River Series – The River Suir

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    PAUL SWIFT continues his series on the Rivers of Ireland

    In the townland of Derrycloney can be found a standing stone on the north bank of the River Suir. This is also marked on the 1845 Ordnance Survey map as ‘Cloghnahenar’ which translated means ‘Stone on its Own’. It appears to mark a fording point in the river. This fording point is approximately 200m from where Kilmoyler Castle once stood.
    There is a tradition in this area that a William Burke, who had twenty one sons, built castles for each of them along the River Suir from Ballygriffin to Ardfinnan, and that Kilmoyler is one of them.


    Only two visible fragments from the castle survive. A portion of a limestone water spout which had been incorporated in a stone wall in the adjacent farmyard and a limestone block with a chamfered edge incorporated in the north face of the stone outbuilding.
    Nearby the river Aherlow joins the Suir. It is at this point that Ballydrehid House looks down on the river. This detached seven-bay two-storey country house was built around 1780 and was once the seat of Viscount Lismore. It is a protected structure and is still in use as a domestic residence.


    The nearby burial ground of Killaldriffe (also known as Killardrigh, or Church of the High King) is reputed to be the ancient burial place of the kings of Munster. It is said to be called after one of the High King of Munster, who met his death while bathing in the Suir.
    The next stop for the river Suir is Cahir. The river flows right through the heart of the town and there are many mills, bridges and buildings located on its banks. The most interesting mill is known as Suir Mill and is located on the east bank of the river on the Cashel Road.


    It was built around 1800 and is four storey’s high. In 1860 an interesting octagonal shaped buildings was added. The Going family, who once owned the mill, built a beautiful country residence beside the mill. Known as Alta Villa it still remains to this day.
    The Limerick to Rosslare railway line is carried over the Suir on a triple span viaduct which was built in 1852 by William Dargan and William Le Fanu. This attractive railway viaduct exhibits very elaborate limestone detailing to the massive masonry piers and abutments. The contrast between the metal superstructure and the masonry substructure is very striking.

    Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own (issue 5590)

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