Red Path from Lahiff's

THE 39 STEPS. The Red path holds a lot of happy memories for many Limerick people. In droves on a Summer's day, people walked, ran, hopped, skipped, jumped and cycled down the 39 steps on their way to the swimming pool (Corbally Baths).
Former Toll House (Lahiff's Shop), how it looks today with extension.
Toll House and Gate at Limerick side of Athlankard Bridge, Corbally. There was a toll of a half penny to anyone coming into Limerick from Clare by foot, one penny if travelling by horse and cart. The bridge was declared toll free on 28th April 1984.
Former Toll House. Lahiff's Shop 1950's. For those who had a few pence to spend, a visit to Lahiff's shop to buy sweets or ice cream was a great treat, before making a descent down the 39 Steps of the Red Path or making their way across Athlunkard Bridge to the Church Fields.
Red Path Entrance Gate. One of the two cast iron gates at the entrance to the Red Path, just before Lahiff's shop.
St. Munchin's College is on the left as you go down the Red Path. In 1850 it was the estate of Pierce Shannon, after that the residence of the Catholic Bishop's. In April 1960 the foundation stone was laid for the new college and in August 1963 it was officially opened.
At the end of the steps there is a magnificent view of the mighty 5 arch cut limestone Athlunkard Bridge. It was designed and built by Pain brothers architects to connect Limerick with Clare. The building of the bridge commenced 1826, completed in 1830 at a cost of £7,000
Across the river on the Clare shore is Shannon Banks housing estate. Before the houses it was known as the Church Fields, a place much frequented by Limerick people for picnics and swimming.
CORNEEN ISLAND. The little island in the middle of the river just downstream from Athlunkard Bridge was called "Corneen" (Cairnin) by the Abbey fishermen, meaning little hill or small round heap.
KENNEDY BRIDGE. A short distance along the Red Path at the bend, there is a small archway, this was the first arch of an attempt to build a bridge across the river by a wealthy Limerick banker named Kennedy. This project was later abandoned in favour of the more ambitious plans for Athlunkard Bridge.
Cast iron boundary marker at Kennedy Bridge.
The little silent woods next to Kennedy Bridge, where the birds do not sing, not a sound, not even a chirp.
Safety railings in place on the Red Path 1950's
Mary O'Halloran (Ryan) on the Red Path with her young son.
The Mill Dam, opposite Corbally Swimming Pool.
THE FOOTBRIDGE 2013

The Red Path from the millrace footbridge near Corbally Baths down to the footbridge over the Mill Stream, was known as Gabbett's Grove. It got its name from Poole Gabbett who lived in Corbally House, now the Nursing Home. When Gabbett's came into possession of the Mill they made many improvements including the planting of glorious beech trees beside the Mill Race, hence the name Gabbett's Grove.

In the 1950's and 60's the bridge was a great spot for picnics and swimming. In spite of it having the name of lamprey eels and a bit of a fast current, non swimmers and struggling swimmers were able to pop into the water, do a bit of kicking and splashing and hold onto the Mill Dam for safety.
Old footbridge over Mill Race near Corbally Baths 1950's. (Photo courtesy of Pat Howell/Pat Lysaght)
The old Millrace footbridge near Corbally Baths, 1950's.
Block House, near the footbridge on the Red Path, built during the second World War to protect the Ardnacrusha Power Station. Another one can be seen on the Green at the end of the Mill Road.
Fishing at Mill Race, Gabbett's Grove (Red Path).
The Picnic Tree.

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Jamie | Reply 15.05.2018 16.36

Apparently John Wayne paid for the house to be built for his local priest in Hollywood USA when the priest wanted to retire back to Ireland. True???

Ann 16.05.2018 21.42

Fr. O'Neill did retire from the U.S. Had heard he knew John Wayne O.K. so possibly he purchased the house for him.

Jamie | Reply 15.05.2018 10.27

HI Ann, I wonder would you know the name of the priest that built the house at the very end on the right next to the Mill stream.There's a John Wayne connection

Ann 15.05.2018 16.29

Hi Jamie, Priests name was Fr. O'Neill, he lived in "Beechgrove" with his sister Maura, it was a Mr. Early that built it. What was the John Wayne connection?

Aisling | Reply 08.01.2018 22.52

Hi Ann, Lovely to hear from someone who knows the Nolans. Aunty Barbara lives in London. She's there over 40 years, but comes home afew times a year.

Aisling | Reply 08.01.2018 14.53

Lovely to see all the old photos. My dad is one of the Nolan's from the Corbally Road. 1 of 13 siblings. Must show him the old photos and names.

Ann 08.01.2018 19.58

Hi Aisling, I know the Nolan's, in fact Barbara was in my class in school, a long time ago though. I'm sure your dad will know some of the people in the photos

Louise | Reply 22.11.2017 19.07

Hi there..would I be able to get a print of the picture of the baths for my aunty....she grew up and learned to swim there so it would be a nice pic as a gift..

Mary O'Brien | Reply 17.11.2017 22.59

Remember it all so well....grew up across the road from St Munchin's College!

Ann 18.11.2017 22.01

Hi Mary, You must have known the area well living so close. Kind Regards.

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Latest comments

16.05 | 21:42

Fr. O'Neill did retire from the U.S. Had heard he knew John Wayne O.K. so possibly he purchased the house for him.

...
15.05 | 16:36

Apparently John Wayne paid for the house to be built for his local priest in Hollywood USA when the priest wanted to retire back to Ireland. True???

...
15.05 | 16:29

Hi Jamie, Priests name was Fr. O'Neill, he lived in "Beechgrove" with his sister Maura, it was a Mr. Early that built it. What was the John Wayne connection?

...
15.05 | 10:27

HI Ann, I wonder would you know the name of the priest that built the house at the very end on the right next to the Mill stream.There's a John Wayne connection

...
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