The following are a collection of events that are connected to the history of Limerick or people from Limerick during the month of December.

1 December – On this day 1 Dec 1868, Sir Peter Tait left the role as Mayor of Limerick. A role he held for the previous 3 years. He attempted to insert three large links to the Mayoral Chain to mark this and in doing so removed the links of previous Mayors.

2 December – On this day 2 Dec 1867, Hannah Moylan was baptised in Galway. In 1873, she moved to Limerick. She attended the Model School (her father was Headmaster) & De Prins College, Mallow St. She was the first woman in Ireland to earn a Bachelor of Science in Ireland.

3 December – On this day, 3 Dec 1897, the Limerick novelist Kate O’Brien was born on Mulgrave Street.

4 December – Rev Thomas Aylmer Pearson Hackett was the Dean of Limerick from 1914 until 1928. He was born on this day 4 Dec 1854 and died on his birthday in 1928.

5 December – General Sir Richard Bourke, served as Governor of New South Wales from 1831 until he resigned this day 5 Dec 1837 He encouraged the emancipation of convicts & helped bring forward the ending of penal transportation to Australia. He died in 1855, at his home in Ahane, Co Limerick.

Sir Richard Bourke as a young officer

6 December – On this day 6 Dec 1812, the Church of Ireland Bishop of Limerick Charles Graves was born. Graves was not only a clergyman but a mathematician and academic. He published over 30 mathematical papers He is buried in the grounds of St Mary’s Cathedral.

7 December – Limerick-born Jesuit priest David Wolfe became papal legate in Ireland. For several years he was unable to enter The Pale, which was under the control of Elizabeth I. On this day 7 Dec 1563, he delegated his jurisdiction for Dublin to Thady Newman

8 December – The foundation stone of Mary Immaculate College was laid on this day 8 Dec 1899. The college was founded by the Sisters of Mercy and Bishop Edmund T O’Dwyer to train female teachers for Catholic National Schools.

9 December – On this day 9 Dec 1833, the Church of Ireland Bishop of Limerick John Jebb passed away. This statue of Bishop Jebb was erected in St Mary’s Cathedral

10 December – Patrick Fitzgerald & John James McGregor wrote in their 1827 book “The History, Topography, and Antiquities, of the County and City of Limerick” that on this day, 10 Dec 1698 a ferocious storm hit Limerick

11 December – Limerick-born broadcaster, folklorist, and traditional music revivalist Ciarán Mac Mathúna passed away on this day 11 Dec 2009, aged 84.

12 December – On this day 12 Dec 1803, the journalist and novelist Gerald Griffin was born in Limerick.

– Tim Aherne was born in Athea, Limerick, he won the gold medal in the triple jump at the 1908 Summer Olympics. He died on this day, 12 December 1968.

13 December – On this day 13 Dec 1998, the Limerick-born Bishop of Plymouth John Joseph Keily was re-interred in the Lady Chapel vault at Plymouth Cathedral. He was born in 1854 and died in 1928, he was first at buried at St Augustine’s Priory Cemetery, Plymouth.

14 December – On this day, 14 Dec 1916, Tomás de Bhaldraithe was born Thomas MacDonagh Waldron in Limerick. He was best known for his English-Irish Dictionary, published in 1959

15 December – Newcastle West born Denis Cussen was an Irish sprinter. He competed in the men’s 100 metres at the 1928 Summer Olympics. Many years later Cussen returned to the Olympics as the Medical Officer to the UK team in Melbourne 1956. He died on this day 15 Dec 1980

16 December – On this day 16 Dec 1935, Foynes in County Limerick is chosen to be the European terminal of a transatlantic flying boat air service. The first plane would not land there for over a year.

17 December – Mick Lynch of the Indie rock band Stump was born in Limerick but raised in Cork. Stump’s 1986 mini-album Quirk Out reached no. 2 in the UK Indie charts. Mick passed away on this day 17 Dec 2015, aged 56.

Mick Lynch performing with Stump

18 December – On this day, 18 Dec 1836, Patrick O’Brien, a 15-year-old Limerick cabin boy on board a drifting ship, the Francis Spaight, was sacrificed in an act of cannibalism in order for the remaining crew members to survive. (3 others were also cannibalised before rescue)

19 December – On this day, 19 Dec 1908, Sir Thomas Henry Cleeve died in Limerick. This Canadian born businessman co-founded Cleeve’s Condensed Milk Factory. He was elected High Sheriff of Limerick City on three occasions.

20 December – Dan Aherne was the brother of Olympic Gold Medalist Tim Aherne, both of Athea. Dan competed in the 1920s Olympics. He passed away on this day, 20 Dec 1942 in Chicago

21 December – The first advert for the original Savoy Cinema appeared in the Limerick Leader on this day 21 Dec 1935.

december 5 richard bourke
Limerick Leader, 21 Dec 1935.

22 December – As part of the military terms agreed in the Treaty of Limerick in October 1691, Patrick Sarsfield, thousands of Jacobite soldiers, and their families sailed into exile from Cork to France on this day, 22 Dec 1691. This was part of The Flight of the Wild Geese

23 December – On this day 23 Dec 1889, Limerick-born Rev. James Francis Corbett (1838-1912), the Roman Catholic Bishop of Sale, Australia received the Freedom of Limerick from Mayor Francis O’Keeffe.

24 December – John, King of England after who reigned during the construction of Limerick Castle (also known as King John’s Castle) was born on this day 24 Dec 1166. John was appointed the Lord of Ireland in 1177. He never visited Limerick.

25 December – The Limerick historian and journalist Maurice Lenihan died on this day, 25 Dec 1895, in Catherine Street. The extract of his obituary is from the Limerick Chronicle.

Limerick Chronicle, 28 Dec 1895

26 December – On this day, 26 Dec 2008, Limerick-born Paddy Waldron passed away. At the time of his death, he was the oldest surviving Irish first-class cricketer. In 1946, he made his Irish debut against Scotland at Greenock.

  • Michael “The Cormorant” Ahern discovers ancient silver bell while swimming in the Abbey River, Limerick, on this day 28 December 1868.

27 December – The Irish blues and rock musician Rory Gallagher perform in the Savoy Theatre on this day 27 Dec 1971.

28 December – In 1918, Limerick-born Ellen O’Grady became the first female deputy police commissioner in the United States. She passed away on this day 28 Dec 1949 in Brooklyn, New York.

29 December – On this day, 29 Dec 1809, William Ewart Gladstone, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was born. In October 1886, he received the Freedom of Limerick from Mayor Stephen O’Mara.

30 December – Limerick-born footballer Thomas “Bud” Aherne died on this day 30 Dec 1999. He was on the Luton Town team during the 1954–55 season when Luton won promotion to Division One. He was on the Irish International team and was capped 16 times by the FAI.

31 December – On this day, 31 Dec 1728, Dr Sylvester O’Halloran was born in Caherdavin. In 1750 he published ‘A New Treatise on Glaucoma, or Cataract’. In 1765 ‘The valuable New Method of Amputation’. He also wrote in 1774, ‘A History of Ireland’


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