According to Lenihan, the Jesuits first came to Limerick in 1560 when
a member of that order, Fr Woulfe returned here, to his birthplace, as
Papal Nuncio 'to the most illustrious princes and to the whole kingdom
of Ireland'. The Jesuits opened a classics school, which had an oratory
in Limerick after 1575. The order also had a chapel in Castle Lane, which
dates from 1642. Near the junction of the Crescent and Newenham Street
there is a stone from this chapel with the date 1634 inscribed on it.
© Stone on Newenham Street
Begley states that the Jesuits fled the city after the Siege
of Limerick in 1691, but returned in 1728. Later the community had a house
in Jail Lane in 1766. The school was forced to close in 1773 at the time
of the Suppression.
Bishop Ryan invited the Jesuits to return to Limerick in 1859 to supervise
the new St Munchin's College. They moved into 1 Hartstonge St and opened
a school and oratory there. In 1862 the college moved to Mungret to make
way for a new church at the Crescent.
For a more complete history of the Jesuit order in Limerick, you should
consult History of Limerick by Maurice Lenihan, pp.661-675.