The Swan of Erin


This weekend sees the Irish Georgian Society’s annual Traditional Building Skills exhibition take place at the Hunt Museum in Limerick. Visitors might care to look across the road to the current poor state of Patrick Street, including this house No.4, birthplace of the 19th century soprano Catherine Hayes. One of the most celebrated singers of her generation, she performed in opera houses throughout Europe (as well as giving a recital for Queen Victoria in Buckingham Palace in June 1849) before touring to the United States – where P.T. Barnum sponsored her concerts in California – Australia and India. She deserves to be better remembered today in her native city than the condition of this building and its neighbours would indicate.
For further information on the IGS’s activities in Limerick this weekend, see:

5 comments on “The Swan of Erin

  1. Jardin says:

    Hmm… there’s even a plaque visible on the wall, yet the dereliction is so sad.

  2. Yes indeed there is a plaque, but much good it has done to ensuring the building’s preservation…

  3. Hamilton says:

    If we look here: ,we see great plans for the building from back in 2007, did all this fall through?

    • Thank you for getting in touch. Yes indeed that scheme never came to pass, and Denis Leonard very sadly died in 2009, a great loss to Limerick since he was such a dynamic champion of the city’s architectural heritage. One can only hope that soon the local authority will ensure this building, and its neighbours are comprehensively restored…

      • Hamilton says:

        Oh I’m sorry to hear that… I’ve only recently been reading about Catherine Hayes, it’s clear she was a truly gifted performer.

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