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St Mary’s Cathedral

St Mary’s Cathedral – M7

The Cathedral of St Mary Blessed Virgin occupies a very historic location in Limerick City. In 1168, Donal Mor O’Brien, King of Munster, donated his palace, parts of which are possibly incorporated into the present structure Previously, a Viking meetinghouse had been located there. The cathedral’s architecture is a mixture of the Gothic and Romanesque styles. It contains many interesting features, such as a stone altar and Lepers’ Squint, an opening in the wall that permitted lepers to hear Mass and receive Communion. The Cathedral has seen many changes as the city expanded around it and it remains today the oldest and most historic building in Limerick.

The Cathedral of Saint Mary Blessed Virgin has had a long and eventful history. It was founded in 1168 on the site of a palace donated by Donal Mor O’Brien King of Munster. Experts believe that parts of the palace are incorporated into the present structure of the Cathedral. The most prominent is the West Door which tradition has it was the main entrance to the palace. The palace had been built on the site of the Viking meeting house. This had been the centre of government in the early medieval Viking city. The Cathedral has seen many changes as the city expanded around it and it remains today the oldest and most historic building in Limerick.

No trip to the City is complete without visiting this historic building at the very heart of this ancient metropolis. While the Cathedral is a beautiful and historic building, it is still used today for its original purpose, as a place of worship and prayer. The historic setting only adds to the wonderful atmosphere as the the people of Limerick continue to worship God today in its ancient and hollowed confines. If the stones of this Cathedral could only talk and tell us what has happened here over the centuries, what a story they would tell.

It would include the exploits of Kings and Princes, feasts and famines, military victories and defeats and Civic triumphs and disasters. It would also tell of a love and worship of God from countless generations of Limerick people which this building stands in testament to.

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