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Glanmire a haven of history

Thursday, 18th July, 2013 1:00am

Glanmire has a long and rich history that dates back to early Christian Ireland. The stone bridge located in Riverstown is one of the oldest constructions in Cork. Oliver Cromwell is reputed to have ridden over it, when he inspected Glanmire during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. Brian of Glanmire, nephew of the Gaelic king Brian Boru, also lived in Glanmire.  

In the 1800s, Glanmire was much smaller, and mainly just consisted of the village area. It was a highly industralised area with woolen factories and mills scattered around the nearby river Glashaboy. A smallpox fever once killed many people in the village.

Riverstown House, actually located nearer Brooklodge, was resided in at this time. It was in the 20th century that Glanmire started to expand. In the later half of the century, more houses and facilities were built. Today it boasts a population of over 17,000 people.

In 1894 a group of men led by Billy O'Neill of Sarfield's Court established Sarsfields GAA Club. Organised matches were played by Riverstown hurlers in the 'Pike Inch' field under the parish church of Glanmire, and before long Billy O'Neill and his loyal companions had completed the organisational formalities.

One of the most abiding memories of all for the older club members is the never-to-be-forgotten county final of 1951 in which Sars stalwarts emerged victorious after half-a-centry of untiring club perservance, and the repetition of that glorious performances in 1957.

It's base and cornerstone has always been Riverstown, five miles from Cork on the road to Dublin and in the parish of Glanmire. But its catchment area stretches from Dunkettle Bridge to Watergrasshill and from Dillon's Cross in the city to Glounthane. Or, it's territory might be described as the valley of the Glashaboy River, which includes the district of Carraig na bhFear, Upper Glanmire, Knocknahorgan, Templemichael, Sallybrook, Riverstown and Glanmire Village.  

Glanmire Parish extends from midway on Tivoli dual carriageway, east of Cork city, to within three miles of Watergrasshill, to White's Cross via Templemichael. There are two Catholic churches in the Glanmire and Saint Michael's church in Upper Glanmire and Springhill in Riverstown.

St Michael's Church in Upper Glanmire was dedicated and reopened for worship in 1808 following major restructuring. The bi-centenary of this church was celebrated in 2008 with a special Mass of Thanksgiving on Saturday 11 October 2008, with Bishop John Buckley as principal celebrant.

St Joseph's Church in Springhill is the Glanmire Parish Church and was dedicated in 1837. The church is located not far from the banks of the Glashaboy river. St Joseph's Church is in close proximity to the Crestfield Shopping Centre and overlooks the far end of Glanmire Football Club's pitches. The parochial house is situated on the grounds of the church.

Both St Joseph's church and St Michael's Church in Upper Glanmire are built on or near the sites of pre-penal times churches.

They have various parish groups including the altar society, baptism teams, grotto committee, IT team, Ministers of the Word, Eucharistic Ministers, the finance committee and the parish assembly.

'Glanmire' is used by residents of the area to mean the greater Glanmire area, encompassing Riverstown, Brooklodge and Sallybrook areas. These are all semi-distinct adjacent villages with many facilities shared between them. There also is an area outside Glanmire called Upper Glanmire, which includes White's Cross, Sarsfields Court, Ballyphilip, Ballinaparson, Coolgreen, Templemichael and Buck Leary's Cross.

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