Apr 7, 2021

History of Broadford Village Co.Limerick Part 1

Thiar le hais an droichid ceathrughadh míle as so – bhí an chéad Béal an Átha suidhte.  Is fuirist tuiscint conus a fuair an áit a hainm.  Tá rían an Átha le hais an droichid fós ann.  Agus an “béal”, tá sé soiléir go leor mar oscluigheann an abha amach i bhfuirm béil ag an bpoinnte seo.  Sin bunús na h-ainmne ‘Béal an Átha’”

“Back beside the bridge, a quarter of a mile from here, the first Béal an Átha was located.  It is easy to understand how the place got it’s name.  A trace of the ford beside the bridge still exists.  And the ‘mouth’ – it is obvious enough because the river opens out into the shape of a mouth at this point.  That is the origin of the name ‘Béal an Átha.’”

Séamus Ó Gruagáin, Principal Teacher, Broadford National School,

The above is taken from ‘The Irish Folklore Schools Manuscript Collection, 1937/1938’

Séamus wrote the above during his time as teacher in the school at Broadford which is now the Community Centre next to the existing Church in the village.

The Ordnance Survey map of 1841 shows a newer village running from the old country road to Tullylease as far as the quarry (now the arboretum) and as far as the Church on the opposite side.  The map shows a much older village running from Broadford bridge to Pierce’s fort. 

5 limestone quarries were being worked near the village at that time and the Mohilly family were famous stonemasons.  Their craftsmanship is to be seen in many of the nearby cemeteries in County Limerick and County Cork.

The 5 conjoined houses which centre on the Post Office and contribute so much to the architecture of the village were built by Henry Dean Spread in the early 1880s.Henry Dean Spread was married to Mary Ann Sullivan, daughter of Francis and Ann Sullivan of Glenview Lodge.