Launch of ‘The Diocese of Limerick Book – An Illustrated History’ by author Liam Irwin

History enthusiasts, and the Catholic Church faithful, have now got a book worthy of the great county that Limerick is, retired director of the National Museum Dr Pat Wallace stated as he launched ‘The Diocese of Limerick – An Illustrated History’ at Mary Immaculate College this week.

Addressing over 150 guests at the launch, Dr Wallace, a native of Askeaton, described the book as a wonderfully written and illustrated publication which will have pride of place in homes across Limerick.

“I believe this to be a very important and beautifully written book.  It is extremely well put together, in terms of illustrations, lay-out, the historical introductions by author Liam Irwin; from front to back it is a truly outstanding piece of work,” he said. “Each individual parish is dealt with superbly; its notable priests, its history, churches, anti-quities, great men who came from the parish.  It’s amazing the detail that has gone into it.”

Mr Wallace said he was particularly taken by the attention given to the architectural strengths of buildings, churches and otherwise, across the diocese.  “The finest church in Limerick, in my opinion, not least having read Liam’s book, is Rathkeale. It is the finest Christian place of worship of the last two centuries. It was designed by the greatest Irish architect of that era, JJ McCarthy, who also designed both Kilmallock and Ballingarry, but McCarthy himself considered it to be his finest work”.

Also speaking at the launch, Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy said:  “We all owe so much to Bishop Murray for starting and staying with the project, to Liam Irwin for his amazing work and the many others who contributed so handsomely along the way.  I have no doubt but ‘The Diocese of Limerick – an Illustrated History’ will find its way into many Christmas stockings on the 25th.  It is a publication we are all hugely proud of.”