The way it works: Eight bells, the smallest is called the "treble", the heaviest is the "tenor". Teble's away first with all the others in order of weight following after. The leader then calls a change, inserting one of the later bells in before an earlier one. For example a call of six-two, would mean the number six ringer now changes his tempo and beat to fit in ahead of the number two ringer. After a while, another change is called. Hence the proper, in tune bell ringing that actually takes years of practice.
These are the practice bells. And these are some of the St Mary's campanologists...
The sound of their ringing transported me back to being a child with Nana and Thorny Wire feeding the ducks and swans on the Shannon just by Curragower Falls. It's hard to explain. Things that I think are cool, are not really cool, most people think that they're daft and ridiculous, but I thought bell ringing was amazing. Not just the history of the church, or my own personal history, but the art and ease that these guys did a pretty complex job. The whole thing really.
Mind you, the narrow ass stairs was properly claustrophobic. Worth it for the view from the top. In Limerick and with nothing to do about the town; I highly recommend a visit to St Mary's Cathedral. It's cool. And by that I mean I think it's cool, and you may not.