Our Lady of the Rosary Church
© Our Lady of the Rosary Church
Our Lady of the Rosary church is situated on the Ennis Road.
It was built in 1950 as a chapel of ease to St Munchin's parish church.
The builders were P. Molloy & Sons. McCormick and Corr designed the
church. At the time of construction, it was decided to erect a structure,
which could be built quickly, and if necessary could be dismantled and
re-assembled elsewhere as the area expanded. The church was designed in
a long rectangular plan measuring 115 feet by 34 feet. It was constructed
with a light steel frame and external weatherboarding. The roof is made
from a steel-framed inclined lattice girder, which was assembled on the
ground by welding.
© Altar in Our Lady of the Rosary Church
Bishop Dr. Patrick O'Neill opened the church in December
1950. The church was extended in 1955 and again in 1976 when a fire partially
destroyed the sacristy area. Instead of timber, brick was used in the
extension but to blend in with the existing building, the brick was covered
over with creosoted weatherboard. Bishop Jeremiah Newman opened the new
extension on April 29 1979 according to a plaque in the right porch. The
architects were McMahon, McMahon & Hickey and the builders were the
© Our Lady of Fatima
Outside the church on the tower, there is a life-size statue
in white teak of Our Lady of Fatima, carved by Oisín Kelly. The
timber altar originally had a large dorsal in rich folds of maroon and
gold hanging from a tester at ceiling level. The sanctuary area has since
been modified to accommodate stained glass windows from St Mary's Convent.
The stained glass window over the high altar depicts (from left to right)
the biblical story of Suffer Little Children, the Assumption and the Sacred
Heart and Margaret Mary. The window of the Little Children is to the memory
of Margaret Kelly and was donated by her children. The window of the Assumption
is to the memory of Mary Anne & Thomas McNamara, and was erected by
their son Thomas.
© Stained Glass Windows from
the Sisters of Mercy convent
Margaret and Marianne Kelly donated the window of the Sacred
Heart and Margaret Mary to the Sisters of Mercy in December 1885. The
Sisters of Mercy in St Mary's Convent gave these windows to Our Lady of
the Rosary parish in 1993. Mayer of Munich made these windows.
In 1993, the silver hanging sanctuary lamp made by Br. Benedict Tutty
was removed and so far it has not been possible to trace its present whereabouts.
On the front of the high altar, there are five panels, carved by Bríd
Rynne. They are (from left to right) Abraham sacrificing the lamb, Manna
from Heaven, the Last Supper, the Wedding at Cana and the Miracle of the
Loaves and Fishes.
© Statues in Our Lady of the Rosary Church
Behind the altar on the left, there is a statue of the Sacred
Heart while on the right; there is a statue of Our Lady of the Rosary.
Yvonne Jammet, a French carver who resided in Ireland, made these statues.
Fr Seamus Power PP presented the Presidential Chair on the right in memory
of his parents John and Lena Power.
In the right porch, there is a plaque to Christy Barry, who was parish
clerk in the church from 1952 until his death in 1998. In the main porch,
there is a plaque to Tony Doherty, who died on December 9 1963 in London.
His colleagues in BOAC at London Airport erected the plaque to his memory.
As a child, Tony had been an altar boy in the church.
© Deposition from the Cross
There is a plaster cast of the Deposition from the Cross
above the main door of the church. The original statue was originally
in the Tait Gallery in London but it was later transferred to Campion
Hall, a Jesuit house in the UK. The sculptor of the piece was Andrew O'Connor.
On the left wall of the church, there are five paintings by Fr Jack Hanlon.
The paintings depict (from the back of the church) St Patrick, Pope Pius
X, the Holy Family, St Brigid and St Oliver Plunkett.
© Paintings by Fr Jack Hanlon
Thomas Quinn made the baptismal font, which was designed
by Liam McCormick. There is a depiction of John the evangelist by Oisín
Kelly on this. The symbol of John the evangelist is a phoenix. Beside
the baptistery font, there is a triptych stained glass window, which has
the Baptism of Christ made by Evie Hone as its centerpiece. The other
panels, made by John and Roisín Murphy, depict the Nativity and
© Baptismal Font
To the right of the altar, there is a picture of the Immaculate
Conception. The tabernacle is also situated to the right of the altar.
The copper silver plated tabernacle was made by Br. Benedict Tutty of
Glenstal Abbey. The cast decorative motif, which includes a ruby, has
also been attributed to Oisin Kelly.
There is a chapel at the top of the church for choirs. A
stained glass window of the Eucharist is at the front of this chapel.
The craftsmen of Oberammergau who performed the Passion Play of 1950 carved
the Stations of the Cross. The stations are in this choir chapel.
© Stained Glass Windows in Our Lady of the Rosary Church
On the right of the church, there are six stained glass
windows. They depict (from the back of the church) the Resurrection, the
Finding of Jesus in the Temple, the Holy Family, the Adoration of the
Magi, the Betrothal of Mary and Joseph and the Annunciation. The Abbey
Stained Glass Company in Dublin made these windows. They were erected
in the church in 1979.
© Statue of Mother and Child
At the back of the church on the left, there is a statue
of St Anne by Eamonn Costello while on the right, there is a statue of
the Madonna and Child by Limerick man James Clancy. The vase beside the
statue was part of the original furnishings of the church.
© 16th Century Spanish Crucifix
Photograph by Evan Morrisey
In the past, a late 16th century Spanish crucifix was over
the high altar but now it is in the sacristy of the church. John Hunt
Senior gave this crucifix to the church. Two carved figures, by Imogen
Stuart, depicting the Annunciation hung on either side of the north entrance
to the church. However, during renovations, these figures were taken down
© 'The Annunciation'
Photograph by Evan Morrisey
The church of Our Lady of the Rosary and its contents occupy
a significant place in the history of Irish ecclesiastical art. The 'Shell
Guide to Ireland of 1967' rates the church as "one of the more significant
recent contributions to Irish Ecclesiastical Architecture and Art".
The building is also a listed heritage building in the City Development
Plan of Limerick Corporation.