Hartstonge House is a town house, with no garden, it stands alone on Hartstonge St, towards Pery Square , taking a left on O'Connell's street facing the Cresent. It was the home (1860s-80s) of the wealthy Harris family, of Harris' bakery, Henry St, Limerick. Later from the Harris family came the actor Richard Harris Stephen O'Mara bought Hartstonge House from the Harris family and settled here in 1886. [Pat Lavelle] describes from her youth: "what I saw, the comfort and well-being of Hartstonge House, the crowds of relations, the stables with carriages and horses, had all been achieved by the work and energy of two men, my grandfather and his father James". Stephen O'Mara left c.1909, definitely gone by 1910. Not likely that any other O'Maras lived there. People may get this house mixed up with the tall narrow house that contains the green Hartstonges plaque on it. The Hartstonges family did not live in this house but in the house with the plaque on it further up the street. The house still survives. Now occupied by The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, who have named it Ozanam House after their founder. There is a plaque to Joseph O'Mara, the opera singer on the house. It says 'Joseph O'Mara (1866 - 1927) the internationally famed Operatic Tenor lived here. He formed his own company in 1912 and starred in many acclaimed productions. He was a Freeman of Limerick.
The name "Hartstonge House" is now used by another building on the street.
The Hartstonge memorial plaque is located just off O'Connell street on the side of a building on Hartstonge street in Limerick city. It is quite small and would easily be missed if it wasn't illuminated by a powerful light, just off the side walk. The plaque was placed by Limerick Civic Trust. The plaque was erected because Limerick Civic Trust was proud of what Sir Harry and Lady Hartstonge achieved. The plaques words inform us of Sir Harry and Lady Hartstonge who lived on the street and that they were important people for Limerick, " The street is dedicated to the memory of Sir Harry (d.1844) and Lady Hartstonge who were eminent benefactors to the city. They lived on this street ". However, the plaque does not provide the information of what feats they accomplished or what they achieved for Limerick city. This is somewhat disappointing considering historians and tourists could come to view the plaque for themselves and leave with little information. Nonetheless, amongst all the traffic and commotion in Limerick city, it is nice to go and view the small plaque which gives you some insight into the history of Limerick city. The plaque can be viewed here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/limerickslife/8240591617/in/photostream/