The first new church built on the grid of the Newtownpery was St George’s Church. The church was opened in June 1789 on what was then George’s Street, on the corner of Mallow Street.
The doors to St George’s Church, Limerick, closed for the final time in October 1836. The closure happened due to the ever expanding population of Newtownpery. St Michael’s Church on Pery Square was the replacement church.
The following article from the Kerry Evening Post in 22 October 1836 details the closing of St George’s Church.
Limerick – October 19
At morning and afternoon service St. George’s Church last Sunday presented one of the most crowded congregations ever seen within its walls, and many respectable persons had to withdraw in disappointment, for want of accommodation on both occasions.
There was a mingled feeling of curiosity and regret uppermost in the public mind, in taking leave of a Church which has administered uninterruptedly to the Protestants of St. Michael’s parish for the last seventy-and-four years, as a temple of worship, and that feeling derives no mitigation from the circumstances of its site being now devoted for other and different purposes.
On Sunday last, Archdeacon Maunsell and the Rev. Dawson Massy officiated, when the Lord Bishop preached an admirable sermon in his usual fervent and impressive style of eloquence. An uncommon degree of solemnity characterized the service althrough [sic], and same night the doors of St. George’s Church were closed for the last time against a flock, which has therein worshipped the Almighty for near half a century.
In the interval of the building of the new Church in Perry Square, and the prostration of the present edifice, Divine Service will be given in the Wesley Methodist Chapel, Bedford Row, by the Ministers of George’s, at half past eleven in the Morning, and quarter-past seven in the Evening. The Bishop will preach there on Sunday next.
The foundations of the new Church are already laid out, and labourers were at work in the excavations yesterday.Kerry Evening Post, October 22, 1836
It goes on to describe the opening of St George’s Church in 1789:
In reference to St. George’s Church, which the parishioners of St Michael have just parted with, the following article is from the Limerick Chronicle of 15th June 1789, describing the opening of that edifice for worship may not be uninteresting to many of our readers:-
“Sunday St. George’s Church, at Newtown Pery, so called in honour of his present Majesty, was opened the first time for divine service. The congregation was very numerous and respectable, among whom were the Lord Bishop (Pery) of Limerick, the Mayor, (Richard Maunsell, Esq.) several of the Clergy and persons of distinction. His Lordship assisted at the Communion service, and the Rev. Mr. Jones read prayers, and preached and excellent sermon suitable to the occasion.
The church is light and elegant, of oblong form; the eastern window, a beautiful antique of the thirteenth century, preserved and brought there by Lady Hartstonge, from the church of the old Franciscan Convent, in St. Francis’s Abbey. The galleries are supported by six pillars, the whole is well painted, and will be perfectly warm in winter, because the lower windows are closed up, the building being well lighted by twelve spacious upper windows.
The church is a considerable ornament to Newtown-Pery, was begun in 1772, and reflects infinite honor on every person who promoted it. Lord Viscount Pery has appropriated the tithes originally intended to St. Francis’s Abbey, for the maintenance of the Minister, which will increased by other funds.”Kerry Evening Post, October 22, 1836