MILL ROAD MEMORIES

Hello, welcome to my website. I have put together a collection of photos from Corbally, some old, some new. Take a walk through my collection and stay a while or come back often and visit, who knows what new photos you might see. If you enjoyed browsing through my website, I would be most grateful if you would click the little red heart.
Ann MacLysaght Liston
Rosaleen Lysaght, children Ann and Pat, St. Thomas's Island 1947.

I was first introduced to the Mill Road when I was about 3 years old by my parents, they had a great love for Corbally, they spent a great deal of their teenage years in the late 1930’s swimming and boating on the river Shannon and picnicking on St. Thomas’s Island. Their dream was to one day live on the Mill Road. 

In the late 1940’s their dream partly came true when my father acquired a very small plot of land on the edge of the Shannon at the end of the Mill Road, there he built a hut, our Summer Residence, next to his uncle Arthur who had one of the first huts in Corbally.

 On weekends and Summer holidays we would cycle out to the Mill Road, me in a basket on the carrier of my Mam’s bike, my brother Pat on the bar of my Dad’s and our Irish terrier dog “Ginger” running along behind. During those few years my Dad along with other hut owners organised and participated in local Regattas, winning many races. The Regatta’s were abandoned for years, but were revived again in the 1970’s, my brother Pat then became involved and won many races mostly with Dan Gallagher.

How Mill Road looked in 1984 before Siúl na hAbhann and Silverbrook housing estates. Mr. Liam Forde lived inside the high ivy clad wall on the right, up a long avenue in "Lax Weir Cottage" The wall started to be demolished on 14th December 2001 to make way for Siúl na hAbhann. On left was Maurer's field now Silverbrook estate. Marie Lysaght on her bike bringing her youngest daughter Maria to her first day at school.

Opportunity knocked for my parents in the 1950’s when a small house with a bit of land came up for sale. That was it, we moved to the Mill Road permanently and haven’t moved out since. It was heaven living near the river we all loved so much. A few years later Dad built a new bungalow in the garden and we moved in there to live, Pat who wasn’t long married at the time moved into the old house, I left the Mill Road briefly when I got married but when my Dad built a new house by the river in place of the hut and moved there to live, we got the opportunity to buy their house, it was a dream come true. Later Dad built a house for my sister Rosaleen at the river next to theirs and later again for my sister Maura next to that. 

 I think I can safely say that we loved living on the Mill Road back in those times, it was so very different to now. No housing estates, no Scoil Ide, no speed ramps, no speed signs, no double or single yellow lines. The road was quiet, quaint and narrow with plenty of lush green fields, high limestone grey walls and magnificent towering trees. There was approx. 40 houses, almost all with their own names, no numbers and we knew who lived in every house. Our next door neighbours were the Quillinans, a field away.

"ROSENEATH" Mill Road. Photo taken outside rear of house circa 1940. From left: Rita Murphy, Michael McNamara, owner of "Roseneath" and children, baby Dermot, Anthony, Beatrice, Louis, nephew Michael Gleeson in dark suit and dog Rajah. Michael McNamara had a Bakery in Mary Street, Limerick. (Photo courtesy of Michael Gleeson, London)

On our way from school after hopping off the bus at the top of the Mill Road, the first house name we would see was “Sunnyside" then “India Ville”, “St. Jude’s” Nursing Home, “The Cottage”, "Geraldine", "Woodlands", "Riverview", "Maryville", "Ard na Greina", "Roseneath", "Prospect Villa", "Kilroy", “Thornville”, “Mayfield”, “Prague”, "Cúlruad" “Ruanard”, "Norwood", "Myrtle Lodge", "Hillside", "Laurel Cottage", "Laurel Ville", "Lax Weir Cottage", "Cois Abhainn", "Corbally House", "Beech Grove" and "Willow Bank Cottage". Some of the houses are now gone others have changed names.

On our arrival home from school we would change our clothes, meet up with our pals  who were the Connollys, Kerrs, Coughlans, Greens, Moloneys, Tullys and Kellys, then our adventures would begin, we had the run of the entire Mill Road, we knew every field, ditch, tree and blade of grass, we were familiar with pheasants, birds, rabbits, hares, hedgehogs, foxes and there was always cattle in the fields. Each season brought different pastime.

The old stables in the grounds of St. Munchin's College.

In Winter we spent a lot of our time in the Bishop’s, my friend Joy Kerr kept her 2 ponies Trody and Tanzy in the stables there. We loved taking the ponies for a trot down the Mill Road, then going back into the narrow tunnel like avenue, almost dark from the huge overhanging chestnut trees that lined the Bishop’s Avenue and then out into the open fields for a  gallop right up to “Sunnyside”, then back to groom and feed the ponies and clean out the stables, in the walled in stable yard.  At that time there was no St. Munchin’s College, no Scoil Ide and no football pitches. Inside the Bishop’s there was also another walled in area, it was the garden of the Bishop’s Palace, there Mr. John Lyons who lived in the  Gate Lodge at the main entrance, kept a magnificent fruit and vegetable garden.

Main entrance gate to the Bishop's Palace, Mr. John Lyons lived in the gate lodge just inside the small gate on the left. The lodge is long gone, but In Summer, Mr. Lyons white roses can still be seen hanging over the wall.
PROSPECT VILLA

Another pastime of ours was to climb the very tall narrow palm trees that were just inside the entrance gate of “Prospect House” we called it "The Priests", Fr. Lane, Fr. Looby and Fr. Breen lived there.  We would sit at the very top of the trees for hours on end watching the comings and goings of the Priests and the residents of the Mill Road, without they ever knowing, what’s more we had a spectacular view of the city. Later in 1965  “Prospect Villa” became home to The Little Sisters of the Assumption. The next owners renamed the house “Ryanhart”.

Every so often we would go to spare ground in Ruddock’s of “Corbally House”, they processed films for all the Chemists in town, just inside the front gate there was a tunnel which led to under the front door, we made lots of attempts to venture into the tunnel, but always chickened out, feeling there might be bats inside. However, on one occasion we got the courage and went into the tunnel, feeling our way and talking as we went along, it was pitch, pitch dark, finally we came to an end and a door opened, we got the fright of our lives, and ran out, way quicker than we went in, after that we had no desire to go back there again. We discovered afterwards that the tunnel led to the cellar where the girls worked processing the films. Ruddocks were a Quaker family, their son Jack drowned at Corbally in June 1941 and is buried in the Quakers graveyard in Limerick.

BROCHURE FOR KING JOHN'S HOTEL. Now Corbally House Nursing Home.

 Seymour Major was the next owner of “Corbally House”, he turned it into a small hotel and named it  “King John’s”, described as set in two acres of walled gardens on the banks of the River Shannon. It had H and C in all bedrooms.

Tariff per person: High Season the weekly rate including breakfast, lunch and dinner £18.50, Bed & Breakfast £1.70, Luncheon £0.80, Morning Tea £0.08. Low Season weekly rate £14.00, Daily Rate £2.30, Special terms for children under 12 years of age. 10% service charge.

You are sure of superb and plentiful cuisine and a warm welcome at King John's, set in two secluded acres of walled gardens at Corbally, Limerick.

Though a mere five minutes drive from the centre of the city the prospect from this converted 18th century mansion is of green fields and trees with the river forming the northern boundary of the grounds. At this point the river affords wonderful salmon and trout fishing.

Boats are available for hire on the river which is studded with islands ideal for exploring and picnics. On one of these islands is the ruin of an old abbey that King John granted the right to fish the adjoining waters in perpetuity. The fishing here remains free to this day. 

There is a swimming pool nearby and an abundance of golf courses within easy reach.

 SWIMMING

Corbally Swimming Pool is only four minutes walk along the river bank from King John's. Swimming from the islands on the river is also popular. Quiet beaches are also within easy reach.

Never a dull moment, we would plod through swampy fields at the back of the larger houses, the difficult way to get to the Salmon Weir bank or railway track, we swam and boated and without fear we threaded barefoot in the river and sometimes got a peep into the hidden world beneath the carved out river rocks, other times we gathered conkers, picked mushrooms, wild flowers and blackberries, all according to the season. 

There was no shortage of milk or eggs, they could be purchased from Kellys now “Meadow Brook” O’Donnell’s and Healy’s farms, apples and pears from McInerneys of “Ard na Greine", hen eggs and duck eggs, milk, apples and pears from Egan’s of “Myrtle Lodge” now “Brookhaven Walk”. Inside Egan’s large gate in early Spring, the farm became a carpet of blue from the masses of bluebells, outside the gate was quite different, it was always covered in cows manure from the cows twice daily crossing into the Pool fields, now “Springrove”, it was a case of tip toeing carefully or slip, if cycling it was advisable to get off the bike or risk falling off. Monica Coughlan had a small shop in her home for a short while, what I remember most about it was her delicious homemade jam.

 That was a time when life was a lot more relaxed and the pace not quite so hectic. Who would have dreamt that in a short few years there would be 7 housing estates on the Mill Road, in spite of that  it’s still lovely to walk by the riverside and is still one of the most beautiful places in Limerick., Today Pat, Maura, Rosaleen and I still live on the Mill Road just a few minutes walk away from each other.

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Nuala McArdle | Reply 05.12.2017 01.07

I would love an historical tour of the Mill Road. I am delighted to have found your memories and descriptions of the Mill Road. Thanks for sharing it. Nuala

Ann 13.12.2017 23.19

I'm sure Nuala one of our local historians will do a tour in 2018.

Tony Browne | Reply 30.08.2017 17.55

Excellent information I will bring back the Limerick Historical Society next year.

Ann Liston 30.08.2017 21.41

That would be great Tony to have the Limerick Historical Society do another tour of the Mill Road.

Valerie Lysaght | Reply 07.08.2017 12.24

Loved reading about your memories and the history. I was born and raised here as well you know and now my children will be raised here too.😀

Ann 07.08.2017 19.57

Nice to have you visit here Valerie, I'm sure you have some interesting memories and stories to tell yourself with the children and school.

Gerry Williams | Reply 08.06.2017 19.04

Hi Ann this is my first time visiting your site after being introduced to it by your husband Pat.I must saythat it is a very well compiled site.

Mary O'Brien | Reply 25.05.2017 13.38

Love everything about this website, my parent were from Corbally.

tony | Reply 27.03.2017 18.06

Hello Ann love your page very informative my group is called Limerick City Citizens. Feel free to drop by and say hello. I will share our page with my members

Tony 28.03.2017 22.48

Hi Ann thank you for your reply. It would be lovely to see you drop by and say hello.

warm regards

Tony

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Latest comments

Yesterday | 23:19

I'm sure Nuala one of our local historians will do a tour in 2018.

...
05.12 | 01:07

I would love an historical tour of the Mill Road. I am delighted to have found your memories and descriptions of the Mill Road. Thanks for sharing it. Nuala

...
22.11 | 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..

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18.11 | 22:01

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

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