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THOM'S DIRECTORY of IRELAND for the year 1931
Eighty eighth Annual Publication
Dublin: Ales. Thom & Co. Ltd., Crow Street
Simpkin, Marshall & Co. Ltd., London
Price thirty six shillings net.

Transcribed by Jane O'Brien <> .


Limerick a county in the province of Munster, is bounded on the north bythe Shannon, on the east by Tipperary, on the south by Cork and on the westby Kerry. Its greatest length from near Abbeyfeale to the boundary atGaltmore is 50 miles, and its greatest breadth from a point on the Shannonon the north to the Ballyhourna mountains on the south is 33 miles: averagebreadth about 23 miles.

Name and Former Divisions:

The Irish name is Luimneach, which means "bare spot" and was probablyderived from a piece of land on which the city was originally built. Thename was afterwards extended from the city to the whole county. The part ofthe county west of the Maigue and the barony of Coshma east of the river,was until the 12th century the territory of the O’Donovans and called HyTidgente or Hy Carbery. The Barony of the Small County was called Deis Beg.Part of the barony of Coshlea was the ancient Clin Mail. Bruree(Brugh-Righ, "Fort of the King") was called after Olioll Olum, the 2nd Kingof Munster in the second century, who is supposed to be buried in a largecromlech which stands near Duntryleague church, between Galbally andKnocklong. Bruree was also for several centuries the principle seat of theO’Donovans. The Barony of Coonagh was the ancient Hy Cuanach; Oweneybeg wasUaithne; Connelo was Hy Connall Gavra; and Kenry was the ancient Caenraighe.


In a general way the borders of the county are hilly and mountainous, andthe centre forms a great plain, which contains some of the finest land inIreland. The district of the "Golden Vale" extending by Hospital,Kilmallock and Bruree, into the county of Tipperary towards Cashel is famousfor its rich soil.

In the north east are the Slieve Felim mountains, the chief peaks of which are Cullaun (1,523), and Knockastanna (1,467). In the north east theBallyhoura Mountains extend along the boundary between this county and Cork.The principle summits are Seefin (1,702), Blackrock (1,696), Carron (1,469),Knockea (1,311), Knockeennamroanta (1,319) and Barnagheeha (1,311), nearBallyorgan. Overlooking the "Golden Vale" is Slievereagh (1,439). Thewestern part of the galtees belong to Limerick, and forms a fine range, thehighest point being Galtymore (3,015) on the border. In the south west arethe Mullagharurk Mountains running into Cork, having in Limerick, Knockanade(1,070), Knockawarrig (1,007) and Mullaghanuish (1,189). Knockaunnpaha(1,132) is the chief summit on the west. Near Ballingarry, Knockfeerna(949) is an outstanding feature of the landscape with a great cairn on itssummit.


The Shannon, from O’Brien’s Bridge to Tarbert is 48 miles in length, andforms the boundary, except for about 6 miles near Limerick City where aportion of the county lies on the Clare side of the river. Below the citythe river gradually widens till it becomes a grand estuary as it enters theAtlantic. There is much picturesque scenery on its banks. Nearly all theother rivers in the county drain into the Shannon. The Mulkear (or Mulkern)which has many small tributaries, joins the Shannon mid way between Limerickand Castleconnell. The Crompaun river forms part of the boundary betweenLimerick and Clare. The Maigue flows from Milford west of Charleville, runspast Bruree, Croom and Adare and into the Shannon 9 miles below the city; ithas as tributaries, the Loobagh, the Morning Star, the Camoge, and theBarnakyle. The Deel rises near the source of the Maigue, and flowing pastNewcastle passes through Rathkeale and Askeaton before joining the Shannonnear Askeaton. The Feale forms the boundary between Limerick and Kerry for7 miles. The Aherlow river flows by Galbally, enters Co. Tipperary, andeventually joins the Suir, and the Funshion joins the Blackwater, afterrunning for 5 miles along the boundary with Cork.

The only Lake of any importance in the county is Lough Gur near Bruff.

Islands in the Shannon - Foynes Island, which is nearly circular and 196feet high, is about a mile in diameter. Aughinish is near Foynes, and King’s Island at Limerick city is formed by two branches of the Shannon, and partof the city is built upon it.

Analysis of census information for the county
Census PeriodMalesFemalesTotal
1841161,997 168,032330,029
1861105,712 111,565217,277
187193,112 98,824191,136
1881 88,31192,321180,632

Houses & Families 1926

The number of families in the county was 19,896, the average number in eachfamily being 4.7. The number of inhabited houses was 20, 688 showing anaverage of 4.9 persons to each house. The special inmates of publicinstitutions are omitted from these calculations.There were in the county, 13,765 Occupiers or Heads of families, who were inoccupation of less than 5 rooms, being 69.1 % of the total for the county.Of these 682, or 3.4%, of the families in the county occupied more than oneroom; 2,580 or 12.9% : 2 rooms; 4,369 or 21.9%: 3 rooms, and 6,134 or 30.8%,occupied 4 rooms.

There were in the county 337 tenements in which the room had only oneoccupant; 825 cases where the room had 2-4 occupants, 266 cases in whichthere were 5-7; and 35 cases where the occupants of one room exceeded 7 innumber, including 4 cases where ten persons and 2 cases where 11 personsoccupied one room.

Marriages, Births and Deaths

Number registered in the county during the ten years ended March 11th, 1911 with th average annual rates compared with corresponding rates for allIreland.

Marriages, Births and Deaths
No. Registered7,48734,14625,128
Rate LIM*5.223.617.4
Rate IRL*5.1 23.117.3
*Average Annual Rate per 1000

Birthplace of Inhabitants

Of the population in 1926, 89.09% were born in the county; 9.73% in othercounties in the Republic of Ireland; 0.16% in Northern Ireland and 0.42%were born abroad.


In 1911 there were in the county 86,034 persons aged 9 years and upwards; ofthese 77,999 or 90.7% could read and write; 1,753 or 2.% could read only and6,282 or 7.3% were illiterate. As this census was the first for which agewas raised from 5 to nine years for this information no comparison canreally be made between it and previous Censuses. But, the report statesthat the percentage of those of 5 yrs and upwards who were unable to readand write which was 16.3% in 1891, was 11.6% in 1901 and in 1911 had fallento 10.1%.

Irish Speaking Limerick
Irish only151510413892111
Irish & English10,92012,34715,91629,39021,70845,556

Emigration Limerick

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