St. Patrick’s Day in Limerick (1912-1913)

Depiction of St. Patrick (c. 1872) Source: Library of Congress
St. Patrick (Source: Library of Congress, 1872)

Did you know?

The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day as a National Holiday in Ireland was first practised in Limerick in 1902? To mark this the shops and pubs in the city were closed. In 1903 there was a Ball held at Sarsfield Barracks, and the Limerick Pipers’ Club played at an ‘Irish Night’ concert at the Athenaeum. By 1912 the day was well established on the local calendar.

An account of St. Patrick’s Day in Limerick (Limerick Chronicle, 1912)

There is a dual celebration this year, owing to the day falling on a Sunday. All the large business houses in the city are closed and employees are thus enabled to enjoy a little relaxation from the toils of business.

The day is being observed with becoming fitness. The weather is exceptionally fine, and large numbers are abroad enjoying the sunshine which lights up the atmosphere. Everyone, young and old, are sporting the shamrock, and the day is being honoured in the best possible fashion. In the various churches of all denominations, special services in honour of the Patron Saint are being held and are attended by large numbers.

At St. Mary’s Cathedral, where the Union Jack flies from the Tower, the song being sung is “The Hymn of St. Patrick” (Muspratt) The day is being observed by all classes. The ships in port are dressed in celebration of the day. In the evening at St. Michael’s Parochial Church, the Rev. G. Nolan, Professor of Irish at Maynooth, will be preaching to a large congregation. A few showers are beginning to fall. The sobriety of the people is remarkable. Due to the coal strike, the Railway Company will not be running any excursions, but many plan to journey out of town by one or other of the ordinary trains. The principal attraction outside the city being the Point-to-Point Races at Newmarket-on-Fergus which will be well attended.

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