LIMERICK MANUFACTURES

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

The manufactures and commerce, except an inconsiderable supply of coarse frieze, coarse linen and flannel for domestic use, and a manufacture of linen and cotton checks at Glin, centre wholly in the city of Limerick, under the head of which they are described. There are bleach-greens, principally for domestic use, at Newcastle, Castle-Connell, and Lingland; and paper-mills at Ballygooley, Anacotty, and Rossbryn, the two latter in the liberties of the city; also very extensive flour-mills at Askeaton, Cahirass, Rathkeale, Croom, Corbally, Kilmallock, and Sunville, where great quantities of flour are annually shipped for London, Liverpool, and the Clyde. The exports are butter, grain, flour, and salted provisions; the whole of which are either shipped at Limerick or sent to Dublin by the canal, but the great outlet is by the Shannon. This noble river forms the northern boundary of the county.

Below the pool of Limerick it expands into a wide estuary, and after a course of about 17 miles, mingles its waters with those of the Fergus, forming an arm of the sea several miles wide, interspersed with islands of very various character, and discharging itself into the Atlantic between Loop Head and Kerry Head, about 60 miles from Limerick. All the rivers of the interior are branches of the Shannon; they are the Maig or Mague, the Commogue, the Daun or Morning Star, the Deel, and the Mulcairne.

The Deel is navigable to Askeaton, and the Maig to the parish of Adare. On the south-west the county is bounded for some distance by the Feale river, flowing by Abbeyfeale; and on the south-east for about three miles by the Funcheon. Except the short canal above Limerick, made in 1759, to facilitate the navigation of the Shannon, there is no artificial navigation within the county. The roads are everywhere remarkably good, particularly those leading respectively from the city of Limerick to Tipperary, a new and excellent level line; to Cork, of which a great portion is new, and the old portions have been much improved; to Tralee, a new mail line greatly improved, widened, and levelled; to Tarbert, on the banks of the Shannon, a new, level, and excellent road; and lastly, the Dublin line, which, though good, is decidedly inferior to any of the others, being circuitous and hilly, and at Annacotty both narrow and dangerous.

A new line of road has recently been opened leading through the mountains from Abbeyfeale to Glin, which will be of great advantage to that part of the country; another is now being formed between Croom and Charleville, on the western bank of the Maig, intended for the mail line between Limerick and Charleville; and a third from Kilfinane to Mitchelstown, intended for a shorter and more direct mail line from Limerick to Fermoy and Cork.

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