did you knowLimerick has a wide and varied history. We have compiled a series of our “Did you know” facts which we regularly post to our Facebook Page and Twitter Account. Some of the below facts are humorous, some are tragic but they all are interesting in their own right. Read, Tell, Remember.

The first in this series can be found at Limerick Facts 1 and the next in the series can be seen at Limerick Facts 3

  • Clare Street was built in the swamp lands originally known as Móin na Muice, (the moor of the pigs). James O’Sullivan, a tobacconist who constructed the street dedicated it in spite to the infamous John FitzGibbon, 1st Earl of Clare (a staunch anti-Catholic)
  • The first Mayoress of Dublin and founding member of Cumann na mBan was Limerick born Kathleen Clarke (nee Daly), she passed away on this day 40 years ago (29 Sept. 1972) aged 94. She was the widow of Thomas S Clarke, executed in Dublin, 3 May 1916.
  • Between 1774-1794 in Limerick House of Industry there were 58 Harlots, 9 Whores and 1 Strumpet.
  • In 1957 Limerick had an umbrella factory on Catherine Street. C. Holland.
  • The Good Shepherd Laundry (Pennywell side) is built on the Farrancroghy Execution site, where public hangings took place.
  • The United London Gas Company were contacted to light the city in 1824. Public lighting was not new to Limerick the first street lamps were erected in 1696.
  • John Ferrar, founder of The Limerick Chronicle in 1768 (oldest continuously run newspaper in Ireland) was “very deaf, yet had a cheerful, animated countenance, thin and of middle size” : John O’Keefe – Playwright
  • William Wordsworth remarked about the Limerick weather when he visited here in 1829 “it is raining hard now, and has done so all day.”
  • St. John’s Hospital began as a three bed ward in the old St. John’s Barracks at the personal expense of Lady Lucy Hartstonge in 1781.
  • Charlotte Bronte stopped in Limerick on her way to Kilkee, County Clare, for her honeymoon.
  • Thomas Blake (1894-1921), member of the Irish Volunteers, who was shot and killed on St. Alphonsus Street worked in Laird’s Pharmacy, O’Connell Street, where his knowledge of chemistry would help him in the manufacture of munitions and explosives used during the War of Independence.
  • The novelist Jane Austen had friendship, and perhaps brief romance, with Limerick man Tom Lefroy. In a letter to her sister, she states: “I am almost afraid to tell you how my Irish friend and I behaved”.