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

1 May – Sergeant Drummer Joseph Hickey was born in St Michael’s Parish, Limerick and enlisted in the army when he was only 14. He was killed in action at Gallipoli on this day 1 May 1915

2 May – William Henry Owens died on this day 2 May 1918. He is buried in St Mary’s Cathedral. Two of his sons died as a result of WW1. In 1916, his son William from injuries and in 1917, his son Charles was KIA

3 May – Catherine O’Neill was born in Limerick city on this day 3 May 1818. As an adult, she co-founded the Congregation of the Ladies of the Assumption. She became known as Mother Thérèse Emmanuel

4 May – The Limerick Artist Timothy Collopy passed away on this day 4 May 1811. Two of his paintings are still in Limerick, in St John’s Cathedral and in the Augustinian’s Church.

  • On this day 4 May 1953, the Hollywood star Rita Gam was visiting Limerick. She was recognised in the street by Limerick actor Richard Harris who asked for her autograph.

5 May – This article was posted in the Limerick Chronicle on this day 5 May 1785. In it D. Conroy tells how he can cure all that ails you with electricity

May 5 1785 Limerick Chronicle notice
Limerick Chronicle 5 May 1785

6 May – On this day 6 May 1859, the first of two inquests were held into the shooting dead of John Grace and William Clohesy during the election riots at Broad Street. You can read more about it in the NMAJ.

7 May – On this day 7 May 1919 Edward Fitzsimmons Dunne (1853-1937), Irish-American Diplomat, Governor of Illinois and two other American Diplomats Michael P. Ryan & Frank P. Walsh, received the Freedom of Limerick from Mayor Alphonsus M. O’Mara

  • The Limerick hurler Timothy ‘Timmie’ Ryan was born in Ahane on this day 7 May 1909. He was a founding member of the Ahane club (1926).

8 May – County Limerick man Con Colbert, after whom Colbert Station was named was 27 years old when he shot by firing squad in Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin, on this day 8 May 1916, due to his role in the 1916 Easter Rising.

9 May – Stephen Spring Rice died on this day 9 May 1865. He was born in Mount Trenchard, Foynes He served as the Secretary of the British Relief Association during the Famine & regularly clashed with officials due to the overly bureaucratic approach to relief

10 May – On this day, 10 May 1900, Limerick-born Nationalist James F. Egan (1844-1909) received the Freedom of Limerick from Mayor John Daly (In 1884, Daly lived with Egan in Birmingham and they spent time in prison together). He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

11 May – On this day 11 May 1745, the Battle of Fontenoy, part of the War of the Austrian Succession, was fought. According to A. M. Sullivan, the Irish Brigade shouted “Remember Limerick!” as they entered the battlefield.

12 MayThe mathematician John Casey was born on this day 12 May 1820 in Kilbehenny, County Limerick. He and Émile Lemoine are considered to be the co-founders of the modern geometry of the circle and the triangle. The Casey theorem is named after him.

13 May – John Poyntz Spenser, 5th Earl of Spenser and the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland visited Limerick on this day 13 May 1873 to open the new graving dock (dry dock).

14 May – On this day 14 May 1921, Winifred Barrington the 23-year-old daughter of Charles Barrington (Glenstal) was accidentally shot and killed, a few miles from her home, during an IRA ambush. She was buried in Abington, Co. Limerick.

15 May – Captain Edmond John Landers was born in Oola in 1937. He emigrated to the US at 20 y/o. He was drafted into military service in May 1958 and remained in the military. He was killed in action on this day 15 May 1968 in Vietnam. (image courtesy of Tom Reece)

16 May – The Catholic Young Men’s Society was founded on this day 16 May 1849 in Limerick by Father Richard Baptist O’Brien. The society now has branches all over the world.

17 May – Annie Caulfeild nee Blake died on this day 17 May 1890. She donated the site for the Catholic church in Pallaskenry.
She lived with her husband at Corpsewood.

18 May – On this day 18 May 1642, Irish Confederate troops besieged Limerick and took the town’s citadel, Limerick Castle from an English Protestant garrison. This was part of the Irish Confederate Wars, also called the Eleven Years’ War

19 May – On this day 19 May 1832, the antiquarian and writer Standish Hayes O’Grady was born in Castleconnell, Co. Limerick

20 May – The original CBS school on Sexton Street was completed on this day 20 May 1829 at a cost of £562.5.8. It was opened for admission of boys on 16 June the same year and 408 attended.

21 May – Sir Matthew Barrington was born in Limerick on this day 21 May 1788. His family were responsible for the erection of Barrington’s Hospital and he built Glenstal Castle as his country home.

22 May – On this day 22 May 1913, the 6 Tontine Houses in Pery Square were finally allocated. In 1840, 89 shares were bought. Each share bore the name of a person (usually a child). A share dissolved when the person named on the share died until finally only six were left

23 May25 people boarded a sailboat at Beagh Castle, Askeaton on this day 23 May 1827 to gather weeds on an island. A storm started 12 of the company decided to stay on the island. 11 men & 2 women set out only to be hit by a wave and tossed into the water where they died

24 May – On this day 24 May 1876 the following notice was posted in Bassett’s Chronicle announcing the opening of a roller skating rink in Limerick.

Bassett’s Chronicle, 24 May 1876

25 May – The novelist Dorothea Conyers was born Dorothea Spaight Blood-Smith in Fedamore, Co. Limerick. She published over 40 titles. She died on this day 25 May 1949 in Limerick.

26 May – Limerick-born boxer Billy Finucane died in Chicago on this day 26 May 1951

27 May – On this day 27 May 1960, the last commercial barge left Dublin for Limerick on the canal, arriving a few days later.

28 May – William J Moloney was born in Southill Cottage on this day 28 May 1885. He was a journalist who focused on foreign affairs. He was first posted to Egypt in 1906 but later stationed throughout Europe and Asia for Reuters News Agency. He became joint general director of Reuters.

Reuters Century 1851-1951 by Graham Storey

29 May – In 1887, Limerick man James Francis Corbett became the first Bishop of Sale, Australia a role he held until his death on this day 29 May 1912. He was later granted the Freedom of Limerick.

30 May – On this day, 30 May 1964, Senator Ted Kennedy the brother of John Fitzgerald Kennedy visited Limerick at the invitation of Mayor Frances Condell.

31 May – The Limerick born Canadan poet Nora Duncan nee Dann died on this day 31 May 1946 on a train in Canda on the way to her daughter’s wedding.


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