Towns of Limerick
Rathkeale —County Limerick
Stepping stone in bringing the Methodist religion to America, two of the children born locally after 200 refugee families from the Rhenish Palatinate of Germany who moved to Rathkeale in 1709 included cousins Philip Embury and Barbara Ruttle. They emigrated to the New World in 1760 to establish Methodism there. They are commemorated at the Embury-Heck Memorial Church in Ballingrane where Barbara Ruttle was born and the story of the Palatines is told through the Irish Palatine Association exhibition open to visitors from June to September.
Ruins of a 13th century Augustinian Abbey merge into the town streetscape. Nearby is the 15th century Castle Matrix towerhouse where the explorer who brought the potato to Ireland from America, Sir Walter Raleigh is reputed to have met with the poet Edmund Spenser.