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Castleconnell’s Butterflies

“We lose our souls if we lose the experience of the forest, the butterflies, the song of the birds, if we can’t see the stars at night.” – Thomas Berry Nature is so important to our wellbeing and in Castleconnell we are really blessed to be surrounded by it. But we need to treasure it…
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Castleconnell Petty Sessions

In a house in Castleconnell, sat the court of Petty Sessions For over one hundred years, it judged your ancestors transgressions Now this house of many wonders Which documents a thousand blunders Opens its door and invites you to hear its confessions It has witnessed village life with all its drama and disputes Whilst the…
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The Visit of the President to Castleconnell

The Day Mary Robinson Came. It was a day in the summer of 1992 the people had been preparing for many weeks for the coming of the President. She was a popular President, supported by the Labour Party and well-known for radical views. She was the first female President of Ireland and noted as a…
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A Freak Happening

A Freak Happening Does anyone remember the time in Castleconnell in the mid- fifties when the Mall field, that is the field between Lee’s field (now Scanlan Park) and the river, produced such a bumper crop of mushrooms that one would think, at a casual glance, that there had been a heavy snowfall overnight ?…
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The Old School on Chapel Hill

The Old School on Chapel Hill It was my first day teaching at the Irish Harp Centre in Castleconnell. There were strains of harps, pianos, even clarinets all over the lovely old house. Tea was on tap in the big kitchen with its huge wooden table where teachers and parents would sit and chat. I…
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Saturday Morning Walk

Saturday morning walk We leave our house and pass the school To the shortcut we make our way Ready now to hear the trees And what the birds might say Up to the Dublin Road we stride Turn right and on we go Making our way to Daly’s Cross A route we all well know…
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Come on Eileen

My roots with Castleconnell go as deep as the ocean blue. For generations, my family has been tied to the village of Castleconnell. Our family has had quite the adventure over the years on the land of Castleconnell however the story I wish to tell you is the story of my beautiful grandmother which starts…
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My Castleconnell

My Castleconnell By Liam McNamara. Covid19, Level 5, Level 3, Restrictions, Cases going up, Cases going down, Donald Trump and Brexit fill the airwaves on the commute to and from work and on the workshop radio’s as they blare 9hrs a day to dry drown out the sounds of cutting, grinding, burning, welding and fabrication.…
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We Live in Hope

  We Live In Hope I clip the lead onto the prancing, dancing dog, who, realising that her hopes of a walk are about to be fulfilled, can no longer contain her excitement. The November sky is a clear duck egg blue. Early morning sunshine struggles to breathe warmth into the crisp winter air. Erring…
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Woodlands House

Woodlands House, now the Castle Oaks House Hotel, occupies one of the most scenic locations on the banks of the River Shannon. Built on an estate of 25 acres, with accompanying out buildings and a gate lodge, it had all the characteristics of the style of architecture predominant during the late Georgian period. The first…
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Fairies vs. Goblins

There once lived a wise child named Fionn in Castleconnell. One day, he was going on a walk down the nature trail and a tree was down, so he went under it. Suddenly, a portal opened and Fionn got sucked into a mysterious fairy land. He always heard about the fairies from his kind aunty,…
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The War of Independence in Castleconnell

In the centenary years of the War of Independence it is timely to reflect on its effect on the village of Castleconnell. This story will outline two significant events that illustrate the barbarity and humanity that characterised the war as it played out in the village and surrounding countryside. Castleconnell was home to the 3rd…
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Napoleon’s Death Mask Recovered in a Small Village in the South of Ireland.

Napoleon’s death mask recovered in a small village in the south of Ireland Annie Hartigan, was a small fiery, red-haired, dressmaker who lived all her life in Railway Cottage, now refurbished and renamed Sloe Berry Cottage, next to the Garda station in Castleconnell. One day in the 1950s Edward Hartigan, her nephew, was working in…
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The Grave

Neighbour – Did you hear? Me – No, what happened.? Neighbour – Seamus’s wife passed last night Me – That’s terrible, was she sick for a while? Neighbour – Ya, f*&king cancer came knocking again…. it’s a sickening thing. Me – It is, it really f*&king is. Neighbour – Are you around Sunday around 2…
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The phone rings; sorry to tell you Mamie is dead. Being in the eighties , unexpected but no great surprise. Drove to the house and sympathised with Martin, the husband. It was only proper to pay respects to Mamie who had reared four grand children. in tough times as did others . So up I…
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Castle Ghost

It was a cold winters day as my mother Margaret Bourke attended for school at Chapel Hill with her friends. It did not take long for a teacher to take Margaret aside and chastise her for not bringing a sod of turf, it being her turn to contribute to the school fire. She and a…
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The Tontines

The History of The Tontines The Tontines are a block of four three storey Georgian houses built opposite Cloon Island in 1812.  The houses were erected by W. Gabbett using money raised by public subscription. Most of the money came from rich property owners in the district, under a financial scheme initiated in France in…
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Castleconnell Railway Station

In days gone by, if you wanted to travel from Castleconnell to Limerick City, there were two methods of transport. A horse-drawn coach which left regularly from the village centre or the steam train from the railway station direct into Limerick’s Colbert Station.    The railway station in Castleconnell opened on 8 August 1858 and…
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The Footbridge

The story of our Footbridge In 1941, the 12th Desmond Infantry Battalion of the Irish Army arrived in Castleconnell. It was the height of World War Two and a state of emergency had been declared in Ireland.  Many of the big houses in the area, on both sides of the river, were converted into military…
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Spectacles Grady & Belmont House

Spectacles Grady and Belmont House Belmont House (now Riverbrook Nursing Home) is noted for being the residence of Thomas Grady, a member of the Irish Bar, scholar and satirical poet of much acclaim. He was known as Spectacles Grady, because of his short-sightedness and was renowned for his wit at many a local gathering. Unfortunately,…
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Sir Richard Bourke

From 1811 up until the 21st century, Thornfield in Ahane was the home of the Bourke family. Its most famous resident was General Sir Richard Bourke K.C.B. (1777-1855) Born in 1777, Richard was educated in England, joined the army in 1798 and saw service in Holland, South America and Spain. At the end of the…
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Shooting at the Shannon Hotel

Excerpt from Village by Shannon, The Story of Castleconnell and its Hinterland Joe Carroll & Pat Tuohy, 1991 “On 17th April 1921 … The G Company of the RIC Auxiliary Division at Killaloe were on their way to investigate a report phoned from Castleconnell that suspicious characters were in O’Donovan’s Shannon Hotel. … Two officers…
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Pride of Place

One Day in August At 1.45 in the afternoon of 8th August 2012 the door gently closed and the vintage car containing the two judges pulled out down Castle Street, turned left on to the back road and away from the village. The TG4 van was loaded up, the local garda giving a wave as…
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Mighty Mick Mackey

Mighty Mick Mackey Mick Mackey is widely regarded as one of the greatest hurlers in the history of the game and in Ahane, he is considered a legend. He was born in 1912 in Castleconnell, the eldest son to John and May Mackey (née Carroll).  The family had a long association with the game of…
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Mesolithic burials at Hermitage

The earliest recorded inhabitants of Ireland date back to the Mesolithic period, arriving by at least 8000BC and crossing the sea in small boats.  In 2001, Ireland’s oldest recorded burial site was discovered at Hermitage, Castleconnell. Following test trenching by Limerick County Council in advance of a pipe-laying scheme, Aegis Archaeology was contracted to excavate…
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Historic Graves

In the cold winter months of 2012/13, the memorials in the graveyard at All Saints Church, Stradbally North, Castleconnell, were recorded by a group of over 30 local volunteers, They came armed with gloves, torches and mirrors to help in the reading of the older inscriptions and a determination to decipher and record the huge…
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Hermitage In 1789, George Evans Bruce, a Limerick banker, bought the estate at Hermitage and built an imposing mansion there. We are told he made his fortune gambling in the casinos of Paris and London and he spared no expense on his house. It was in a spectacular location with views over the Falls of…
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The Fitzgibbon Monument

The Fitzgibbon monument The Fitzgibbon monument, as it has become known, borders the N7 road near Lisnagry School and is an important landmark in the area. This 19th century public water fountain was originally installed at Carrowkeel, near Finnegan’s Cross. The original pump had been placed at the site by John Fitzgibbon, Earl of Clare…
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Castleconnell Banner

Historic Castleconnell Banner First printed in An Caisleàn – The Castleconnell, Ahane, Montpelier Annual 2002 I first heard of the Castleconnell Banner in the summer of 2000 when my good friend, Pearse Magee, a native of Castleconnell, and now living in Kilmacanogue in Counaty Wicklow, told me the fascinating story of the old emblem that…
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Black Jack Fitzgibbon

Black Jack Fitzgibbon, first Earl of Clare, lived at Mountshannon House Excerpt from Village by Shannon, The Story of Castleconnell and its Hinterland Joe Carroll & Pat Tuohy, 1991 John Fitzgibbon, or ‘Black Jack’ as he became known, “entered politics in 1780 and soon made his mark rising quickly to the position of Attorney General.…
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The Brutal Murder of Denis O’Donovan

1921 April 17. 3 RIC men in civilian clothes were drinking in the Shannon View Hotel, 12 Auxiliaries in civilian clothes raided the hotel. There is some disagreement in the reports as to what actually happened. Pringle was shot apparently by one of the RIC men who fired out into the yard, and the RIC…
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