The Cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in Limerick and stands at the heart of the medieval city. Originally the Royal Palace for the Kings of Thomond it was gifted to the Church in 1168. St Mary’s is an extraordinarily complex building representing developments from the mid-twelfth century to the later twentieth century – a treasure of Irish religious art.
The cathedral graveyard contains many graves and tombs of notable people. The physician Samuel Crumpe is buried in the graveyard near the great west door. Prince Milo of Montenegro, Frances Condell (first woman Mayor of Limerick) and Bishop Charles Graves are also interred in the grounds. The last High King of Munster, Domnall was purportedly buried in the cathedral, with the remnants of his stone coffin still visible in the Cathedral chancel. Bishop Cornelius O’Dea is buried alongside several other Bishops of Limerick in what is believed to be an Episcopal vault underneath the chancel itself. Also notable are the Sexton, Barrington, Boyd and Vanderkiste tombs along the south entrance pathway.