Bruff is situated on the R516. The Morning Star River flows through the town. Bruff is a parish in the barony of Coshma. There are three churches in the parish, situated at Bruff, Grange and Meanus respectively.
The old name for Bruff was Brúgh na nDéise meaning the Palace or the Residence of the Déisí. Another derivation for Bruff is An Brú meaning 'the Abode'. The Déisí were a sept or people who were settled in East Limerick in very remote times. The territory was known as an Déis Bheag (the small Decies) to distinguish it from the larger Decies territory in South Tipperary and Waterford.
Grange or Manister Grange was a parish or district in the
barony of Small County. The Irish for Grange is An Gráinseach.
There are three stone circles in Grange.
The parish church in Bruff was built in 1828. It is dedicated to Saint Peter and St Paul. Lewis described Bruff church as a handsome building in early English style. The building was commenced by Andrew Ryan P.P., and completed by the RC Dean of Limerick, Patrick MacNamara, his successor as PP of Bruff. Andrew Ryan was Parish Priest for 23 years, and is buried in the church.
The side altar on the right is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin
Mary, and was donated by William and Teresa Naughton in 1930. The side altar
on the left is dedicated to the Sacred Heart and was donated by Patrick and
Josephine Kirby in 1950.
Other parishioners donated the stained glass windows in the church.
Plaques in memory of those buried within the church are to be found on the walls of the mortuary chapel attached to the church. One of these plaques is dedicated to the memory of Margaret Redmond, who died June 24th 1838, aged 11.
Buried within the church are:
Fr Timothy O'Meara
Died August 18th 1841
Died 21st August 1838
Died December 19th 1830
Died December 1st 1876
Dean Charles McNamara
Died February 19th 1926
Buried in the grounds of the church are:
Canon David Houlihan
Died May 3rd 1993
Canon James Culhane
Died April 6th 1991
Canon John Lee
Canon Edmund Condon
Died September 23rd 1973
Donal Cregan P.P.
Died 10th February 1892
Daniel Ryan C.C.
Died October 29th 1881
On July 11th 1837 the Bishop, Dr Ryan, laid the foundation stone of Grange church. This church is dedicated to St Patrick and St Brigid. The building of Grange church was completed in 1837 by Dr Robert Cussen, P.P., Bruff.
The church in Grange is small, with a high ceiling. Grange graveyard is in the grounds of this church. Inside the church on the left is a plaque to Bishop John Joseph Hogan. This plaque marks the 170th anniversary of his birth in Cahirguillamore and his baptism in this church. Bishop Hogan founded the Diocese of St Joseph's of Missouri in 1868 and the Diocese of Kansas City in Missouri in 1880.
The grateful people of the Dioceses of Kansas City and St Joseph presented the plaque and the Most Reverend Raymond J. Boland DD, Bishop of Kansas & St Jospeh, unveiled it on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, 15 August 1999.
Edmond and Alice Fitzgerald gave the altar in this church.
Richard O'Donnell donated the window to the left of the altar in 1964.
St Mary's church in Meanus was built in 1845/6. On the 20th July 1845, Dr Cussen, P.P., got Lord Guillamore, who had given the site gratis, to lay the first stone of the new Catholic church at Meanus.
The church in Meanus was renovated in 1999. The stained glass windows in the church were donated by the Meanus Dramatic Class, 1915, Joseph and Mary Clancy, Timothy Hartigan of Crean House, and Stephen and Mary Gleeson.
A plaque in the centre of the right wall is dedicated to the
daughter of John Gleeson, City of Limerick solicitor, who was buried here
on the 19th September 1857 with permission granted by Bishop Ryan. An interesting
note about this plaque is that the daughter's name is not mentioned, although
it is she who is buried here.
Uregare was once a parish in its own right, although it now forms part of Bruff. There were two churches here according to Westropp, Uregare and Urigedy chapel. Uregare church was removed to build the graveyard wall between 1826 and 1840. The site of Urigedy was reputed to be situated to the east of the graveyard.
The church ruin in Glenogra is still in good condition. This church was dedicated to St Nicholas on December 10th 1410. The ruin is situated in Glenogra graveyard, and Westropp states that it had tombs of de Lacys, Roches, Bourkes, O'Gradys and Fitzgeralds.
Tullabracky was also a parish in its own right before becoming part of the parish of Bruff-Meanus-Grange. Tullabracky church ruin was almost levelled by 1901. One wall of the church ruin now stands in Tullabracky graveyard.
According to Westropp, the church in Bruff was dedicated to St Peter of Alexandria on the 26th November 1410. It had fallen into decay and so was demolished by Lady Lucy Hartstonge and a new church built on its site in 1776. The present day church of Ireland church in Bruff is dedicated to St Peter of Alexandria.
According to Pat Quilty, it is believed that the Penal Church stood between Crawfords Lane and Chapel Lane. However, he himself has not seen any printed reference to said church, although Bruff Parish Records seem to go back to 1777.
Westropp also lists a church in Ballygrennane. This church was in the old parish of Uregare. It is said to have been built by George Evans after 1690.
Bruff graveyard is located beside Bruff church. Archdeacon Begley, P.P., and Bishop Keane opened this graveyard in 1937.
The graveyard in Grange is in the church grounds. The oldest headstone that we found here is in memory of James Power, who died on October 17th 1781, aged 75. There is also a large tomb to John Purcell in this graveyard.
Meanus graveyard is situated beside Meanus church. The oldest headstone that we found here was in memory of John Gleeson who died on August 4th 1874.
The graveyard at Teamplin is no longer in use, although it is well kept. There are no visible ruins in this graveyard. The oldest headstone that we found here is in memory of Margaret Madden, who died on May 3rd 1785, aged 22. A headstone of interest in this graveyard is that of Cornelius O'Sullivan of Scartaglin, Co. Kerry, who was killed in action at Gortboy, Kilmallock on July 16th 1922, aged 21.
Kyle graveyard, in the townland of North Camas, is located over a mile west of Bruff, off the Croom road. It is now overgrown. There are no visible ruins here either. This cemetery was the burial place of the Bruff/Boston Fitzgeralds. Nellie O'Brien, widow of Jack Fitzgerald was buried here in January 1935. Jack Fitzgerald died in 1906, and was also buried in Kyle. Pte. Cornelius O'Sullivan and two comrades were buried briefly in Kyle before disinterment and reburial at Teamplin. The oldest headstone that we found here was that of Mary Hogan who died April 14th 1854.
There is also an old cemetery at Tullabracky. One wall remains of the church ruin. Many of the inscriptions on the headstones here were quite worn, and so were difficult to read. However, on the oldest headstone that we found, we believe the inscription to have been in memory of Lucy Bouchier who died on July 25th 1747. Also, according to locals, some of the inscriptions on the headstones in this graveyard are inscribed backwards. Unfortunately we do not know the reason for this custom.
There were three tombs in Glenogra graveyard, but the inscriptions on these were faded. The oldest headstone that we found here was to the memory of Bridget Ahearne, who died on February 10th 1813, aged 70.
Uregare was once a parish in itself. Uregare graveyard is
still in use today. However, the graveyard is quite overgrown. The oldest
headstone that we came across in this graveyard was in memory of Anne Rawleighal,
who died on November 28th 1768, aged 27. The church of St Margaret in Dromin
was demolished between 1826 and 1840, and the stones of this church as well
as those of Uregare church were used to enclose the graveyard of Uregare.
A well called Tubberclarín, Tubberclareen, was located in Milltown, Bruff. Its location was close to where the Mullins Trench enters the Morning Star. According to Pat Quilty, the usual rituals were associated with this well, and it continued to be visited up to the end of the 19th century.
Danaher also mentioned Blunny's Well in Tullabrocky. However, the site of this well is no longer known. It may have been recently domesticated for use by the Leo family. The well was located near the Leo dwelling house according to Mr. Quilty.
St Margaret's Well, now gone, was east of Uregare graveyard.
The stone circle at Grange is the largest and finest in Ireland. Almost certainly a religious site, it had been built by 2100BC, by Bronze Age people living around the lake. Mass was said here on New Year's Day 2000, and this location is sometimes used as a venue for weddings. It consists of an accurately set out ring of standing stones, some of which are more than eight feet high. According to the information board located by the stone circle, there are 123 standing stones in total. These stones are set upright in sockets and surrounded by a man-made bank of earth, turf, and small stones. The interior has an artificial floor of gravelly earth about 70cms above the original ground level. On midsummer's morning as the sun rises, the narrow rays of light shine directly through the narrow entrance passageway and into the centre of the circle.
Lough Gur is located about 20 km from Limerick City and about 4km from Bruff. The development of Lough Gur as a tourist centre started in the 1970's. The visitors' centre was opened in 1981. A museum displays copies of relics that have been retrieved from the lake and its surrounds during excavation. Lough Gur is C-shaped and the rock peninsula of Knockadoon is set within the arms of the C.
Local legend has it that the ghost of Gearóid, Earl
of Desmond, is bound to ride across the lake on his milk-white horse once
every seven years until its silver shoes are worn out. Only then will it be
free of the spell of Lough Gur.
Sean Wall, Brigadier, East Limerick Brigade
We would like to thank local man Pat Quilty for providing us with the following information on the 3rd Battalion, East Limerick Brigade, IRA memorial, which stands in the center of Bruff town. This memorial is popularly known as the 'Sean Wall Memorial'.
Sean Wall, Brigadier, East Limerick Brigade, was born in Ardykeohane, Bruff in 1888. He was killed in tragic circumstances as Anacorty in May 1921.
Sean Wall was chairman of the Limerick County Council. He was married with a young family. His daughter, now a nun, still survives, as well as Gerard, Canon Wall, retired Parish Priest of Kilmallock. Comdt. Wall is remembered as an able commander. Around 1944, a committee of former IRA members set about erecting the memorial, which was finally unveiled in October 1952 by President Sean T. O'Reilly. The model for the statue was Joe Shanahan, Bruff/New York.
Fr Tom Wall, C.C., Dromcollogher (1916), brother of Brigadier
Sean Wall, with another priest, Fr Michael Hayes, C.C., was directly instrumental
in bringing about the huge tide of support for the 1916 rising. According
to Pat Quilty, that catalyst arose from the exchange of correspondence between
Bishop Edward Thomas O'Dwyer, Limerick, and General (The Butcher) Sir John
G Maxwell, officer commanding British forces in Ireland. This was another
Bruff contribution to National Affairs.
Dr Robert Cussen
Dr Robert Cussen was P.P. of Bruff from 1840 to 1865. During
his time as P.P., he finished Grange church. He also built Meanus church and
schools. He made improvements to Bruff church and built the CBS. He was responsible
for building the present convent and introducing the FCJ order to Bruff. On
his death in 1865, his remains were brought to Bruff where they were interred
in the church. A life-size monument was erected to his memory.
|English Name||Irish Name||Meaning|
|Ardanreagh||An tArdán Riabhach||The striped high place|
|Ardykeohane||Ard Mhic Eocháin||The high place of Mac Eocháin|
|Ballinlee||Baile an Lia||The town of the physician|
|Ballinrea||Baile an Riabhaigh||The town of the striped|
|Ballybane||An Baile Bán||The white town|
|Ballycampion||Baile Chaimpion||The town of Caimpion|
|Ballydaheen||Baile Dháitín||The town of Dáithín|
|Ballygrennan||Baile Uí Dhroighneáin||The town of Ó Droighneáin|
|Ballynanty||Baile na Neanta||The town of the nettles|
|Ballyreesode||Baile Ríosóid||The town of Ríosóid|
|Ballyvulhane||Baile Uí Mhothláin||The town of Ó Mothláin|
|Boherygeela||Bóthar Ó gCadhla||The road of Uí Chadhla|
|Brackvone||An Bhreacmhóin||The speckled bogland|
|Bruff||An Brú||The abode|
|Cahirguillamore||Cathair an Ghiolla Mhóir||The stone fort of the big youth|
|Carrigeen||An Carraigín||The small rock|
|Coolfune||Cúil Fionn||Bright corner|
|Crean||An Crián||The clayey place|
|Garbally||An Gearrbhaile||The short town|
|Glenogra||Gleann Fhógra||Glen of the proclamation|
|Grange||An Ghráinseach||The grange|
|Holy Cross||Baile na gCailleach||The town of the Nuns|
|Killorath||Cill na Ráth||The church of the raths|
|Knockfennell||Cnoc Finéil||The hill of Finéal|
|Knockuregare||Cnoc na hÚrach Giorra||The hill of An Úir Ghearr|
|Kyle||An Chioll||The wood|
|Lough Gur||Loch Goir||The lake of Goir|
|Milltown||Baile an Mhuilinn||The town of the mill|
|Mullans||Na Muilláin||The hillocks|
|Parkroe||An Pháirc Rua||The red field|
|Raheen||An Ráithín||The small rath|
|Rockbarton||An Charraig||The rock|
|Stonepark||Leaba na Muice||The bed of the pig|
|Tullabracky||Tulach Bhraice||The spotted hill|
|Tynacocka||Toinn an Chaca||The bog of the excrement|
|Uregare||An Úir Ghearr||Meaning uncertain|
|? - 1686||John Hayes|
|1704 - 1722||Darby Mulquiny|
|1722 - 1762||Robert Hayes|
|1762 - 1770||Thomas O’Driscoll|
|1770 - 1781||John Shinnors|
|1781 - 1791||John Young D.D. (Adm.)|
|1791 - 1807||Darby Buckley|
|1807 - 1830||Andrew Ryan|
|1830 – 1836||Dean Patrick McNamara|
|1837||Dean Patrick McNamara||Jeremiah Halpin|
|1838||Dean Patrick McNamara||Charles McDonnell|
|1839||Robert Cussen||Charles McDonnell|
|1840||Robert Cussen||Charles McDonnell|
|1841||Robert Cussen||Charles McDonnell|
|1842||Robert Cussen||Marcus Cleary|
|1843||Robert Cussen||Richard Mackey|
|1844||Robert Cussen||Richard Mackey|
|1845||Robert Cussen||John Nolan|
|1846||Robert Cussen||John Nolan|
|1847||Robert Cussen||John Nolan|
|1848||Robert Cussen||John Nolan|
|1849||Robert Cussen||John Nolan|
|1850||Robert Cussen||Thomas Blake|
|P. Meehan D.D.|
|1851||Robert Cussen||Thomas Blake|
|1852||Robert Cussen||Thomas Blake|
|1853||Robert Cussen||Thomas Blake|
|1854||Robert Cussen||Thomas Blake|
|1855||Robert Cussen||Thomas Browne|
|1856||Robert Cussen||Thomas Browne|
|1857||Robert Cussen||Thomas Browne|
|1858||Robert Cussen||Thomas Browne|
|1859||Robert Cussen||Thomas Browne|
|1860||Robert Cussen||James Moran|
|1861||Robert Cussen||James Moran|
|1862||Robert Cussen||James Moran|
|1863||Dean Robert Cussen||James Moran|
|1864||Dean Robert Cussen||Luke Glesson|
|1865||Dean Robert Cussen||Luke Glesson|
|1867||Denis Cregan||David Quin|
|1868||Denis Cregan||Stephen Nicholl|
|1869||Denis Cregan||Stephen Nicholl|
|1870||Denis Cregan||Stephen Nicholl|
|1871||Denis Cregan||T. Riordan|
|1872||Denis Cregan||T. Riordan|
|1873||Denis Cregan||T. Riordan|
|1874||Denis Cregan||T. Riordan|
|1875||Denis Cregan||T. Riordan|
|1876||Denis Cregan||T. Riordan|
|1877||Denis Cregan||Maurice Leahy|
|1878||Denis Cregan||Maurice Leahy|
|1879||Denis Cregan||Maurice Leahy|
|1880||Denis Cregan||Maurice Leahy|
|1881||Denis Cregan||Thomas Graham|
|1882||Denis Cregan||Thomas Graham|
|1883||Denis Cregan||Thomas Graham|
|1884||Denis Cregan||Thomas Graham|
|1885||Denis Cregan||Thomas Graham|
|1886||Denis Cregan||Thomas Graham|
|1887||Denis Cregan||John Sheehan|
|1888||Dean Denis Cregan||John Sheehan|
|1889||Dean Denis Cregan||John Sheehan|
|1890||Dean Denis Cregan||John Sheehan|
|1891||Dean Denis Cregan||John Sheehan|
|1892||Dean Denis Cregan||John Reeves|
|1893||Charles McNamara||John Reeves|
|1894||Charles McNamara||John Reeves|
|1895||Charles McNamara||John Reeves|
|1896||Charles McNamara||John Reeves|
|1897||Charles McNamara||John Reeves|
|1898||Charles McNamara||John Reeves|
|1899||Charles McNamara||John Reeves|
|1900||Charles McNamara||John Reeves|
|1901||Charles McNamara||John Reeves|
|1902||Charles McNamara||Gerald O’Connor|
|1903||Charles McNamara||Gerald O’Connor|
|1904||Charles McNamara||Gerald O’Connor|
|1905||Charles McNamara||Gerald O’Connor|
|1906||Charles McNamara||Gerald O’Connor|
|1907||Charles McNamara||Gerald O’Connor|
|1908||Charles McNamara||William O’Shea|
|1909||Charles McNamara||William O’Shea|
|1910||Charles McNamara||William O’Shea|
|1911||Charles McNamara||William O’Shea|
|1912||Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1913||Canon Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1914||Canon Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1915||Canon Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1916||Dean Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1917||Dean Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1918||Dean Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1919||Dean Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1920||Dean Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1921||Dean Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1922||Dean Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1923||Dean Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1924||Dean Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1925||Dean Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1926||Dean Charles McNamara||David Barry|
|1927||Canon John Lee||David Barry|
|1928||Canon John Lee||David Barry|
|1929||Canon John Lee||David Barry|
|1930||Canon John Lee||David Barry|
|1931||Canon John Lee||David Barry|
|1932||Canon John Lee||C. O’Sullivan|
|1933||Archdeacon John Begley||C. O’Sullivan|
|1934||Archdeacon John Begley||C. O’Sullivan|
|1935||Archdeacon John Begley||C. O’Sullivan|
|1936||Archdeacon John Begley||C. O’Sullivan|
|1937||Archdeacon John Begley||C. O’Sullivan|
|1938||Archdeacon John Begley||C. O’Sullivan|
|1939||Archdeacon John Begley||T. O’Sullivan|
|1940||Archdeacon John Begley||T. O’Sullivan|
|1941||Archdeacon John Begley||T. O’Sullivan|
|1942||Patrick O’Neill D.D.||T. O’Sullivan|
|1943||Patrick O’Neill D.D.||T. O’Sullivan|
|1944||Patrick O’Neill D.D.||T. O’Sullivan|
|1945||Patrick O’Neill D.D.||T. O’Sullivan|
|1946||Canon David O’Riordan||T. O’Sullivan|
|1947||Canon David O’Riordan||T. O’Sullivan|
|1948||Canon David O’Riordan||T. O’Sullivan|
|1949||Canon David O’Riordan||John McCarthy|
|1950||Canon David O’Riordan||John Browne|
|1951||Canon David O’Riordan||John Browne|
|1952||Canon David O’Riordan||John Browne|
|1953||Canon David O’Riordan||John Browne|
|1954||Canon David O’Riordan||John Browne|
|1955||Canon David O’Riordan||John Browne|
|1956||Canon David O’Riordan||John Browne|
|1957||Canon David O’Riordan||John Browne|
|1958||Edmund Condon||John Browne|
|1959||Edmund Condon||John Browne|
|1960||Canon Edmund Condon||Edmund Houlihan|
|1961||Canon Edmund Condon||Edmund Houlihan|
|1962||Canon Edmund Condon||Edmund Houlihan|
|1963||Canon Edmund Condon||Edmund Houlihan|
|1964||Canon Edmund Condon||Maurice Crowley|
|1965||Canon Edmund Condon||Maurice Crowley|
|1966||Canon Edmund Condon||Maurice Crowley|
|1967||Canon Edmund Condon||James Neville|
|1968||Canon Edmund Condon||James Neville|
|1969||Canon Edmund Condon||James Neville|
|1970||Canon Edmund Condon||James Neville|
|1971||Canon Edmund Condon||James Neville|
|1972||Canon Edmund Condon||James Neville|
|1973||Canon Edmund Condon||James Neville|
|1975||James Culhane||John Ryan|
|1976||James Culhane||John Ryan|
|1977||James Culhane||John Ryan|
|1978||James Culhane||John Ryan|
|1979||James Culhane||John Ryan|
|1980||James Culhane||Maurice Costello|
|1981||James Culhane||Maurice Costello|
|1982||James Culhane||Maurice Costello|
|1983||James Culhane||Patrick Howard|
|Patrick J. O’Donnell|
|1984||James Culhane||Patrick J. O’Donnell|
|1985||James Culhane||Patrick J. O’Donnell|
|1986||James Culhane||Thomas Coughlan|
|1987||Canon James Culhane||Francis O’Dea|
|1988||David Houlihan||Francis O'Dea|
|1989||David Houlihan||Francis O’Dea|
|1990||Canon David Houlihan||Francis O’Dea|
|1991||Canon David Houlihan||Desmond McAuliffe|
|1992||John Condon||Desmond McAuliffe|
|1993||John Condon||Desmond McAuliffe|
|1994||John Condon||Desmond McAuliffe|
|1995||John Condon||Desmond McAuliffe|
|1996||Desmond McAuliffe (Adm.)||Gerry Roche|
|1997||John Condon||Desmond McAuliffe|
|1998||James Costello||Joseph Foley|
|1999||James Costello||Joseph Foley|
|2000||Canon James Costello||Joseph Foley|
|2001||Canon James Costello||Joseph Foley|
|2002||Canon James Costello||Joseph Foley|
|2003||Canon James Costello||Joseph Foley|
|2004||Canon James Costello||Joseph Foley|
|2005||Canon James Costello||Joseph Foley|
|2006||Canon James Costello||Joseph Foley|
|2007||Canon James Costello||Joseph Foley|
The list of Priests from 1704 to 1836 is compiled from information gained in Begley's History of the Diocese of Limerick Vol. III page 598. The remaining years are compiled from the Catholic Directories. Information contained in a directory of any given year refers to what happened the previous year. For example if a priest is recorded in the 1954 directory as being in a particular parish, this would mean that he was actually there in 1953.
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