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Introduction   Rockhill-Bruree   Churches

Bruree, a place steeped in history, was one of the seats for the kings of Munster from ancient times until around the end of the 12th century. The King of Cashel used to send gifts to the King of Bruree. These gifts varied from animals to slaves. According to O'Halloran Bruree was also the place where Irish bards met twice a year until 1746.

There are a number of ring-forts located in the Bruree area, the best-known being Lissoleem ring fort. King Ailill Olom is believed to have lived here in the second century. Ailill's nickname was Ollum which means "bare ear" as he lost one of his ears in a fight with the goddess Áine. It is said that Áine bit off his ear!

Over the years, Bruree has been seat of power for the Dalcassians, the Uí Fidgeinte, the O'Briens and the Anglo-Normans. In 1242 Bruree was seized from John de Marisco and his wife Mabel, who was the grandchild of Richard de Burgh. It was returned to them when it was discovered that it was part of Mabel's marriage portion.

One Norman family settled in the area. The de Lacys became landowners in Bruree around 1290 and fought with the Irish against the English in various wars and battles in the 16th and 17th centuries. Despite all the kings that lived in Bruree it is fair to say that the most famous son of Bruree is the former Taoiseach and President Eamon De Valera.

Bruree in Irish is Brúigh Rígh or Brú Rí , which translated means 'the seat of the Kings' or 'the abode of Kings'. The ancient name of Bruree was Dún Eochair Máighe, which means 'the stronghold on the brink of the Maigue'. The river Maigue flows through the village as it makes its way to the sea.

Up to 1859, Colmanswell was part of the parish of Bruree but it is now part of the neighbouring parish of Ballyagran/Colmanswell.

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