Exhibition by Thomond Archaeological & Historical Society Celebrates 130 Years of Local History

  • Thomond society exhibition. Woman looking at objects

A major exhibition by the Thomond Archaeological & Historical Society, Celebrating 130 Years of Local History has been officially launched at St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick.

Limerick Museum collaborated with the Thomond Society in curating the exhibition by providing objects and display cases from the Museum’s collection.  

The collection of rare early photographs, published journals and artefacts on display, many of which are on loan from Limerick Museum, are a testament to the tireless work of current and past members of the Society in preserving and promoting local history, folklore and archaeology. 

Officially launching the exhibition, Councillor Francis Foley, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick said:  “The exhibition is a fine example of the collaboration between different cultural stakeholders in Limerick city and county. I want to pay tribute to a number of people, without whose enthusiasm this exhibition could not have been held. Dean Niall Sloane, Noreen Ellerker and the staff of St Mary’s Cathedral, the organising committee of the exhibition drawn from the Thomond Society’s membership and Dr Matthew Potter, Dr Zara Power and the staff of Limerick Museum.  I should like to mention Dr Power and John Elliott in particular for their major contribution to the project.” 


Thomond launch. Group picture. Photo Deirdre Power
President of the Thomond Archaeological & Historical Society, Mary Kenehan (centre) wore the presidential symbol of the Society, a replica of the Gleninsheen Gorget.. Photo Deirdre Power

Some 150 invited guests and dignitaries attended the official launch where St Mary’s Prize Band provided musical entertainment for the evening.  

The Very Reverend Niall Sloane, Dean of Limerick noted how fitting it was for “the oldest building in Limerick still in use, to host an event celebrating the history of one of the oldest historical societies in the country.” 

The current President of the Thomond Archaeological & Historical Society, Mary Kenehan wore the presidential symbol of the Society, a replica of the Gleninsheen Gorget. Reflecting on the role of women in the Society, President Kenehan commented that it is fifty years since its first female President, Dr Sarah O’Malley, became the inaugural wearer of the gorget.  

Liam Irwin, former Head of History at Mary Immaculate College and former President of the Society gave an illustrated lecture on its formative years, From Field Club to Archaeological Society.  

In celebrating 130 years with this exhibition, the Thomond Society can be inspired to continue to promote and preserve our shared cultural history.  

Celebrating 130 Years of Local History is open to the public Monday to Saturday from 11am to 4pm in St Mary’s Cathedral, King’s Island, Limerick. A discretionary donation to the Cathedral for admission is suggested.  

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Treaty Stone Limerick. Photo Piotr Machowczyk