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Castleconnell - Limerick - street scene

circa 1910

Castleconnell (Caisleán Uí Chonaill in Irish) is a scenic village on the banks of the River Shannon, some 11 km (7 miles) from Limerick city and within a few minutes walk of the boundaries with counties Clare and Tipperary. The ruin of the 'Castle of Connell' (in fact the castle of a family named Gunning), from which the name of the village derives, was built on a rock outcrop overlooking the bend of the river. It was destroyed in a siege by the army of General Ginkel, fighting in support of the Army of William of Orange at the end of the 17th Century.

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Photo Details

  • County: Limerick
  • Town: Castleconnell
  • Scene: Main St
  • Date: 1910 (estimate)

Specification

  • Digitally remastered
  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper
  • Also available mounted & framed, ask for details
  • Colour images can be printed in black & white if preferred.
  • Read about Castleconnell below

Castleconnell

Castleconnell (Caisleán Uí Chonaill in Irish) is a scenic village on the banks of the River Shannon, some 11 km (7 miles) from Limerick city and within a few minutes walk of the boundaries with counties Clare and Tipperary.

The ruin of the 'Castle of Connell' (in fact the castle of a family named Gunning), from which the name of the village derives, was built on a rock outcrop overlooking the bend of the river. It was destroyed in a siege by the army of General Ginkel, fighting in support of the Army of William of Orange at the end of the 17th Century. Even today a large chunk of the castle wall lies some fifty feet from the castle, thrown clear across the road by siege cannons. A footbridge over the Shannon - built during the 1939-1945 Emergency by the Irish Army under Captain Carley Owens - connects counties Limerick and Clare. Known for its fishing - both coarse and sport - it has a history as a fishing destination stretching back into the 19th Century. Reputedly fished by royalty in those days (and by distinguished figures such as former Republic of Ireland football manager Jack Charlton these days), many fine salmon and trout have been caught in its environs.

The Shannon Electricity Scheme and its Ardnacrusha dam at Parteen changed the fortunes of the village considerably in the 1930's when it reduced the flow of water south of the dam to approximately one sixth, dropping water levels along the Shannon. The engineers added a fish lift to the dam, allowing fish to be lifted in a water-filled container and thereby pass upstream to their traditional spawning beds. The river at Castleconnell is also known for its rich bird life, and particularly its swans, many of which are migratory Icelandic Whooper Swans wintering and breeding on the river. The native swans are mute.

Many fine nineteenth-century buildings overlook the Shannon in Castleconnell. One of these, the former schoolhouse, is now home to the Irish Harp Centre, run by noted harper Janet Harbison and her husband, Malcolm Gullis. Another, the former convent, is now the Castleoaks House Hotel, which (because of its scenic location) is a popular venue for wedding receptions. A little south of the village lies the ruins of the once-grand Mountshannon House, a Palladian mansion gutted by fire early in the 20th Century.

The village centre has recently seen development activity including the building of new shop and business premises. There has also been much high density housing development in the area in recents times, due to its close proximity to Limerick city. These developments have come under some criticism from locals who claim that they are not being in keeping with the character or development plans of the village.

Castleconnell is the home of Limerick's most successful hurling club. Ahane GAA club won 16 Limerick Senior Hurling Championships between 1931 and 1948 and provided many of the Limerick team that won All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championships in 1934, 1936 and 1940. Among its most famous players were Mick Mackey and Jackie Power.