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Mainistir na Féile
Abbeyfeale Main Street
Abbeyfeale Main Street
Abbeyfeale is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°23′10″N 9°17′38″W / 52.386°N 9.294°W / 52.386; -9.294Coordinates: 52°23′10″N 9°17′38″W / 52.386°N 9.294°W / 52.386; -9.294
Country Ireland
Province Munster
County County Limerick
Limerick County Council LEA Newcastle
Dáil Éireann Constituency Kerry North West Limerick
EU Parliament South
Elevation 75 m (246 ft)
Population (2006)[1]
 • town 2,508
 • Urban 1,940
 • Environs 568
Irish Grid Reference R111268

Abbeyfeale (/ˈæbifl/; Irish: Mainistir na Féile, meaning "Abbey of the Feale") is a historical market town in County Limerick, Ireland near the boundary with County Kerry. The town is in the south west of Ireland, some 21 km (13 mi) from Newcastle West on the N21 – the main road from Limerick to Tralee.


The town is situated on the banks of the River Feale in the foothills of the Mullaghareirk Mountains.


Unveiling of statue to Father William Casey in 1910

ABBEYFEALE ON FILM The main feature in Abbeyfeale's Square is a statue of Father William Casey. Fr. Casey was the parish priest from 1883 to 1907 and helped the tenant farmers fight against their landlords. The local Gaelic football team is named in his honour (Fr. Caseys GAA Club). Recently the town celebrated the centenary of Fr. Casey's influence by having a Fr. Casey themed St. Patricks Day Parade.

The May Bank Holiday weekend sees the town host the "Fleadh by the Feale" traditional music festival. The 2009 festival was the thirteenth of these annual events. The International Bone Playing Competition is the highlight of the festival and is held on the Bank Holiday Monday evening on the open air stage in the town circle

Abbeyfeale town centre.

The town is known for its extensive musical tradition, notably the exponents of traditional music such as Donal Murphy and Eibhlin Healy both living in the town. Others of notoriety include the striker Denis Behan for Cork City and Republic of Ireland U23.

There was a cinema in the town, but this closed in the early 1990s. The remains can be still seen today.

The town previously had an abbey, located in the centre of the town square, but this has since all but disappeared, and the only identifiable remnants are those used in the construction of the Roman Catholic Church in 1847, on the site of the current boys national school on Church street. Church street as it is now know was originally named Chapel street, as can be seen in old period OS maps of the town. The Geraldine Portrinard Castle (or Purt Castle) is situated about 2.5 km northwest of the town, on the northbank of the Feale.

Phil Danaher, Irish Rugby International (28 senior caps) and Gaelic Footballer (Limerick Senior team, Kerry minor team), also grew up in Abbeyfeale. The family of William Webb Ellis, who 'while at school in rugby with a deligthful disregard for the rules picked the ball and ran with it' and whose name is commemorated in the World Cup, also had strong connections with the town.

Future plans for Abbeyfeale have paved the way for the first new street opening since 1880. The new town redevelopment proposal was designed by Conor Dennison, a local architect who himself is originally a native of Abbeyfeale town.


Abbeyfeale railway station opened on 20 December 1880, but was finally closed on 3 November 1975.[2] The Great Southern Trail is a greenway rail trail that follows the route of the former Limerick-Tralee railway line between Abbeyfeale and Rathkeale.[3]


Abbeyfeale has a good sporting community with the focus on football ( Father Caseys ), soccer ( Abbeyfeale United FC ) and rugby ( Abbyefeale RFC ).

Common surnames in Abbeyfeale[edit]

According to Irish Census 1901 & 1911.

Arnadóttir, Collins, O'Connor, Harnett, Lane, O'Donnell, Broderick, O'Connell, Önnudóttir, O'Sullivan, Flynn, Healy, Horgan, Cotter, Fitzgerald, Moloney, Leahy, Colbert, Connell, Dillane, Keane, Lyons, McCarthy, Sheehy, Curtin, Hartnett, Roche, Daly, Donoghue, Doody, McAuliffe, Murphy, Quirke, Scannell, Sullivan, McElligott.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2007. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  2. ^ "Abbeyfeale station". Railscot - Irish Railways. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  3. ^ "Home". Great Southern Trail. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 

Video of Abbeyfeale

External links[edit]