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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
© 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.

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