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 Did you know? Limerick Facts 2


  • Good Shepherd Convent on Clare Street, which is now the LIT Art College was originally located on the site of an old Lancastrian School founded around 1806, the school system was developed by Joseph Lancaster for the education of the poor in the early 19th century. His system was to employ the more advanced boys as monitors, or assistant teachers, to enable a few masters to teach a large number of boys. Spelling and reading were taught from charts hung on the walls, thereby dispensing with the need for books for the poor and slates were used to write on, to save paper.
  • The “Kapunda” sailed on 11th December 1887 from London for Freemantle, Western Australia. Almost 300 passengers were lost at sea, having been run down and sunk by an unknown vessel. On board were Limerick citizens, Michael Bolans, his wife & 4 children and John BUCKLEY (22), a farm labourer.
  • Gerald Griffin (1803-1840), author of The Collegians, which was based on the Colleen Bawn’s story, at the height of his fame as a writer in the 1830s, burned all his manuscripts and joined the Christian Brothers.
  •  That Limerick born, Sir Thomas Myles, CB (20 April 1857—14 July 1937), President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Owned a yacht, the Chotah. In 1914, he was recruited (by James Creed Meredith) to help in the importation of guns for the Irish Volunteers.
  • The Park Canal was constructed in 1757/58 to transport goods to and from Limerick City. The canal system was invaluable in the transport of heavy goods, such as turf, potatoes, coal etc. By 1929, with modernisation of transport and the building of the hydroelectric plant at Ardnacrusha, the canal became obsolete and fell into dilapidation. The last barge on the canal was transporting Guinness in 1960.
  • At least 189,429 Limerick residences emigrated from Ireland between 1851-1911, many of whom left for America, Australia and England. The population of Limerick in 2006 was 184,055.
  • Mardyke Warehouse (now The Granary) was founded by Philip Roche in 1787, as a Catholic he was not permitted to buy land (due to the Penal laws). He managed to purchase the sites needed using the name of his friend Dr. Pery, the Church of Ireland Bishop of Limerick.
  • Rutland Street derives its name from Charles Manners (1754-1787), Fourth Duke of Rutland. He was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1784 and visited Limerick in 1785.
  • The Good Shepherd Laundry (Pennywell side) was built on the Farrancroghy execution site, where public executions took place during the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • The Augustinian Church (O’Connell St.) is built on the site of an old theatre which the Augustinian’s bought for £400 in 1822, although the original theatre cost the public £5,000 to build.
  • The Dock Clock was designed by harbour engineer, William J. Hall and was erected in 1880.
  • Michael Manning, a 25-year old carter from Limerick, on Tuesday 20 April 1954 (the day after the Easter Monday), became the last person to be executed in the Republic of Ireland.