Where the river maigue meets the shannon
Clarina, within the Patrickswell/Ballybrown parish, is a village in Co. Limerick, lying eight kilometres (five miles) west of Limerick city on the N69 and close to the beautiful river Shannon and its tributary the river Maigue. It is a thriving community with a 400-pupil national school and very strong sporting organisations, including Ballybrown GAA, Breska Rovers soccer club, the Ballybrown camogie club and the Clarina Wheelers. The recently constructed community centre, which is managed by the Community Council, caters for a wide range of clubs and activities, including the Thursday Club, the local active age group. The St Joseph’s Church choir with 35 members provides beautiful music for various occasions and there is also an active Tidy Towns committee.
The main areas of interest for visitors to the locality are Carrigogunnell Castle, the restored Kilkeedy graveyard, the Tervoe monument, the Sailor’s Haggard and the Hedge School Cottage.
The Sailor’s Haggard
The Sailor’s Haggard is dedicated to all those who passed through Newtown, Clarina, on their way to fish the tidal waters of the river Shannon, which in this area was mainly drift and draught net fishing. The monument was designed and built by a group of local volunteers who worked tirelessly over many months to create the commemorative site. Many of the volunteers came from the fishing community and, in erecting the monument, wished to capture this aspect of local history and to preserve the memory of the salmon fishing tradition.
The Hedge School Cottage
The Sailor’s Haggard and the Hedge School Cottage are twinned visitor attractions in Newtown that tell the stories of ordinary fisherfolk, schoolchildren and country life in a bygone age.
The Hedge School Cottage was restored in 2018 by a group of talented local volunteers. The original house was built c. 1750 and became a hedge school in the late 18th century. Records from 1826 tell of one hedge schoolteacher, a Mr O’Shea, who had 45 pupils.
Outside, there is a boathouse, built under the direction of clerk of works, Peter Byrnes, and a dancing square. Children from the nearby Ballybrown National School buried a time capsule in the garden in 2018, to be opened on September 2nd, 2068.