Fundraising target well underway
A Church that has a very special relevance for many Limerick people, since it was built on Oâ€™Connell Avenue in 1904, is St Josephâ€™s, which has just launched its fundraising brochure â€“ Preserving Our Place for Future Generations, and drive for a comprehensive restoration of the landmark building.
Spearheaded by Father Tom Mangan, administrator of St. Josephâ€™s Parish, conservation work commenced last year to correct weather damage to the structure and generally refurbish the church, which is Italian in design and built of limerick limestone.
As a protected structure, work will involve specific guidelines from the city conservation authorities, at in excess of â‚¬500,000 â€“ so far over â‚¬221,000 has been raised thanks to the work of our parishioners and fundraising groups over the last two years.
Images below . . . . Fergal Clohessy, DerHur and Limerick Museum
History Of St. Josephâ€™s Church
St Josephâ€™s parish was founded in 1973 when it was split from St. Michaelâ€™s Parish.
St Joseph's church was built in 1904. It was originally used as a chapel of ease for St Michael's parish church. At the turn of the century, it was decided to build a new church to accommodate the growth of St Michael's parish. The architect of the church was Mr W E Corbett and the builders were John Ryan & Sons. Mr Byrnes gave the site for the church.
According to the original plan, the church would be built in two stages. The second stage was to begin when the money had been raised to finish the church. However, when the first stage was completed, the church did not look aesthetically pleasing and it was decided to borrow the remaining money to finish the church.
The church has acquired the nickname 'the church of the spite' because it is situated across the road from the Jesuits' Church of the Sacred Heart. At the time of the building of St Joseph's, the then bishop, Bishop O'Dwyer objected to the Jesuits using a two-tier system for worshippers. The wealthy people sat at the front of the church while the ordinary people sat at the back. Despite attempts from Bishop O'Dwyer, the Jesuits refused to change this system and it was decided that a new church was needed which would not have this practice of separation.
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