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   St Mary's   History

View of the Abbey Bridge
© View of the Abbey Bridge

Welcome to St Mary's!

St Mary's parish is probably the oldest of the five original parishes of Limerick City. It was in existence before the Synod of Rathbrassill in 1111 AD. It was in this year that the then parochial Church of St Mary's was raised to the level of a Cathedral by the Bishop of Limerick, Gilbert. Nowadays, the parish contains King John's Island and includes a part of Corbally. It was divided in 1991 when Bishop Jeremiah Newman created the parish of St Nicholas' to accommodate the rising population in the area. The population of St Mary's parish is around 6,000.

With the coming of the Reformation, the Cathedral became the property of the Church of Ireland. Today, the Roman Catholic Cathedral is located in St John's Parish.

Within the parish bounds is King John's Castle, which was built between 1200 and 1210. Today the castle is a popular tourist attraction.

If you wish to go to a particular section, click on the buttons in the navigation panel on the left. Otherwise, use the arrows on either side of the heading to navigate your way page-by-page through the site.

Text-only version: Click here for a text-only, accessible version of this parish history.

St Mary's parish today: Get more information on the Limerick Diocese website.

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