Hospital, County Limerick
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Hospital (Irish: An tOspidéal) is a town in east County Limerick, Ireland. It is also a civil parish in the ancient barony of Smallcounty. The town's population, per the 2006 census, was 1206 people but within a 2 km radius that number more than doubles. The town itself is situated in the townland of Barrysfarm, one of 11 in the civil parish. It lies on the River Mahore, a tributary of the River Camogue.
The town acquired its name from the crusading Knights Hospitaller who built the archaeologically significant cathedral here in 1215. This cathedral has the remains of three interesting tombs, dating from the 13th and 14th centuries.
An alternative explanation, from the bio of Sir Valentine Browne, Surveyor general of Ireland (who was awarded lands in the area by Queen Elizabeth I of England) is that the town anciently formed part of the parish of Aney, and derived its name from a hospital for Knights Templar, founded in 1226 by Geoffry de Marisco, then Lord-Justice of Ireland.
The "Old Cork Road" from Limerick to Mitchelstown and Cork (also known today as the R513) passes through the town. There are plans to upgrade this road, forming an alternative Limerick to Cork road.
Hospital is one of the Limerick's larger towns and has a number of retail outlets and businesses. The town's secondary school was completed in 2000 and has around 900 students. There is also a new primary school which was completed in the summer of 2004. Hospital is also home to one of Limerick's youthreach schools. The town shares a GAA club (Hospital-Herbertstown GAA) with the village of Herbertstown. Limerick GAA captain Damien Reale is a member of the club. There is also a soccer club in the town called Hospital Crusaders. Other recreational bodies include the local tennis and handball clubs. Hospital soccer team was founded in 1881 by Sir P.J. Butler.
Hospital also has a very active Family Resource Centre located on the Knockainey Road. The centre actively works with local communities to make a difference by creating a welcoming non-judgemental space that meets local needs through listening, networking, training and support.
There is a stone circle nearby at Ballinamona.
In 2015 the town celebrated its 800th Anniversary of the foundation of the town. Many events took place throughout 2015.
Hospital has its own local area development plan which lays out plans and proposals for the future expansion of the town.