The parish of St Patrick's was one of the five original medieval parishes of the city of Limerick. St Patrick's parish used to encompass the old parishes of Ballysimon/Derrygalvin and Kilmurry (now Monaleen). In 1704 St Nicholas' was a separate parish but by 1711 it had been joined with St Patrick's parish following the death of Fr Michael Dwyer. The church in Kilquane was also in the parish at Athlunkard.
In 1971, to accommodate the rising population in the area, Bishop Henry Murphy created the new parish of Monaleen from the area in the west of St Patrick's parish. The boundaries of St Patrick's parish were further reduced in 1981 when Bishop Jeremiah Newman created a new parish called Our Lady Help of Christians.
The population of the parish of St Patrick's is around 13,000.
In Medieval Limerick, there were five parishes in Limerick City; St John's, St Mary's, St Michael's, St Munchin's and St Patrick's.
In recent times, the boundaries of these parishes have been altered to form the following parishes:
St Mary's was divided into St Mary's and St Nicholas' (1991).
St Michael's was divided into St Michael's, Our Lady of Lourdes (1963), St Joseph's (1973) and St Saviour's (1973).
St Munchin's was divided into St Munchin's, Our Lady of the Rosary (1964), Christ the King (1970) and Corpus Christi (1976).
St Patrick's was divided into St Patrick's, Monaleen (1971), and Our Lady Help of Christians (1981).
St John's parish has not been altered.
St Paul's was formerly part of the parish of Mungret/Crecora and was created in 1971.
Our Lady Queen of Peace (1961) and Holy Family (1970) were formerly part of the parish of Donaghmore/Knockea.
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The present church of St Patrick's was built in 1816, during the tenure of Fr Patrick McGrath P.P. Most Rev. Charles Tuohy, Bishop of Limerick, dedicated it to St Patrick on August 25th 1816. This church is the oldest Catholic Church in Limerick City that is still in use today. It is a simple nave and transept stone church with a wooden ceiling. The church was renovated in 1835.
Outside the church on the left, there is a commemorative stone
that was blessed by Fr John Keane CC, Ballindangan. It commemorates the first
anniversary of his preaching of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration with Mr Cathal
Magee, the National Director of the P.E.A. This stone was unveiled on 12 March
Inside the church on the left there is a plaque to the memory of Archdeacon James Sadlier, who was parish priest of St Patrick's from 1976 until his death on October 19th 1992. There is also a picture of Pope John Paul II. A stained glass window of St Patrick is over the main entrance to the church.
The stained glass windows on the left-hand side of the nave
depict the Sacred Heart and St Joseph. The Fitzgibbon family donated the window
of the Sacred Heart. On the right hand side of the nave there are stained
glass windows of the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady and St Brigid. The ceiling
of the church is high and large wooden beams hold up the ceiling of the church.
The Stations of the Cross are placed around the walls of the church.
There is a large crucifix on the stone wall above the high altar. The altar was donated by the Presentation nuns and includes statues of St Columba, St Munchin, St Patrick, St Bridget, St Ita and St Lelia. The Judgement scene is carved on the front of the altar. There is a mosaic of the Saviour in the image of the Lamb with a flag on the floor in front of the altar.
To the right of the altar there is a picture of Jesus of the Divine Mercy. Further right there is a statue of St Patrick. The celebrant's chair called the sedilla is also to the right of the high altar. To the left of the altar is the baptismal font, next to which is a picture of Our Lady of Perpetual of Succour.
Above a statue of the Sacred Heart in the right transept of the church, there is a stained glass window of St Ita. In the left transept there is a stained glass window of Blessed Oliver Plunkett, beneath which there is a statue of the Mother & Child.
St Brigid's church is situated on a hill off the N7. Bishop Newman dedicated the church to St Brigid on February 9th 1975. The church was built under the leadership of Fr David Rea PP. A notice inside the main door of the church states that the first church on this hill was built after the visit of St Patrick to the area in the fifth century.
The church consists of a nave and two transepts. Over the main door of the church there is a stained glass window of St Brigid, beneath which there is a picture of Pope John Paul II.
On the right of the nave there is a picture to the Sacred Heart. On the left hand side of the church there is a plaque, similar to that in St Patrick's, to the memory of Archdeacon James Sadlier. There is also a picture to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.
In the left transept there is a statue to Mary and above which
there is a stained glass window of St Brigid's cross. In the right transept
there is a statue to St Joseph and a second stained glass window of St Brigid's
cross. There is also a shrine to the Sacred Heart and a statue of the Child
To the left of the altar there is a picture of the Immaculate Conception while to the right of the altar there is a picture of the Sacred Heart. There is a large crucifix to the left of the altar. There is a smaller crucifix in front of the altar.
The Harold family built the Pennywell church in 1750 that preceded the present church of St Patrick's.
At one time, there was a church in Singland that had a round tower but whether the tower was attached to the church or not is unclear. The church was 1 mile on the south side of the Dublin road entering the city. The tower and church were destroyed in the war of 1641. The Williamite soldiers used the stones from this church and tower in 1690 to construct battlements.
To the left of St Brigid's church, there is a graveyard. This graveyard is in a state of disrepair. John Sexton erected the oldest headstone that we came across in memory of his father who died on April 24 1770, aged 60 and his mother who died on April 10 1771, aged 61. The names of the deceased do not appear on the headstone. Some of the headstones in the graveyard are impossible to read as the writing on the headstones have faded away due to the passage of time. There are also a number of tombs in the graveyard.
St Patrick's well is situated in Singland. Danaher described the well as being in 'a small field in which are the well, the round path and three natural rocks'. Today the well is surrounded by houses and is at the bottom of the hill on which St Brigid's church is situated.
Above the well, there is a statue to St Patrick, which was erected in 1904 by the priests and parishioners of the parish through public subscription. Behind the statue there is a plaque that lists the members of the committee responsible for the erection of the statue.
The three rocks are the stations at the well. Devotions still take place at the well and it is usually visited on March 17th. It is claimed that the water cures sore eyes. It is also believed that this is where St Patrick baptised Cairtheann, who was the son of Blatt and the Chief of the Dál gCais at this well in 440 AD.
According to legend, when St Patrick was building his church, he could not find any water to help in the construction. He prayed for water and the well sprang up. It is claimed that the print of his feet can be seen on one of the rocks at the well.
Begley states that in addition to the well in Singland, there
was also a rocky bed where Patrick slept. Ruins were visible in the 1770s
but nothing now remains.
At the back of the graveyard at St Brigid's church, there
is a grotto to the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are also grottoes situated at
Fair Green, Reboge and behind the parish priest's house on the Dublin Road.
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|1704 - 1714||Malachy Ryan|
|1714 - 1737||Unknown|
|1737 - 1745||William Murphy|
|1745 - 1760||Dr. James Kearney|
|1760 - 1768||Denis Conway (Adm.)|
|1768 - 1798||Michael Farrell|
|1798 - 1804||William MacKnight|
|1804 - 1812||Patrick O’Shea|
|1812 - 1823||Patrick MacGrath|
|1823 – 1837||Dr. Tuohy|
|1837||Bishop’s Parish||James Houlihan|
|1838||Bishop's Parish||M. Murrane|
|1839||Bishop's Parish||M. Murrane|
|1840||Matt O’Connor||William Toomey|
|1841||Matt O’Connor||George Bulter|
|1842||Matt O’Connor||George Bulter|
|1843||Matt O’Connor||George Bulter|
|1844||Matt O’Connor||George Bulter|
|1845||Matt O’Connor||M. Coghlan D.D.|
|1846||Matt O’Connor||M. Coghlan D.D.|
|1847||Matt O’Connor||M. Coghlan D.D.|
|1848||Matt O’Connor||James Muhan D.D.|
|1849||Matt O’Connor||James Muhan D.D.|
|1850||Matt O’Connor||Richard Cooke|
|1851||Matt O’Connor||Richard Cooke|
|1852||Matt O’Connor||Richard Cooke|
|1853||Matt O’Connor||Richard Cooke|
|1854||Matt O’Connor||Richard Cooke|
|1855||Matt O’Connor||Richard Cooke|
|1856||Matt O’Connor||Richard Cooke|
|1857||Matt O’Connor||Richard Cooke|
|1858||Matt O’Connor||Richard Cooke|
|1859||Matt O’Connor||Richard Cooke|
|1860||Matt O’Connor||Fr Leahy|
|1861||Matt O’Connor||Fr Leahy|
|1862||Matt O’Connor||James Corbett|
|1863||Matt O’Connor||Denis McCarthy|
|1864||Matt O’Connor||Denis McCarthy|
|1865||Matt O’Connor||Denis McCarthy|
|1866||P. Meehan D.D.||Denis McCarthy|
|1867||P. Meehan D.D.||Daniel Ryan|
|1868||P. Meehan D.D.||Thomas Nealon|
|1869||P. Meehan D.D.||Edward O’Dwyer|
|1870||P. Meehan D.D.||Laurence O’Keeffe|
|1871||P. Meehan D.D.||William Carroll|
|1872||P. Meehan D.D.||J. Fitzgerald|
|1873||P. Meehan D.D.||Joseph Keating|
|1874||P. Meehan D.D.||Joseph Keating|
|1875||P. Meehan D.D.||Joseph Keating|
|1876||P. Meehan D.D.||Joseph Keating|
|1877||P. Meehan D.D.||Joseph Keating|
|1878||P. Meehan D.D.||Joseph Keating|
|1879||P. Meehan D.D||Joseph Keating|
|1880||P. Meehan D.D.||John Quinlan|
|1881||P. Meehan D.D.||Daniel Daly|
|1882||P. Meehan D.D.||Patrick McNamara|
|1883||P. Meehan D.D.||Patrick McNamara|
|1884||P. Meehan D.D.||Michael Mulcahy|
|1885||P. Meehan D.D.||Michael Mulcahy|
|1886||P. Meehan D.D.||Michael Mulcahy|
|1887||P. Meehan D.D.||David Hanley|
|1888||P. Meehan D.D.||David Hanley|
|1889||P. Meehan D.D.||G. O’Connor|
|1890||P. Meehan D.D.||Michael Murphy|
|1891||Joseph Bourke||Daniel Brosnahan|
|1892||Joseph Bourke||Daniel Brosnahan|
|1893||Denis Shanahan||Jeremiah O’Gorman|
|1894||Denis Shanahan||Jeremiah O’Gorman|
|1895||Denis Shanahan||David O’Carroll|
|1896||Denis Shanahan||David O’Carroll|
|1897||Denis Shanahan||David O’Carroll|
|1898||Denis Shanahan||David O’Carroll|
|1899||Cornelius Conway||David O’Carroll|
|1900||Cornelius Conway||David O’Carroll|
|1901||Cornelius Conway||David O’Carroll|
|1902||Cornelius Conway||David O’Carroll|
|1903||Cornelius Conway||David O’Carroll|
|1904||Cornelius Conway||David O’Carroll|
|1905||Cornelius Conway||David O’Carroll|
|1906||Cornelius Conway||David O’Carroll|
|1907||Cornelius Conway||David O’Carroll|
|1908||Cornelius Conway||David O’Carroll|
|1909||D. O’Driscoll||David O’Carroll|
|1910||D. O’Driscoll||David O’Carroll|
|1911||D. O’Driscoll||Denis Fitzpatrick|
|1912||D. O’Driscoll||Denis Fitzpatrick|
|1913||D. O’Driscoll||Denis Fitzpatrick|
|1914||D. O’Driscoll||Denis Fitzpatrick|
|1915||Michael Murphy||James Carroll|
|1916||Michael Murphy||James Carroll|
|1917||Michael Murphy||James Carroll|
|1918||Michael Murphy||James Carroll|
|1919||Michael Murphy||James Carroll|
|1920||Michael Murphy||James Carroll|
|1921||Michael Murphy||James Carroll|
|1922||Michael Murphy||James Carroll|
|1923||Michael Murphy||James Carroll|
|1924||Michael Murphy||James Carroll|
|1925||William O’Dwyer||E. Hartnett|
|1926||William O’Dwyer||J. Brassill|
|1927||Arthur O’Leary||P. O’Callaghan|
|1928||Arthur O’Leary||P. O’Callaghan|
|1929||Arthur O’Leary||P. O’Callaghan|
|1930||Canon Arthur O’Leary||P. O’Callaghan|
|1931||Canon Arthur O’Leary||John Halpin|
|1932||Canon Arthur O’Leary||John Halpin|
|1933||Canon Arthur O’Leary||John Halpin|
|1934||Canon Arthur O’Leary||James Culhane|
|1935||Canon Arthur O’Leary||William Creed|
|1936||Canon Arthur O’Leary||William Creed|
|1937||Canon Arthur O’Leary||William Creed|
|1938||Canon Arthur O’Leary||John Godfrey|
|1939||Canon Arthur O’Leary||John Godfrey|
|1940||Canon Arthur O’Leary||John Godfrey|
|1941||Michael Moloney||John Godfrey|
|1942||Michael Moloney||John Godfrey|
|1943||Michael Moloney||John Godfrey|
|1944||Michael Moloney||Patrick O’Regan|
|1945||Michael Moloney||Patrick O’Regan|
|1946||Michael Moloney||Patrick O’Regan|
|1947||James Cowper D.D.||Patrick O’Regan|
|1948||James Cowper D.D.||Patrick O’Regan|
|1949||James Cowper D.D.||Patrick O’Regan|
|1950||James Cowper D.D.||Patrick O’Regan|
|1951||James Cowper D.D.||Patrick O’Regan|
|1952||James Cowper D.D.||Patrick O’Regan|
|1953||James Cowper D.D.||Patrick O’Regan|
|1954||James Cowper D.D.||Patrick O’Regan|
|1955||James Cowper D.D.||Patrick O’Regan|
|1956||James Cowper D.D.||Patrick O’Regan|
|1957||James Cowper D.D.||Patrick O’Regan|
|1958||James Cowper D.D.||Patrick O’Regan|
|1959||James Cowper D.D.||Michael Kennedy|
|P. G. Ryan|
|1960||James Cowper D.D.||Michael Kennedy|
|P. G. Ryan|
|1961||James Cowper D.D.||Michael Kennedy|
|P. G. Ryan|
|1962||David Rea||Michael Kennedy|
|1963||David Rea||Michael Kennedy|
|1964||David Rea||Michael Kennedy|
|1965||David Rea||Michael Kennedy|
|1966||David Rea||Michael Kennedy|
|1967||David Rea||Michael Kennedy|
|1968||David Rea||Michael Kennedy|
|1969||David Rea||Michael Kennedy|
|1970||David Rea||Michael Kennedy|
|1971||David Rea||Michael Kennedy|
|1972||David Rea||Edward Looby|
|1973||David Rea||Edward Looby|
|1974||David Rea||Edward Looby|
|1975||Gerard Griffin||Edward Looby|
|1976||Gerard Griffin||Edward Looby|
|1977||James Sadlier||Edward Looby|
|1978||James Sadlier||Christopher Griffin|
|1979||James Sadlier||Christopher Griffin|
|1980||James Sadlier||Christopher Griffin|
|1981||James Sadlier||Christopher Griffin|
|1982||James Sadlier||Michael Hanley|
|1983||James Sadlier||Michael Hanley|
|1984||Canon James Sadlier||William Walsh|
|1985||Canon James Sadlier||William Walsh|
|1986||Canon James Sadlier||William Walsh|
|1987||Canon James Sadlier||William Walsh|
|1988||Canon James Sadlier||William Walsh|
|1989||Canon James Sadlier||William Walsh|
|1990||Canon James Sadlier||William Walsh|
|1991||Canon James Sadlier||William Walsh|
|1992||Venerable James Sadlier||William Walsh|
|1993||Venerable James Sadlier||William Walsh|
|1994||Patrick J. O’Donnell||Liam Walsh|
|1995||Patrick J. O’Donnell||Liam Walsh|
|1996||Patrick J. O’Donnell||David Gibson|
|1997||Patrick J. O’Donnell||David Gibson|
|Antóin Ó Tuathaigh|
|1998||Patrick J. O’Donnell||Michael Daly|
|1999||Padraig Fitzmaurice||Michael Daly|
|2000||Edwin Irwin||Michael Hanley|
|2001||Edwin Irwin||Michael Hanley|
|2002||Edwin Irwin||Michael Hanley|
|2003||Edwin Irwin||Michael Hanley|
|2004||Edwin Irwin||Michael Hanley|
|2005||Edwin Irwin||Michael Hanley|
|2006||Edwin Irwin||Chris O'Donnell|
|2007||Edwin Irwin||Terence Loughran|
The list of Priests from 1704 to 1836 is compiled from information gained in Begley's History of the Diocese of Limerick Vol. III page 598. The remaining years are compiled from the Catholic Directories. Information contained in a directory of any given year refers to what happened the previous year. For example if a priest is recorded in the 1954 directory as being in a particular parish, this would mean that he was actually there in 1953.
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