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

Welcome address by the
Provincial Grand Master of North Munster
Thomas H PeirceTH Peirce - PGM

I cordially welcome you to the Web-site of the Provincial Grand Lodge of North Munster .

The Province of North Munster was created in 1842, which at that time comprised the City and County of Limerick, the County of Clare and the towns of Nenagh - in Tipperary, and Charleville in North Cork.

The first Provincial Grand Master was Bro. Michael Furnell, a Past Master of Lodge 13, and a High Sheriff of the County of Limerick.

Lodges in the new Province included Union Lodge 13, Eden Lodge 73, both meeting in Limerick City, Emerald Lodge 49, Charleville, Lodge 60, Ennis - later to be named Dunboyne Lodge after Lord Dunboyne, Provincial Grand Master from 1868 to 1881 - Lodge 107, Kilrush and St James Lodge 208 meeting in Nenagh. In 1846, two new Lodges were formed, namely, Ormonde Lodge 201 meeting in Nenagh, and Triune Lodge 333 meeting in Limerick City, while in 1851, Desmond Lodge 202 was formed and met in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick.

The reorganisation of Masonic Provinces in 1868 enlarged North Munster to include Co. Tipperary, (excluding Clonmel, Carrick-on-Suir and Roscrea), together with North Kerry but excluding Tralee and Milltown. This brought in two more Lodges; St. Patrick's Lodge 311, Templemore and The Rock of Cashel Lodge 541, Cashel, Co. Tipperary. Later on, in 1873, Excelsior Lodge 268 was formed meeting in Limerick City. 

The Province could now be said to cover the Mid-West of Ireland, and while it continues unchanged in area to the present day, the same cannot be said of its constituent Lodges. As is commonly the case, some Lodges have closed while on the other hand, new Lodges have been formed as the populace has changed or moved away. There are at present 6 Lodges, 5 of which now meet in Limerick City.  At one stage there were 8 Lodges in the Province. As an example of how Irish Freemasonry has spread throughout the world, the Warrant of Lodge 107, which was returned to Grand Lodge in 1856, was subsequently re-issued to Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on 16th February 1861, and despite a period in the 1890s is still active.  Following the disastrous tsunami there in 2005, a donation was sent to the Lodge to provide assistance direct to those in need.

In 1968, the move from Number 6, The Crescent to 97 O'Connell Street - both of which were rented premises - was a temporary arrangement and we always had in mind the possibility of a permanent meeting place. In the late 1980's various venues were considered, and eventually title to our present site at Castle Street, King's Island - the old citadel of Limerick - and near King John's Castle was acquired in 1995/96. This fine building is now the culmination of all that effort and will be the home of Freemasonry in North Munster with its developing links with the wider community for many years to come.

The North Munster Masonic Centre is on the site of the old St. Munchin's Parochial Hall on King's Island, Limerick, and having retained as much of the old buildings as it was safe to do, we have extended them to suit the requirements of a Masonic Centre that is open to the public by arrangement. It is available for use by Community Groups, Schools and Voluntary Bodies and is fully wheelchair accessible with a lift to the first floor. Facilities include Meeting rooms, a Museum and Library, and a Function room with full catering facilities. The Museum has a most interesting display of exhibits with Masonic connections showing the historical links and interaction between the Masonic Order and the commercial and social life of Limerick City and the surrounding area over the last 300 or more years.

As mentioned above, the Centre is open by prior arrangement and visitors are most welcome. Visiting Brethren of course are always welcome at our meetings, and non-Masons are equally welcome to visit our premises. We are delighted to explain what Freemasons have to offer in terms of friendship, integrity and our charitable ethos.

At present, visits can be arranged by appointment, by sending an email to:   The Provincial Grand Lodge of North Munster

Alternatively, Limerick Civic Trust is currently organising guided tours of the Centre for groups on a pre-arranged basis and contact should be made by phoning 061 31 33 99.

Thomas H Peirce
Provincial Grand Master of North Munster
 


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