August 2017.

16, Saint Augustine’s Church, O’Connell Street, 2 June 2017.

17, Saint Mary’s Church, Athlunkard Street, 5 August, 2017.

18, Saint Saviour’s Church (Dominican), Glentworth Street, 31 May 2017.

19, Saint Munchin’s Church, on the corner of Clancy Strand, High Road and Thomondgate, Limerick, 4 November 2017.

20, The Good Shepherd Convent, former chapel and convent, Clare Street, Limerick, 16 September 2017.

21, Mount Vincent, former chapel and convent, the Sisters of Mercy, 18 September 2017.

22, Former private chapel, Ozanam House, Hartstonge House, 10 January 2018.

23, Former Franciscan Church and Friary, Henry Street, 12 January 2018.

24, Saint Joseph’s Church, Quinlan Street and O’Connell Avenue, 13 January 2018.

25, Saint Patrick’s Church, Clare Street, 17 March 2018.

Other Churches:

26, Saint Munchin’s Church or Kilrush Church, Old Church Road, off the North Circular Road, Limerick, 13 July 2019.

27, Peter’s Cell, the Canonesses of Saint Augustine, 18 July 2018.

28, The ruins of Saint Patrick’s Church, Kilmurry, 17 March 2018.

29, Baptist Church, Upper O’Connell Street, 18 March 2017.

30, Christ Church, O’Connell Street (Methodist and Presbyterian), 8 June 2017.

31, Presbyterian Church, Glentworth Street, 15 February 2017.

32, Presbyterian Church, Henry Street, 15 February 2017.

33, Christ Church (Methodist and Presbyterian), O’Connell Street, 8 June 2017.

34, Former Quaker Meeting House, Cecil Street, 24 August 2017.

35, Former Congregationalist Chapel, Hartstonge Street, 11 January, 2018.

36, The Brethren Hall, Mallow Street, 11 January 2018.

Other faith communities:

37, The Jewish Community sites in Limerick, including the former synagogues and the cemetery, 2 July 2017.

38, The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Lower Gerald Griffin Street, 30 December 2017.

Co Limerick:

Church of Ireland:

39, Castletown Church, Kilcornan, 21 May 2017.

40, Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale, 2 March 2017.

41, Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, 27 January 2017.

42, Saint Nicholas Church, Adare, 7 February 2011.

43, The windows in Saint Nicholas’s Church, Adare, 24 March 2018.

44, The former Saint Paul’s Church, Glin, 9 September 2017.

45, The site of Saint Thomas’s Church, Newcastle West, 11 September 2017.

46, Former parish church, Ballingarry, 2 November 2017.

47, Former parish church, Croagh, 2 November 2018.

48, Former parish church, Ballycahane, 26 November 2017.

49, Former Saint David’s Church, Newcastle West, 9 October 2018.

50, The former Saint Munchin’s Church, Bruree, 8 January 2019.

51, The former ‘New Church’ on the shores of Lough Gur, 6 July 2019.

52, All Saints’ Church, Stradbally, 25 April 2020.

53, The former parish church, Rathronan, near Aradgh, 24 September 2019, and churchyard, 23 September 2019.

54, The former parish church, Foynes, 7 July 2020.

55, The former parish church, Shanagolden, 7 July 2020.

56, The former Kilmoylan Church, near Shanagolden, 18 August 2020.

57, The Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Kilmallock, 14 October 2020.

58, Croom Parish Church, 16 October 2020.

59, Saint John’s Church, Abington, 20 October 2020.

60, The former parish church, Dunmoylan, 17 November 2020.

Pre-Reformation foundations:

61, Augustinian Abbey, Rathkeale, 17 February 2017.

62, Franciscan Friary, Askeaton, 24 January 2017.

63, Holy Trinity Church, Adare, 11 October 2018.

64, Knights’ Templar Commandery, Askeaton, 23 January 2017.

65, Mungret Abbey, Mungret, 31 March 2017.

66, Former Priory of the Knights Templar, Ballingarry, 31 October 2017.

67, Beagh Church, near Ballysteen, 21 March 2018.

68, Former Augustinian friary, Croagh, 2 November 2018.

69, The church ruins, Robertstown, 4 November 2019.

70, The Abbey and church ruins, Castletown Conyers, 13 December 2019.

71, The Collegiate Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Kilmallock, 13 October 2020.

72, The Dominican Priory, Kilmallock, 13 October 2020.

73, The church ruins and round tower at Dysert Oenghusa, near Croom, 17 October 2020.

74, Mediaeval church ruins, Killeen Cowpark, near Askeaton, 28 October 2020.

75, The site of Saint Cornan’s Church, Castletown, 29 October 2020.

76, The church ruins and graves at Kilbradran, 11 November 2020.

Roman Catholic:

77, Church of Saint Columba and Saint Joseph, Glenstal Abbey, 10 July 2018.

78, Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, 30 January 2017.

79, Saint Mary’s Church, Rathkeale, 14 March 2017.

80, Saint Senanus Church, Foynes, 20 March 2017

81, Saint Senan’s Church, Robertsown, 25 March 2017.

82, The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Ballingarry, 2 November 2017.

83, The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Glin, 9 September 2017.

84, Saint Joseph’s Church, Castleconnell, Co Limerick, 20 December 2017.

85, The Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Kilmallock, 22 April 2019.

86, Saint Patrick’s Church, Ballysteen, 22 July 2019.

87, The Church of Our Lady of the Snows, Broadford, 29 July 2019.

88, Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Dromcollogher, 29 July 2019.

89, The Church of Saint John the Baptist, Nicker, near Pallasgreen, 5 August 2019.

90, Saint Brigid’s Church, Dromkeen, 6 August 2019.

91, The Church of the Holy Trinity, Templeglantine, 14 September 2019.

92, The Church of Saint Oliver Plunkett, Mungret, 6 January 2020.

93, The Church of Saint John the Baptist, Kilcornan, 5 February, 2020.

94, Saint Molua’s Church, Ardagh, 6 February 2020.

95, The Church of the Assumption, Loughill, 6 February 2020.

96, Saint Senan’s Church, Shangolden, 18 August 2020.

97, The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Bruree, 14 October 2020.

98, Saint Mary’s Church, Croom, 17 October 2020.

99, The Church of the Holy Rosary, Murroe, 20 October 2020.

100, Former Saint Anne’s Convent, Sisters of Mercy, Rathkeale, December 2017.

101, Former Oblate Chapel, Cahermoyle House, Ardagh, 8 November 2020.

Methodist Churches:

102, The Methodist Church, Adare, Co Limerick, 26 May 2018.

103, Embury and Heck Memorial Methodist Church, Ballingrane, 15 May 2017.

Church-related buildings:

Limerick City:

1, Bishop’s Palace, Church Street, 24 May 2017.

2, Bishop’s Palace, Henry Street, 11 February 2017.

3, Protestant Orphan Society Hall, Pery Street.

Co Limerick:

4, Askeaton Rectory, 14 February 2017.

5, Castletown Glebehouse, 21 May 2017.

6, Glebe Castle, Rathkeale, probably the residence of the rectors and clergy of Rathkeale, 27 June 2017.

Other faith communities:

7,The Sikh community in Co Limerick, 11 September 2019.

Inside Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

Last updated: 17 November 2020

Five sculptures that
celebrate how hurling is
both a sport and an art

Sculptures and statues in Wexford, Kilkenny and Limerick celebrate the truth that hurling is both a sport and an art (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2020)

Patrick Comerford

My favourite sports are rugby and cricket – and if armchair spectators are counted in too, then soccer too. I am looking forward to a new tournament getting off to start with Ireland v Wales on Friday evening, and have been delighted with Aston Villa’s performance so far this season.

But since my childhood I have also had an enthusiasm for hurling, nurtured by kind uncles who brought me to see Waterford and Wexford playing.

I could never understand Gaelic football, but it was impossible to grow up in the south-east without being infected with the all-pervading enthusiasm for hurling.

This weekend promises to be gripping one for anyone interested in hurling, and I shall be keeping a keen eye on the performances of Wexford, Waterford, Limerick and Kilkenny.

During my ‘road trips’ in summer and autumn, I saw again a number of sculptures and statues that celebrate the truth that hurling is not only a sport but an art too.

The statue of Nicky Rackard on Selskar Square in Wexford (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2020)

The statue of Nicky Rackard, Wexford’s best-known hurler, is unusual because he is on one foot only. The statue on Selskar Square shows Wexford’s most famous sporting son in a typical all-action pose, sliotar in one hand, hurley in the other.

Nicky Rackard was the hurling hero of the 1950s and one of the greatest hurlers of all time. He is the leading championship goal scorer of all time with 59, and won two all-Ireland hurling titles with Wexford.

He played both hurling and football for Wexford from 1942 to 1957. With his brothers, he helped Wexford to two All-Irelands in the 1950s. He and his team are credited with revolutionising the game of hurling as the lifted Wexford to the top of the game. He died in 1976.

Wexford Borough Council commissioned the Ludlow-based portrait sculptor Mark Richards to cast a larger than life-size statue of Rackard in his hurling prime.

Mark Richards specialises in fine figurative work. He was taught by AJ Ayres who, in turn, had worked with Eric Gill. Johannes von Stumm, Past President of the Royal Society of Sculptors, describes him as ‘one of the finest figure and portrait sculptors in Great Britain.’ The €120,000 commission was funded through the Per Cent for Art scheme.

The sculptor travelled to Wexford to meet Rackard’s children and to learn about hurling. He also met Kevin Gore, ‘who showed me how to hold a hurl and hurler maker Philip Doyle, who made me a hurl like the one that Nicky would have used in the 1950s, so as to be accurate as possible.’

The statue was unveiled in Selskar Square, just off North Main Street and close to Selskar Abbey, in March 2012 as part of the Set the Heather Blazing Festival. It has been a very popular feature in the town centre since then.

Sadly, the statue has since suffered from bouts of damage since, and it has been fenced off a number of times when his hurley was damaged and repair works were carried out.

The ‘Pride of Kilkenny’ by Barry Wrafter in Kilkenny (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2020)

The ‘Pride of Kilkenny’ is a sculpture by Barry Wrafter on Canal Square in Kilkenny honouring Kilkenny’s hurlers. It was more than three years in the making and was unveiled on 26 May 2016.

This work beside John’s Bridge is a four-metre high, two-tonne sculpture. It shows three hurlers, in black and amber, with hurleys and helmets, reaching for a sliotar.

The sculptor Barry Wrafter from Ennis, Co Clare, has been immersed in the stone trade since his youth. The Wrafter family has been in the trade dating since the 18th century. They were renowned sculptors and have the distinction of being mentioned in Seamus Murphy’s book Stone Mad.

Wrafter has stressed that his sculpture, the ‘Pride of Kilkenny,’ does not depict a particular player, although the player fielding the sliothar bears a striking resemblance to Tommy Walsh.

The Kilkenny hurlers have won the All-Ireland Senior Championship 36 times. This ‘testament to both hurling’ was unveiled by the Kilkenny Senior Hurling manager Brian Cody.

Mick Mackey in a characteristic solo-run pose in Castleconnell (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2020)

A life-sized bronze statue of the Limerick hurler Mick Mackey (1912-1982) was unveiled by the President of the GAA, Liam O’Neill, in Castleconnell, Co Limerick, in May 2013.

The Clare-based sculptor Séamus Connolly, best known for his life-size statues of Richard Harris and John B Keane, was commissioned for the statue depicting Mackey in a characteristic solo-run pose.

Mackey is considered one of the all-time hurling greats. He was born in Castleconnell in 1912 and became known for his strength and skill on the pitch with Ahane GAA club. During his playing career over 20 years, he won three All-Ireland titles, five Munster championships, five National League titles and eight Railway Cup medals. He is also credited as the inventor of the solo-run in hurling.

He received the Texaco Hall of Fame Award in 1961 for his outstanding contribution to hurling. He was honoured again in 1980 with the inaugural All-Time All-Star Award. He died in 1982. Two years later he was named at centre-forward on the Centenary Team and in 2000 was chosen at number 11 on the team of the Millennium that also featured Christy Ring.

The Mick Mackey Stand at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick was completed in 1988. Limerick County Council also named a roundabout on the main Limerick to Dublin road after the legendary hurler.

Jackie Power (1916-1994), the ‘Prince of Hurlers,’ in Annacotty, Co Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2020)

Jackie Power (1916-1994), known in Co Limerick as the ‘Prince of Hurlers,’ is commemorated with a statue near the mill and square in Annacotty, Co Limerick – the former Irish rugby international Peter Clohessy is also from Annacotty.

Jackie Power was born in Annacotty in 1916. He was prominent in hurling from 1933 to 1949, winning medals at club, county and province level. He also played Gaelic football. He died in 1994.

The life-size bronze statue of Jackie Power was erected in Annacotty in 1996. The inscription on the plinth of reads:

Jackie Power
The Prince of Hurlers
With Ahane, Limerick and Munster

Jackie was a hurling artist whose amazing skill technique courage dedication and sportsmanship ensured his place amongst hurling immortals
.

‘Ruck and Puck’ on O’Connell Street, Limerick, celebrates Limerick’s obsession with hurling and rugby (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

‘Ruck and Puck’ is bronze statue outside the AIB Bank at 106 O’Connell Street, Limerick, and represents Limerick’s two sporting obsessions – hurling and rugby.

The initiative for this sport monument was taken by bank manager Paddy O’Callaghan.

This bronze statue of a rugby player and a hurler is the work of the sculptor is Robin Buick from Ballymena, Co Antrim. It was unveiled by President Mary Robinson on 18 May 1992.

A T-shirt boasting of Kilkenny’s hurling skills (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

There is a well-known T-shirt in Kilkenny that reminds people that Carlsberg does not do Hurling … but if they did, Kilkenny would probably still beat them.

I have been honoured to lift the Liam McCarthy Cup with Limerick hurlers after Limerick won the All-Ireland final in 2008.

But at the weekend, I’ll be cheering for Wexford, and then for Waterford.

Wearing the Wexford colours (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)