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North Munster Masonic Centre,
Castle Street,
King's Island,

The Old Meeting Rooms
of the Lodges of North Munster

The Lyric Cinema in the 1950s, now replaced by an apartment block.Surviving records show that Lodge 13 met in a number of different locations throughout the city. In 1789 it met in the house of one of its members in Barrack Street.  In 1804, it moved to the Royal Coffee House and then moved to the Mercantile Coffee House, next it moved to the house of William Collopy, then on to Moriarty's Hotel. Next it met in Supple's Hotel, Thomas Street. At other times it met in rooms at 92 George's Street, Cruises Hotel, and Swinburns. In May 1841, the Lodge moved to Northumberland Building in Henry Street to a premises that was known as The Masonic Hall. Three years later they moved to 97 George's Street (later renamed O'Connell Street).

Back in the late 1700s Lodge 36 used to meet on the first Wednesday of each month in the house of one of its members who lived in one of the houses which had been built on Baal's Bridge.  His name was George Bell and according to Ferrar's Limerick Directory of 1789 he was a Card-maker which would have been connected with the wool trade.

In 1872 the new venue for the "Provincial Masonic Hall” was in Glentworth Street, subsequently the site of the Lyric Theatre and now an apartment block opposite Pery's Hotel (formerly the Glentworth Hotel).

In 1879, on the 6th November, Provincial Grand Lodge and the other Lodges joined with Lodge 13 and set up their premises at No.6 The Crescent where they remained until March 1968 when they moved back to 97 O’Connell Street, Limerick.

The old Lodge room of Antient Union Lodge 13At 6 The Crescent, Lodge 13 maintained their own separate meeting room. There was also a Lodge room which was used for Provincial meetings when the room could be enlarged by opening dividing doors into another room. The premises, known as the “Masonic Club” also had a Snooker room, Reading room, Kitchen, Dining room and full Bar facilities.

Lodge Room in 97 O'Connell Street.The new premises at 97 O’Connell St. were much smaller consisting of just 2 rooms; an Assembly or Ante room and a meeting room. So all the furniture of the Lodge rooms at The Crescent had to be compacted into the new smaller Lodge room, making it one of the most unique in the country.  Having no dining facilities now required that Festive Boards and other special occasions had to be held in local Hotels.

The high back canopy chairs date back to the 1840’s and bear the family Coats of Arms of the occupiers of those seats.

The Lodges remained at 97 O’Connell St. until they moved to their present premises in Castle Street, King's Island, Limerick in the summer of 2003. The meeting rooms were completed although construction work on the ground floor and entrance way continued until March 2005.  The official opening took place on Friday 23rd September 2005 with the Minister for Defence, local TD Willie O'Dea performing the ceremony.  The then Grand Master, Eric N Waller and many other senior members of the Order were in attendance.

Knappogue Castle  has a long association with Freemasonry in County Clare. Lord Dunboyne was originally a member of Triune Lodge 333 in Limerick and served as the Grand Treasurer of Grand Lodge of Ireland.  In 1864, Lord Dunboyne joined the Ennis Master Masons' Lodge 60. It was common practice in those days that meetings were sometimes held in homes rather than dedicated buildings.  Knappogue Castle was the venue for many of these Masonic meetings.  In July 1867, the Lodge changed its name to 'Dunboyne Lodge No. 60'. For more information about Knappogue Castle's connection with Freemasonry follow this hyperlink.

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