Thursday, 4 October 2007

JFK's Bruff connections

Thomas Fitzgerald

Bruff, County LimerickThomas Fitzgerald was JFK�s great grandfather on his mother�s side. He was reportedly born in Bruff, County Limerick in 1823. He was a farmer and so probably lived in a rural part of the Parish or Townland of Bruff, but the exact location is unknown.

The map on the left shows the town of Bruff, which lies at the heart of the Parish and Townland of the same name, as it was in 1840.

Although 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.


North View from St. Mary's Convent, Bruff, County Limerick,showing Monastery
Click on Picture to enlarge

Postcard "Main Street, Bruff

Click on Picture to enlarge. Postcard, b/w, Photo J.J. Hurley "Main Street, Bruff, Co. Limerick. Posted 1910

Postcard, b/w, matt; wide white margin across the bottom in which, printed in red, is the title "Main Street, Bruff, Co. Limerick." at left, with "Photo. by J.J. Hurley." at right. View along a row of six or seven shops; in centre foreground an open top small car is parked against the kerb with two men sat in it looking at the camera; the car is outside Healy's shop and outside it three boys hold bicycles, while a boy a girl and a bearded man look on; an by an upper window of the shop is a sign for Ariel cycles and a partially legible sign in a downstairs window shows that the shop sells bicycles; it also sells pitchforks and shovels bundles of which lean against the window, further down the street two women look out of a shop doorway and further again are some barrels on the pavement. Reverse printed in brown; at centre top "Post Card, with a short underlining and short vertical line which has been continued in ink to the base of the card by the sender; to left of centre "This Space for Correspondence only; to right "Address only here"; box for stamp at top right largely obscured by stamp. Red one penny postage revenue stamp of Edward VII . Circular black cancellation "Kilmallock/ 10 PM/ DE 17/ 10" with a small part of the same stamp repeated below. Addressed to Mr. John Carroll, c/o Mrs J.G. Wilson, 304 West 144th St., New York City, America, from M. Hogan Holycross 17.12.10, wishing a happy Christmas. Pencil dealer's marks "Lim" at top left, "L. Post '89" above address, and "£20 at bottom to right of centre.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

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Monday, 23 July 2007

Heritage sites in and around Bruff

Growing interest in protecting Irish heritage

A new study on the value people in Ireland place on heritage shows that the public are becoming increasingly concerned about the need to safeguard traditions.

The study also found that a majority of those surveyed called for increased funding, and that they placed heritage protection as the fifth most important priority for public spending.

The research was carried out by Lansdowne Market Research.


The Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, Michael Starrett, will present the full findings of the study at the Royal Irish Academy later today. We have many sites in and around Bruff to protect and cherish, from the magnificent remains of Ballygrennan Castle to the fine Church of Ireland in Bruff, from the Binn Lisin to the Stone Circles and so many more. We neglect at great risk to our local heritage.

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Ballygrennan Castle
is situated a quarter of a mile outside Bruff on Ballygrennan/Waterfall Rd. There is an interesting and comprehensive article on the Castle in the latest issue (No. 14) of The Lough Gur & District Historical Society Journal which was published a short time ago. The Journal is available in many local outlets. The current issue has a magnificient front cover illustration of a "Harry Clarke" window.
Lough Gur Historical Society
Chairman : Tom Meany
Secretary : Noel Dempsey
Editor of Journal: Elizabeth Clifford

Friday, 12 January 2007

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Sean Wall, Brigadier, East Limerick Brigade, was born in Ardykeohane, Bruff in 1888. He was killed in tragic circumstances at Anacorty in 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'Reilly. The model for the statue was Joe Shanahan, Bruff/New York.

Fr Tom Wall, C.C., Dromcollogher (1916), brother of Brigadier Sean Wall, with another priest, Fr Michael Hayes, C.C., was directly instrumental in bringing about the huge tide of support for the 1916 rising. According to Pat Quilty, that catalyst arose from the exchange of correspondence between Bishop Edward Thomas O'Dwyer, Limerick, and General (The Butcher) Sir John G Maxwell, officer commanding British forces in Ireland. This was another Bruff contribution to National Affairs.