Pictured: Dr Brian Hughes (left) with Mayor of Limerick, Gerald Mitchell (centre) and Dr Séan William Gannon at the launch of 'Histories of Protestant Limerick, 1912-1923' at St Mary's Cathedral.
A new book co-edited by an MIC historian charts the stories of Limerick’s Protestant communities during the Irish revolutionary period. Histories of Protestant Limerick, 1912-1923 is a collection of essays edited by Dr Brian Hughes, Lecturer in 20th Century Irish history at MIC, and Dr Séan William Gannon, Limerick City and County Library Services.
The new publication draws on a wide range of traditional and hitherto largely untapped local archival sources (including the archives of St Mary’s Cathedral, the Limerick Young Men’s Protestant Association, and the newly discovered Robert Donough O’Brien papers held at MIC) to examine aspects of political, religious, economic, and social life in the city and county in 1912–1923. Under this aspect, they chart the courses taken by Limerick’s Protestant communities to meet the challenges that they faced during this time.
According to Dr Brian Hughes: “The book brings together the scholarship of a range of experts, often drawing on previously unused or underused source material. Individually and collectively, these essays offer an original and valuable contribution to our understanding of the history of Limerick, and the history of the Irish Revolution more broadly. This is another very fruitful collaboration between the Department of History at MIC and Limerick City and County Council, and we hope to continue to build on this positive relationship beyond the Decade of Centenaries.”
In the new book, Dr Ian d’Alton examines the unionist/loyalist politics central to Limerick Protestant life. Dr John O’Callaghan discusses the anti-Protestant sectarianism to which these politics, amongst other factors, could give rise, while Robin Roddie documents the revolutionary experience of Limerick’s Methodist (including Palatine) communities.
In separate contributions, Craig Copley Brown looks at life in St Mary’s Cathedral and the Limerick Young Men’s Protestant Association in 1912–1923, while the Revd Professor Patrick Comerford takes as his focus Limerick’s ordinary churches and their congregations and their experience of revolution and war. Hélène Bradley-Davies and Paul O’Brien use the recently discovered papers of the Alice Craven Trust to shine a spotlight on the Protestant poor, specifically widows, while Professor Terence Dooley and Dr Conor Morrissey chart the decline of Limerick’s Protestant landed gentry in the longer revolutionary period. Finally, Dr Deirdre Nuttall looks at Limerick Protestants in early independent Ireland.
The book will be launched at a free public event by the Mayor of Limerick, Gerald Mitchell at St Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday 8 February at 7pm. An e-book version of this volume may be downloaded by clicking here and a limited number of print copies are available through Limerick City and County Library Service’s Local Studies Department.
Histories of Protestant Limerick, 1912-1923 is the latest publication stemming from a collaboration between MIC’s Department of History and Limerick City and County Council (LCCC) as part of LCCC’s Decade of Centenaries celebrations. The other books are ‘Studying Revolution: Accounts of Mary Immaculate College, 1918-1923’ and ‘The Inevitable Conflict’, both of which were published in 2022.