Castleconnell is a pretty village six miles outside of Limerick further along the banks of the River Shannon. It has a good range of hotels from budget to luxury and is a great base for exploring the nature and wildlife of Limerick via nature walks and a trip to Castleconnell bog during the summer. The ruins of Mountshannon House are also in the area, former home of John Fitzgibbon, first Earl of Clare, which was burnt down by the IRA during the Anglo-Irish war in 1920.
Heritage in Castleconnell
Castleconnell is full of heritage sites, many now in ruins but still worth seeing to understand more about the history of the area. The Castle of Connell (actually owned by the Gunning family) was destroyed in a 17th century siege but you can see its remains. Mountshannon House is a former Palladian mansion and was the home of John Fitzgibbon, the first Earl of Clare who became Lord Chancellor of Ireland. Along the Shannon there are many 19th century buildings with fascinating histories such as the old schoolhouse, which is now the Irish Harp Centre. Some of the hotels are also in buildings with interesting pasts such as the former convent. Many of the hotels can help you coordinate walking tours so you can immerse yourself in the character and history of Limerick.
Sports and Leisure in Castleconnell
Castleconnell is a magnet for angling - both coarse and sport - with a long history dating back to the 19th Century. It’s possible to rent a “beat” or area of the Shannon for a day’s fishing and you can take lessons from locals. Ask around at local pubs and restaurants for recommendations. Boat trips run along the river into neighbouring counties and County Clare is just a short walk over the footbridge. Gaelic games such as hurling are popular - the Ahane GAA Club is in the area (hurling) as are sailing and rowing via the Castleconnell Boat Club. The Shannon has its widest stretch of water in the area with no flow restrictions, which makes it popular with rowers. Locals swim at World’s End on the river in summer.
Arts and Culture in Castleconnell
The Irish are natural raconteurs and love to entertain so you’ll find live music and entertainment in local pubs and restaurants. The area has experienced rapid population growth over the past decade so there are more venues for arts, culture and family activities. For traditional classical music head to the Irish Harp Centre, which is in a 19th century schoolhouse on the banks of the river.
Castleconnell has a good mix of accommodation to suit all budgets. It is quieter and greener than Limerick city so an ideal base for a relaxing weekend break if walking and sports are your thing. Its riverside location and proximity to neighbouring counties Clare and Tipperary make it a great choice for a weekend’s walking break.