Charleville, County Cork

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ráth Luirc
Charleville town centre
Charleville town centre
Charleville is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°21′18″N 8°41′02″W / 52.355°N 8.684°W / 52.355; -8.684Coordinates: 52°21′18″N 8°41′02″W / 52.355°N 8.684°W / 52.355; -8.684
Country Ireland
Province Munster
County County Cork
Elevation 100 m (300 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Urban 3,672
 • Ethnicity
(2011 Census)
Irish Grid Reference R530230

Charleville or Ráth Luirc (Irish: Ráth Luirc or An Ráth) is a town in north County Cork, Ireland. It lies in the Golden Vale, on a tributary of the River Maigue, near the border with County Limerick. Charleville is on the N20 road and is the second-largest town between Limerick and Cork (Mallow is the largest). The Roman Catholic parish of Charleville is within the Diocese of Cloyne. Significant industries in the town include Kerry Co-Op and the construction and services sectors.


The old name for the place was Rathcogan, later Rathgogan or Rathgoggan,[2][3] the last (Irish: Ráth an Ghogánaigh) still the name of the civil parish around the town.[4] The name means Cogan's rath (ringfort), after the family of Miles de Cogan, granted lands there after the 12th-century Norman invasion.[2][3] The new town begun by Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery in 1661 was named Charleville after Charles II, who had been restored to the throne the previous year. Later Irish speakers referred to the town as An Ráth "the rath", a short form of the older Irish name.[3] The name Ráth Luirc was first attached to Charleville in an 1849 book of Irish-language poems with English translations.[n 1] The translation of an aisling by Conor O'Riordan misinterpreted Ráth Loirc as denoting the town of Charleville, when in fact it was a poetic name for Ireland.[2][5][3][6] After the 1920 local elections, Sinn Féin-dominated councils loyal to the self-proclaimed Irish Republic often sought to replace placenames having British monarchic allusions with older Gaelic names. Risteárd Ó Foghladha ["Fiachra Eilgeach"] advised Charleville Rural District Council that Ráth Luirc was the old name for Charleville, and it was changed to Rathluirc in 1920.[3] Ó Foghladh claimed Lorc was an ancient king of Munster.[7] The Placenames Commission was established in the 1940s to systematically determine the authentic Irish names of places, and based on its advice that An Ráth was the commonly-used name among the last generations of local Irish-speaker, this was legally made the Irish name in 1975.[8] Thus the town had the anomalous position that its English-language legal name was an Irish name different from its Irish-language legal name. The name "Charleville" remained in common use, and was officially restored after a 1989 plebiscite of residents.[9] Official sources before and after 1989 have often used "Rathluirc (Charleville)" or similar formulations. Local sports teams have a rath or fort in their crest, reflecting the Irish name.


Charleville was founded in 1661 by Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery. Roger Boyle had been a supporter of Oliver Cromwell in the English Civil War. When King Charles II was restored in 1660, he had to prove his loyalty to the crown. He did this by naming Charleville after the English king. The villages of Brohill and Rathgoggin, who in their former guise preceded the formation of the town of Charleville in the area, fell under the rule of the following political entities: the Eoghanachta of southern Munster, at some point by the Hiberno-Norman Lordships of Ireland 1169–1541 although this rule was nominal rather than actual and subsequently by the Kingdom of Desmond 1118 – 1596. The lands of Broghill and Rathgogan were purchased by Roger's father Richard Boyle as a part of the Plantation of Munster and Roger subsequently established his residency there after the founding of Charleville.

Charleville, c.1909-1912

During the time of the Penal Laws, practising the Catholic faith was illegal. As a result, the parish of Charleville was amalgamated with the parishes Bruree and Colmanswell, both in the Diocese of Limerick. In 1704, Fr. Daniel Mac Namara of Bruree was registered as the Catholic priest for this very large pastoral area.[10] The fact that Catholics had to attend Mass secretly meant that the old chapel in Holy Cross cemetery was abandoned. The remains of this church – now overgrown with ivy – are still to be seen in the centre of the graveyard. Indeed, like so many other pre-1700 churches, the old church of Holy Cross literally became part of the surrounding graveyard, in that several gravestones, both marked and unmarked, are to be found within the building itself. Upon one such gravestone is a Latin epithaph to none other than Seán Clárach Mac Domhnaill (1691–1754), who was, in his time, the Chief Poet of Munster, as well as a native of Charleville.


Charleville is geographically located at 'the heart of Munster', within the Golden Vale region. It is 60 km from Cork city to the south and 40 km from Limerick city to the north.

Because of its strategic location, Charleville is a convenient location for distribution centres for the Munster region. In 2007, Lidl set up their Munster distribution centre here.


Charleville is a centre for the food processing industry, with brands such as Charleville Cheese and Golden Vale produced by Kerry Co-Op.


Charleville has a strong retail sector,[citation needed] It is home to retailers such as Eurogiant, Murrays, Morans, Bridgets, charisma fashions and Noonans Sports. Dunnes Stores recently opened a store in the town center. Charleville is also home to stores and restaurants such as Lidl, Supervalu, Subway, Supermacs, Papa Johns, Elverys Sports and Aldi.


Numerous spin-offs both in the town of Charleville and the surrounding area were created when Golden Vale Engineering closed its doors in 1983. The largest amongst these were BCD Engineering, Diamond Engineering and Sapphire Engineering. BCD is the second largest employer in Charleville.[citation needed]


Golden Vale (part of the Kerry Group) continue to make cheese products in the town. Golden Vale is the largest employer in Charleville.[citation needed]


Charleville has numerous pubs as well as two theatre facilities and is home to the North Cork Drama Festival which is held in the Parochial Hall. The second facility is the Schoolyard Theatre which is home to the Shoestring Theatre group.


The Irish railway network also connects to Cork, Tralee and Dublin Heuston, with the Dublin-Cork line running by. Formerly there was a junction at Charleville, for trains running directly from Limerick via Croom (see Irish railway history). Charleville railway station opened on 19 March 1849 and was closed for goods traffic travelling to Limerick on 6 September 1976.[11]

From Charleville railway station trains run northwards via Limerick Junction (for connecting trains to Tipperary, Clonmel, Carrick-on-Suir to Waterford) to Limerick (for connecting trains to Ennis and Galway as well as Nenagh). And via Portalington (for trains to Athlone, Westport) and Kildare (for Kilkenny). Heading southwards trains run to Cork, Kilarney and Tralee.

Charleville is on the main Cork – Limerick – Galway bus route and has hourly connections with these 3 cities for most of the day. Charleville is situated on the R515 regional road which connects Newcastle West, Co. Limerick with Tipperary Town in County Tipperary. Charleville is equidistant from Cork Airport and Shannon Airport. Both are 65 km away.




  • Charleville AFC
  • Ráth Luirc GAA Club
  • Charleville Camogie Club
  • Charleville RFC
  • Charleville Golf Club
  • Charleville Pitch and Putt Club
  • Ráth Luirc GAA Sports Centre(Squash, badminton and tennis facilities)
  • Handball Court

Places of interest[edit]

  • Charleville Library – is an example of a historic building which has been put into use again after years of neglect. It was formally the Protestant Church of the Parish but went into disrepair in the 1950/1960s when the Protestant population of the area declined.


Charleville has a Community Council and a Chamber of Commerce.


Twin town[edit]


  1. ^ The English versions were by James Clarence Mangan, who knew no Irish and so must have received assistance from an unknown translator.[2][3]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Census 2011 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2011 Reports. Central Statistics Office Ireland. April 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Binchy, D. A. (1962). "The Old Name of Charleville, Co. Cork". Éigse (National University of Ireland) 10 (3): 211–35. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Ó Maitiú, Pádraig (26 June 1978). "The old name of Charleville". Cork Examiner. 
  4. ^ "An Ráth/Charleville". Placenames Database of Ireland. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Ó Cróinín, D. A. (1964). "The Old Name of Charleville, Co. Cork". Éigse (National University of Ireland) 11 (1): 27–33. 
  6. ^ Mangan, James Clarence (1850). "Conor O'Sullivan's Vision". In John O'Daly. The poets and poetry of Munster (in Irish and English) (2nd ed.). Dublin. p. 118. 
  7. ^ "Roddy the Rover" (21 March 1947). "Ráth Luirc" (JPG). Scéala Éireann. 
  8. ^ "I.R. Uimh. 133/1975 — An tOrdú Logainmneacha (Foirmeacha Gaeilge) (Uimh. 1) (Postbhailte) 1975.". Irish Statute Book (in Irish). pp. An Sceideal; Cúige Mumhan; Contae Chorcaí. Retrieved 22 May 2015. 
  9. ^ Ferrie, Liam (17 December 1989). "Bits and Pieces". The Irish Emigrant. Retrieved 22 May 2015. The people of the north Cork town of Rath Luirc (or Charleville, or An Rath, or Rathgoggan) have voted to use the name Charleville for their town. Road signs in the area will be replaced. 
  10. ^ 'From Bruree to Corcomohide' by Mainchín Seoighe
  11. ^ "Charleville station" (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 31 August 2007. 
  12. ^ Tom Hennigan: "Life of Cork woman and heroine in Paraguary to be featured in TV drama", Irish Times, 14 May 2011. (confirmed by baptismal certificate)