Red Path from Lahiff's

THE 39 STEPS. The Red path holds a lot of happy memories for many Limerick people. In droves on a Summer's day, people walked, ran, hopped, skipped, jumped and cycled down the 39 steps on their way to the swimming pool (Corbally Baths).
Former Toll House (Lahiff's Shop), how it looks today with extension.
Former Toll House. Lahiff's Shop 1950's. For those who had a few pence to spend, a visit to Lahiff's shop to buy sweets or ice cream was a great treat, before making a descent down the 39 Steps of the Red Path or making their way across Athlunkard Bridge to the Church Fields.
Toll House and Gate at Limerick side of Athlunkard Bridge, Corbally. There was a toll of a half penny to anyone coming into Limerick from Clare by foot, one penny if travelling by horse and cart. The bridge was declared toll free on 28th April 1884.
At the end of the steps there is a magnificent view of the mighty 5 arch cut limestone Athlunkard Bridge. It was designed and built by Pain brothers architects to connect Limerick with Clare. The building of the bridge commenced 1826, completed in 1830 at a cost of £7,000
Athlunkard Bridge c.1929
Red Path Entrance Gate. One of the two cast iron gates at the entrance to the Red Path, just before Lahiff's shop.
St. Munchin's College is on the left as you go down the Red Path. In 1850 it was the estate of Pierce Shannon, after that the residence of the Catholic Bishop's. In April 1960 the foundation stone was laid for the new college and in August 1963 it was officially opened. Funds for the College were raised in different ways, I remember in particular the waster paper collection and the trucks coming down the Mill Road, loaded down with tons of paper to be stored in the outhouses, (now gone), opposite the old stables
Across the river on the Clare shore is Shannon Banks housing estate. Before the houses it was known as the Church Fields, a place much frequented by Limerick people for picnics and swimming.
CORNEEN ISLAND. The little island in the middle of the river just downstream from Athlunkard Bridge, it was called "Corneen" (Cairnin) by the Abbey fishermen, meaning little hill or small round heap. In the dead of night, the fishermen stopped there to take a rest and boil a kettle before taking off upstream to fish.
KENNEDY BRIDGE. A short distance along the Red Path at the bend, there is a small archway, this was the first arch of an attempt to build a bridge across the river by a wealthy Limerick banker named Kennedy. This project was later abandoned in favour of the more ambitious plans for Athlunkard Bridge.
Cast iron boundary marker at Kennedy Bridge.
The little silent woods next to Kennedy Bridge, where the birds do not sing, not a sound, not even a chirp.
River Shannon downstream from Athlunkard Bridge, Red Path and St. Munchin's College. The big freeze 1962\63.
Safety railings in place on Red Path 1950's.
Portion of the Mill Dam, just beside the footbridge
The Mill Dam, opposite Corbally Swimming Pool, built to direct water to Corbally Mills farther downstream.
THE FOOTBRIDGE, photo 2013. The Red Path from the millrace footbridge near Corbally Baths down to the footbridge over the Mill Stream, was known as Gabbett's Grove. It got its name from Poole Gabbett who lived in Corbally House, now the Nursing Home. When Gabbett's came into possession of the Mill they made many improvements including the planting of glorious beech trees beside the Mill Race, hence the name Gabbett's Grove.
Block House, near the footbridge on the Red Path, built during the second World War to protect the Ardnacrusha Power Station. Another one can be seen on the Green at the end of the Mill Road.
In the 1950's and 60's the bridge was a great spot for picnics and swimming. In spite of it having the name of lamprey and a bit of a fast current, non swimmers and struggling swimmers were able to pop into the water, do a bit of kicking and splashing and hold onto the Mill Dam for safety.
Old footbridge over Mill Race near Corbally Baths 1960's. (Photo courtesy of Pat Howell/Pat Lysaght)
The Picnic Tree.
The old Millrace footbridge near Corbally Baths, 1950's.
Fishing at Mill Race, Gabbett's Grove (Red Path).

howie corbaley 16.03.2021 09:13

I get chills just looking at these pix. My ancestors came from the Corbally area. Bucket list.

Ann 19.03.2021 21:47

Thats nice, hope you get to visit.

mary 17.08.2020 20:52

thank you anne so much

elaine 12.08.2020 13:57

that is mattie the one on the marathon boat race

mary 12.08.2020 13:53

anne could you email if you can the one of the boat with the three of them mattie hayes is in it

Ann 13.08.2020 16:24

Mary, I've e-mailed 2 photos with Mattie Hayes in them.

Mary H O'Brien 26.07.2020 00:10

Excellent photos, many memories

Ann 28.07.2020 15:30

Thank you Mary & Ide for your nice comments.

ferdinand bartlett 27.02.2020 15:46

Just came accross this. It brought back lovely memories.Spent a lot of time there in the late 40's and 50's. Thank you.

Ann 29.02.2020 15:05

Hi Ferdinand, always nice to hear from a Parish man abroad, glad it brought back some nice memories.

Jamie 15.05.2018 15:36

Apparently John Wayne paid for the house to be built for his local priest in Hollywood USA when the priest wanted to retire back to Ireland. True???

Ann 16.05.2018 20:42

Fr. O'Neill did retire from the U.S. Had heard he knew John Wayne O.K. so possibly he purchased the house for him.

Jamie 15.05.2018 09:27

HI Ann, I wonder would you know the name of the priest that built the house at the very end on the right next to the Mill stream.There's a John Wayne connection

Ann 15.05.2018 15:29

Hi Jamie, Priests name was Fr. O'Neill, he lived in "Beechgrove" with his sister Maura, it was a Mr. Early that built it. What was the John Wayne connection?

Aisling 08.01.2018 22:52

Hi Ann, Lovely to hear from someone who knows the Nolans. Aunty Barbara lives in London. She's there over 40 years, but comes home afew times a year.

Aisling 08.01.2018 14:53

Lovely to see all the old photos. My dad is one of the Nolan's from the Corbally Road. 1 of 13 siblings. Must show him the old photos and names.

Ann 08.01.2018 19:58

Hi Aisling, I know the Nolan's, in fact Barbara was in my class in school, a long time ago though. I'm sure your dad will know some of the people in the photos

Louise 22.11.2017 19:07

Hi there..would I be able to get a print of the picture of the baths for my aunty....she grew up and learned to swim there so it would be a nice pic as a gift..

Mary O'Brien 17.11.2017 22:59

Remember it all so well....grew up across the road from St Munchin's College!

Ide Ni Riain 25.07.2020 23:13

Mary, happy days of times gone by. Gra, Ide

Ann 18.11.2017 22:01

Hi Mary, You must have known the area well living so close. Kind Regards.

noel bingham 17.11.2017 20:06

memories, wonderful memories, I can remember all of this, and the swimming by the mill bridge.

Ann 18.11.2017 21:58

Hi Noel, I remember you from Peter Street, you took a great chance going on to the Pool with your motorbike during the big freeze in early 60's

Owen Ryan 20.02.2017 12:59

Yes Ann i remember Arthur used to cycle along the Mill Road when he was at a good age no traffic then

Owen Ryan 19.02.2017 15:00

Fond memories i remember a tunnel from Thomas Island under the falls .I think it went to what was then Walnuts house .I knew Nay a long time a proper Gentleman

Ann 19.02.2017 21:05

Owen,I think your family had St.Jude's Nursing Home on Mill Rd, the tunnel you mentioned is the Sluice it runs just in front of Walnuts gate. Nay was my Dad.

Michael O'Flynn 26.10.2016 22:24

Photos brought back happy memories of my childhood spent in the Parish.

elaine 05.06.2018 08:57

are you orignally from the abbey

elaine 04.10.2016 15:53

my late grandfather used to be in most regetta Mick hayes was his name

elaine 07.09.2016 13:16

brings back great memories

johnoconnor 25.08.2016 23:30

some great pictures

frank o'brien 22.08.2016 22:13

great history and photos,ANN,I feel i was actually there.very well written.

Ann Liston 23.08.2016 19:54

Thanks Frank for your nice comments, glad you enjoyed it.

Maura McNamara 18.09.2015 16:13

Fab pictures and great local history of our area, from birds, sunrises, sunsets, regattas, plants, castles and bridges. Keep up the good work.

Pat Meagher 18.09.2015 16:02

Excellent Website Ann, great old photographs and memories.

marc 24.04.2014 00:31

superb website. well done

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Latest comments

09.11 | 21:42

Yes just like the main history before the 2000s and the owners and things like that.

09.11 | 21:34

Hi Alesha, is there anything in particular you would like know?

08.11 | 19:05

Extra

08.11 | 19:05

Hi Ann, would you have information on the Corbally nursing home for a school project? Thanks :)