SAINT SAVIOUR’S DOMINICAN CHURCH IN LIMERICK [NOW MANAGED BY NUNS FROM NASHVILLE IN THE USA]-140805
Image by infomatique
Apparently this church was rescued from closure by nuns from Tennessee in the USA.
Some years ago the Dominican Friars in Ireland announced they had embarked on a process of reorganising its commitments in Ireland because of falling numbers and would be withdrawing from Limerick. As a result of their decision St Saviour’s Church, Glentworth Street, which has an 800-year association with Limerick, was due to close but thanks to the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia it will remain operational as a church.
On the 4th. of July 2016 the last Mass held by the Dominican Order took place. Soon after the Limerick Diocese took over the running of religious services with a Mass at 1pm each day while the nuns moved into the building later in the summer of 2016.
This Gothic Revival Church, though much altered from the earlier Gothic designs of the James Pain, has a strong presence in the area. It was begun for Prior Fr. Joseph Harrigan and consectated 6th July 1816. The repairs and alteration in 1860 were carried out by J.J. McCarthy. The contractor for that work was John Ryan. The architectural composition and carved limestone detailing, which is a composite of Pain’s original design and later alterations, most notably that of William Wallace in the 1860s, is testimony to the skill of the architects involved and the craftsmanship of the artisans involved in its construction.
Wallace heightened the exterior and interior by 20 feet with the addition of a clerestory and rose window in the 1860s. George Goldie designed a new chancel, high altar, reredos, tabernacle and east window between 1863-66. The sculptor for the altar was Bolton of Worchester; the sculptor of the reredos was Patrick Scannell of Cork Marble Works. The stained glass was by William Wailes of Newcastle. In 1870 Goldie and Child remodelled the interior and exterior and the work was supervised by Maurice Alphonsus Hennessy, CE, Limerick. The builders were McCarthy and Guerin. In 1896 and 1899 the stalls and the railings to the Sacred Heart Chapel were designed by George Coppinger Ashlin. In 1927 the communion rails and gates were designed by Ashlin and Coleman.
The church terminates the view from Pery Square to the east, while the south elevation facing onto Dominick Street dominates the view from the east. At any point on Baker’s Place the contribution of this limestone church to the streetscape is further enhanced by the Tait Memorial Clock and the former priory, now the Mid-Western Health Board Offices on Pery Street. Saint Michael’s Church of Ireland Church, which terminates the view of Pery Street to the west, adds to the prominence of these ecclesiastical buildings within the Georgian district of Pery Square.