Limerick City: Public Monuments

Limerick's public monuments are many and varied. The Rice Memorial is erected in the classical tradition, with a soaring column demonstrating an awareness of classical urban design, and a concern with local interests and the promotion of civic and national aggrandisement. The origins of this classical style lay in Imperial Rome, and these monuments were built in emulation of the grandiose gestures of Roman emperors. Thomas Spring Rice (1791-1866) supported the building of the Newtown Pery suburb of the city. It was fitting, therefore, that his monument should have a prominent place in the center of a square (now Pery Square) at the eastern edge of the new town. Irish nationalism gathered momentum in the early nineteenth century. The first outdoor public statue of Daniel O'Connell was unveiled in Limerick in 1857. In 1855 there was competition for the chosen site from a rival proposal to erect a monument to Viscount FitzGibbon who had died at the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War. Sufficient money was raised to commission John Hogan, and the O'Connell monument was unveiled in 1857. O'Connell is represented as a Roman with toga and looks towards the street named after him. He is nearer to the people than those on top of columns, such as the Rice Memorial. The monument to Viscount FitzGibbon was finally built in 1857. He was a member of the Earl of Clare's family whose house, Mount Shannon, was situated near Limerick. Patrick McDowell was commissioned to carve the statue, which was given an exposed position on Wellesley Bridge (now Sarsfield Bridge). It was toppled in 1930. In 1845 a committee formed to erect a monument to Patrick Sarsfield, the general who had defended the city until it was overwhelmed by William of Orange's army. Sarsfield who had led the Jacobite war party in 1690-91, had been a charismatic figure. A sketch was made of Sarsfield in the costume of a general of the period and this was sent to John Lawlor (1820-1901), the prominent Dublin sculptor, in 1875. The corporation refused a prominent site in the fashionable Newtown Pery near to the newly opened People's Park (1877). A place was found in the grounds of St John's Catholic Cathedral. In 1865 a curio from the Treaty of Limerick was elevated to the status of public monument. This block of limestone known as the Treaty Stone is reputedly the stone on which the Treaty of Limerick was signed. The Celtic Revival style was used in the erection of the monument to the Manchester Martyrs in 1890. Eire is personified as a kneeling figure in classical dress. In the twentieth century, the dead were remembered in the form of the War Memorial on the west side of Pery Square. Its stylised carved Celtic knotwork reflects the continuing interest in the Celtic Revival.

The Treaty Stone, Clancy's Strand, Mass Lane, Limerick, Limerick City

View full record

Freestanding limestone pedestal, dating to 1865, supporting an irregular rough hewn block of limestone which once served as a mounting block for horses. Pedestal is decorated with a relief of Saint John's Castle and is surmounted by a conical tower and cross, showing that Limerick was a cathedral city. This symbol is now the civic…


Limerick 1916 Memorial, Sarsfield Bridge, Limerick, Limerick City

View full record

Freestanding carved ashlar limestone 1916 memorial, erected 1954, with bronze figurative statuary, depicting the Fenian Tom Clarke pointing to the Proclamation, and to the top Commandant Edward Daly, Athea born Con Colbert crouching and a chained allegorical figure representing Mother Ireland. Statuary erected on an elaborate limestone faced podium, enclosed by cast-iron railings with rail…


O'Connell Monument, The Crescent, Limerick, Limerick City

View full record

Freestanding bronze figurative sculpture of Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847), designed in 1856 and unveiled in 1857, facing north standing on a granite ashlar podium, which rises from water fountain retained by limestone faced plinth walls, introduced c. 2000. Lettering to podium reads: O'Connell T. Kane M.D. Mayor.


Limerick War Memorial, Pery Square, Limerick, Limerick City

View full record

Freestanding cut-limestone war memorial, designed 1960, on reclaimed cut-granite stepped base. Street fronted.


Rice's Memorial, People's Park, Pery Square, Limerick, Limerick City

View full record

Freestanding limestone Greek Doric column surmounted by Portland stone sculpture of Thomas Spring Rice, erected in 1829, on a raised mound at the centre of the People's Park, formally Pery Square. Robed sculpture facing northwest towards the Tontine Building on Pery Square, standing on a plain limestone ashlar cylindrical base above a fluted limestone ashlar…


Sarsfield Memorial, Cathedral Place, Limerick, Limerick City

View full record

Freestanding bronze statue of Patrick Sarsfield on an ashlar limestone pedestal, erected in 1881, standing close to the street in the front lawn of the presbytery of Saint John's Cathedral. The bronze figure stands pointing in seventeenth-century costume with a sword upon a heavy cornice atop an inscribed pedestal within an enclosure of wrought-iron railings…


John O'Grady Monument, The Pike/Ballysimon Road, Blackboy Road/Old Cork Road, Limerick, Limerick City

View full record

Freestanding limestone and steel monument, erected c. 1940. It takes the form of a weight resting on four limestone balls, on a limestone plinth base with canted podium and commemorative panelling to sides of plinth base. It is dedicated to John O'Grady (1892-1934), a weight thrower.


Manchester Martyrs Memorial, Mount Saint Lawrence's Cemetery, Old Cork Road/Mount Street Lower, Limerick, Limerick City

View full record

Freestanding funerary monument, erected 1887, forming a memorial to Irish nationalism, executed in the Celtic Revival idiom, comprising a broad sarcophagus-like plinth which stands on a limestone podium, and supporting a Celtic cross with Celtic-inspired strap and knot-work to faces, and having romanticised kneeling female figure in classical dress (the personification of √Čire), leaning on…