The present Courthouse, built in 1926, replaced a more elegant three storey early 19th century structure which regrettably had to be destroyed by local volunteers to prevent it being used by British occupying forces in 1921.
The Fair Greens were rectangular in outline, and were later divided into two triangular sites. The stone walls were a later addition. The Fair Greens were a place of entertainment, a place of trade and military occupation.
Sean Wall Monument
This monument commemorates Sean Wall’s role in the struggle for Irish Independence as well as the role played by members of the East Limerick Brigade of the IRA.
Sean Wall, Brigadier, East Limerick Brigade, was born in Ardykeohane, Bruff in 1888. He was killed in tragic circumstances at Anacorty on 6th May 1921.
On October 12th 1952 the President of Ireland Sean T O’Ceallaigh unveiled this memorial to Brigadier Sean Wall and the other Volunteers who fell in the War of Independence 1920 -1921.
RIC GARDA BARRACKS
The imposing RIC / Garda Barracks was custom built for Bruff in the 1870's. It is one of only three such buildings in Ireland. It was briefly besiged in 1922.
THREE STOREY BUILDING
In 1825 a new purpose built three storey building, was planned to accommodate 31 soldiers Chapel Lane, a sign of disturbed times.
OLD VILLAGE PUMP
At the eastern end of Chapel Lane, the site of an Old Village Pump can be found. A horseshoe-shaped platform with pump, provided an efficient drinking water supply and convenient washing place for various vehicles and animals.
EARLY RIC BARRACKS
An Early RIC Barracks stood at the entrance to Old Chapel Lane. In use up to 1874, four tiny detention cells are still to be seen behind the main building, which now comprises two dwelling houses.
The open site beside the early RIC Barracks was where the early 19th century Flax Mill stood, later to evolve into a Cleeve's factory and in the mid 1940's a factory producing treacle. Having a frontage of about 60m it stood three stories high.
THE CARBERY MAUSOLEUM
The Carbery Mausoleum was part of Ballygrennan Church, linked to nearby Ballygrennan Castle. Amongst others, members of the Evans and Carbery families are buried here.
An Binn Lisin - The Fairy Rath of Bruff
Bruff Grove is home to An Binn Liosin, a fine Ring Fort about 70 metres in diameter. This is thought to date from around 500 AD. Ring forts were dwelling places and farmsteads which were very common in ancient Ireland and which provided protection from predators for humans and farm animals. This fort was situated at a fording point in the river where the shallow water made it easier to cross.
This romantic and historic place was associated with the 18th century local poet Brian O’ Flaharta. While walking by the banks of the river, the beautiful fairy-maiden came out of the “Binnlisin” and spoke to him. Struck with her beauty and inspired by her soothing speech combined with the lovely surroundings, Brian burst into song.
Lá meidhreach dá ndeaghas-sa liom féin
Ar Bhinnlisín earach an Brogha,
Ag éisteacht le binn-ghuth na n-éan
Ag cantain ar ghéaga cois abhann;
An breac taibhseach sa linn ud faoi réim
Ag rince sa ngaorthadh le fonn -
Mas tinn libhse radharc, cluas, nó béal,
Tá leigheas luath on éag dibh dul ann.
DE LACY TOWERHOUSE
Site of de Lacy Towerhouse, which was still standing in 1895. The original castle was built by the De Lacy family during the reign of King Henry III.
CHURCH OF IRELAND
The Church of Ireland was originally built in the 17th century and later refurbished in 1850 by rev. G. Massey, this church is reputed to have been built on the site of an earlier Catholic Church. It has now been fully restored.
Sean Wall, Brigadier, East Limerick Brigade, was born in Ardykeohane, Bruff in 1888. He was the Officer Commanding, East Limerick Brigade. Irish Republican Army and was killed in action against the enemy at Annacarty, Co Tipperary on the 6th of 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'Kelly. The model for the statue was Joe Shanahan, Bruff/New York.
Thomas Fitzgerald was the great grandfather of the late John Fitzgerald Kennedy (on his mother's side), President of the United States of America. He left Bruff and emigrated to America in 1854. He was born in Bruff, County Limerick in 1823. He was a farmer and though the Fitzgerald farm was affected by the Great famine, Thomas managed to keep it going until finally, in 1854, he was forced to leave Ireland and headed for the U.S. Like the Kennedy’s he also settled in Boston, Massachusetts and in 1857 married Rosanna Cox who had arrived in Boston from County Cavan, Ireland. One of their children, John Francis Fitzgerald (Honey Fitz), JFK’s grandfather, eventually became Mayor of Boston.
In 1951, Bruff people felt that it needed a sportsfield but it was not until November 1955, that a plot of ground, 9 acres in size, was inspected and a public meeting of the parishioners was called. Addressing the meeting, Very Rev. A.Canon Riordan, P.P. explained that the land and levelling, not to mention equipment (enclosure, boundary wall, sideline, seats, moving of some six ESB pylons, equipping tennis grounds and miniature golf grounds, children’s and adults practice pitch etc) would come to a total of £4,500 at the very minimum. Despite the almost unsurmountable obstacles that lay ahead it was unanimously decided to go ahead with the project and a committee was formed. The money was raised through donations by various organisations and by the people of Bruff. House to house collections and appeals to Bruff natives in Ireland and abroad netted £1,500, Bruff Guild Muintir na Tire contributed £400, proceeds from dances and carnivals, £800, raffles and sale of works, £100, each club represented on the Bruff Sportsfield Committee contributed £25. Forty parishioners loaned the committee £25 each to pay of urgent bills.
These £25 loans were paid back within 40 weeks. The Munster Council of the GAA gave a £100 grant. In total £6000 was spent to provide for the excellent facilities back then. Work was completed and the field was open for games in 1956. It was decided that now the parish had a facility that it could be proud of, it was important that it made a showcase of it so the committee invited the teams of Limerick and Cork to play a tournament match as part of the official opening. This game took place on the 28th of April 1957 and an estimated 6,000 people packed into the grounds on a glorious day to witness Limerick emerge victorious against a star studded Cork team which included the famous Christy Ring. A reception was later held in the courthouse where both teams received a meal and the Limerick players as winners of the match were all given beautiful watches. Now, 50 years on history repeats itself.
In 2001, members of the GAA club felt that there was an urgent need to upgrade the facilities in the sportsfield. During 2001 a committee was set up to discuss and plan what was required to bring the facilities into the 21st century. It was decided that a new sports complex was needed along with new dressing rooms for players and for match officials, new toilets for the general public, a new entrance with new gates and ground maintenance work needed to be carried out. This was a mammoth undertaking and it required a lot of detailed analysis and constructive debate. Once the green light was given the committee set about raising the finances. It was estimated that the total project would come in at approximately €470,000 once everything was completed along with a few extra items that were later added so that the facilities could be kitted out to the highest specifications.
The money was raised through various grants and by the very generous contribution of €500 each from 170 people through a Self Help Scheme. As part of the clubs way in saying thank you to those who took part in this scheme, during July 2005 the club gave away 10 cash prizes of €1,000 in a draw held within the new complex. The new sports complex and other amenities were completed this year, 2006. The financial costs have been very high and fund raising still continues to repay the loans, however, no one is in doubt that the money has been justly spent and the people of the parish of Bruff can look upon this complex and hold their heads high with pride knowing that they were part of something special, something that will stand the test of time and something the future generations will thank them for. To mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the sportsfield and to celebrate the opening of the new complex it is fitting that both the teams of Limerick and Cork return to Bruff and play in a tournament match. This is truly 50 years on and history repeating itself.
THE F.C.J. SISTERS
The F.C.J. (Faithful Companions of Jesus) Sisters came to Bruff in 1856, following an invitation from Dean Cussen. The six F.C.J. sisters set up a girls’ primary and secondary school (Ard Scoil Mhuire). Up until its closure in June 2012, over 200 Sisters had worked in the secondary school.
The first two premises they occupied in Bruff were, Dawns, Crawford Lane and the Medical Hall, Main Street. The current convent is a very impressive building, adjacent to the primary and secondary schools
ST PATRICK’S MONASTERY
St Patrick's Monastery, a Christian Brother's school for boys build in 1860 and seminary or classical school. De La Salle Brothers taught there until 1972.
South of the river, facing the church of Ireland, the Adelaide School was built and run by the famous Rev. Godfrey Massey, For the education of young children of the locality.