Limerick Diocese Home Page Heritage Project Home Page Index of Parishes Search Help

Introduction to Ballingarry-Granagh   Ballingarry-Granagh   Churches


The village of Ballingarry became the property of the de Lacy family at the turn of the 13th century. In the village at Knight Street are the remains of Ballingarry castle, which was the home of the de Lacy family. The de Lacy family lost their lands and titles in the Cromwellian and Jacobite wars. They became part of the Wild Geese who fled the country in the 1690s. The de Lacys went on to serve in the armies of various European countries.

Samuel Lewis mentions that there were a number of religious houses in the area. The earliest of these houses is said to have been founded by Donough Carbrae O'Brien for the Conventual Franciscans, although it is generally believed that Fitzgerald, Lord of Clenlis, founded the house. There was a Cistertian abbey founded by the Fitzgeralds in 1198 that was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.

Ballingarry is translated as Baile an Gharraí which means the 'town of the garden'. In some older documents the name used for Ballingarry was Garth. Garth was one of the six deaneries that made up the Diocese of Limerick in the 13th century. Garth consisted of 12 parishes at this time.

Ballingarry was a booming town in the early part of the 19th century where the important industry was weaving and linen. However, the Famine had a serious impact on the population in Ballingarry and the town's prosperity was also badly affected.

Granagh is a small village about 4 ½ miles east of Ballingarry. It is a chapel village, which means that the village grew around the church. Granagh can be translated as Greanach, which means a gravelly place.

The hill of Knockfierna dominates the surrounding countryside. Knockfierna is translated into Irish as Cnoc Fírinne, which means 'the hill of truth'. Locals say that the hill was given this name because it is possible to get an accurate weather prediction by observing the hill. According to legend, a being called Donn Fírinne lived on the hill, and it was he who gave the hill its name. Some stories say he was the king of the fairies, while others say he was the Celtic god of Death. The hill of Knockfierna is a place of lore and traditions and people used to bury eggs in hay and crops of corn, and they also used to bury parts of dead animals in places near the hill.

Heritage Project Home | Ballingarry-Granagh Home | Back to Top

Introduction to Ballingarry-Granagh      Churches