Listed below are the most likely reasons behind each street name in the city, though some of the street names have changed through time and some of the original reasoning for certain names have been lost entirely. Many of these street names did not appear in Gerry Joyce’s ‘Limerick City Street Names‘.
Where possible a photograph of the street has been added as well as a link to the street on the 1911 census.
Streets beginning with:
A : B : C : D : E : F : G : H : I : J : K : L : M : N : O : P : Q : R : S : T : U : V : W : X : Y : Z :
Sandmall: Located on Sir Harry’s Mall (see below), it was where the Sandcot men would leave piles of sand.
Sarsfield Street, Sarsfield Bridge and Sarsfield Avenue: named after General Patrick Sarsfield, the Earl of Lucan, and Commander of the forces who defended Limerick against General Ginkel in 1691. He was one of the signatories of the subsequent Treaty of Limerick. Photograph of Sarsfield Street.
Sayer’s Lane: (now Marion Drive), named after Arthur Sayer, a property owner in the area.
School House Lane: so named because it led to the rear gate of the adjacent school.
School House Lane: Located near the Model School.
Sean Heuston Place: named after Sean Heuston (1891-1916) one of the Leaders executed in 1916. He was a Dublin man who was employed by the G.S.&.W. Railway in Limerick, when he founded the Limerick Branch of Fianna Eireann (Boy Scouts) in 1909.
Shannamore Park: It appears that the developer, when naming this housing estate, combined portions of the names of two adjoining townlands, Shanabooly and Ballynantymore.
Sheep Street: probably named from its proximity to an old meat market, in the St. Francis Abbey area.
Shelbourne Road: did not get its name until early in this century. The former Shelbourne Road commenced at Stonetown Terrace (off O’Callaghan Strand) and was the entrance road to Shelbourne House (now part of Ard Scoil Ri’s) making its way through what is now Clanmaurice Avenue. The name itself derives from the original landowner in the area, William Petty who was 2nd Earl of Shelburne and 1st Marquis of Lansdowne (see also Lansdowne Park).
Short Avenue: Located in the South Circular Road area.
Singland: An area between the city and Castletroy. The name was originally ‘Sois Aingeal’ where St Patrick is said to have seen the vision of another angel. While here in the fifth century, St Patrick, baptised Cairthenn, an ancestor of Brian Boru.
Sir Harry’s Mall: was named after Sir Henry (Harry) Hartstonge in 1775 who dredged the area. Sir Henry (who was married to Lucy Pery, a sister of Edmund Sexton Pery) built the Mall after reclaiming the Foreshore. He lived in the corner house close to Baal’s Bridge.
Smith-O’Brien Avenue: named after William Smith-O’Brien M.P. for County Limerick from 1837 to 1849. He was one of the Leaders of the Young Ireland Movement.
Smyth’s Row: Located in the Garryowen area
South Circular Road: described in Pery leases as Boherglas. It is possible that this was to become a circular road around the city but this was never completed.
Spaight’s Quay: (now Mount Kennett). Francis Spaight is described in an 1840 publication as being a merchant and ship owner, and at the time probably used this quay. This publication states that Francis Spaight also had a business in Honan’s Quay, and part of that quay was briefly known also as Spaight’s Quay.
Sparlings Lane: Located in the Bakers Place area.
Spellacy’s Square: named after the original property owner Thomas Spellacy.
Spokane Walk: named after Limerick’s sister city in Washington State in Western U.S.A.
Spitland: Mount Saint Lawrence Graveyard is located in this area
St. Lawrence Park: was probably named because part of it is located in the old legal parish of St. Lawrence. Its proximity to Mount St. Lawrence Cemetery may also have contributed to its name.
Stable Lanes: were generally provided as a rear access to dwelling houses, particularly in Newtown Pery. Judith Hill in her book, The Building of Limerick, writes “Many Leases mention stables, coach houses and offices that lay at the back of the house, which was the place where servants worked and entered”. The census of 1901 mentions two stable lanes as having occupants, one in Parnell Street and one in St. Francis Abbey, and one must presume that at the turn of die century, the majority of stable lanes did not have habitable dwellings.
St. Alphonsus Street (formally Clyde Road) and St. Alphonsus Avenue: were named after the founder of the Redemptorist Congregation, whose church and monastery is located nearby.
St. Augustine Place (formerly Bow Lane), named after the Augustinian Monastery which was located nearby. Photograph of St. Augustine Place
St. Gerard Street (formerly Charles Street) was probably named because of its proximity to the Redemptorist Church, where there is an altar to St. Gerard Majella who was a member of the Redemptorist Order.
St. John’s Square: Named as it faced St. John’s Church.
St. John’s Avenue: Located in St. John’s Parish.
St. Joseph Street (formerly Richmond Street), so named because of its proximity to St. Joseph’s Church.
St. Mary’s Park: located in St. Mary’s Parish had its streets named after Munchin, Brendan, Oliver Plunkett, Columkille, Senan and Ita, all Irish Saints.
Stonetown : Located on O’Callaghan Strand (formally North Strand)
Stenson Park: named after Charles Stenson, a former City Engineer with Limerick Corporation.
Steam Boat Quay: Aptly named as it was where the Steam Boats docked.
Stokes Lane: Located off Lord Edward Street
Summer Street: Located off Old Willmill Street, also called Sommers Street.
Summerville Avenue: (formerly Harvey’s Avenue) takes its name from the adjacent Summerville House (now a convent owned by the Sisters of Mercy), which was built by Joseph Massey Harvey.
Synge Drive: named after the playwright Millington Synge (1871-1909).