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 link to the street in the 1911 census has been added.
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 :
Baal’s Bridge: (aka Balls Bridge) There are many suggestions as to where Baal’s bridge got its name, one being that the word bald suggests that, originally, the bridge was without parapets.
Back Lane: Located to the right off High Street from William Street. Once home to James Irwin’s Maths school
Baker Place: located in front of the Dominican Church, was named after Richard Baker, the builder of the houses in Baker Place. Tait’s Clock is in the centre of Baker Place.
Ball Alley Lane: In the Cecil Street area of the city.
Ballinacurra Bowman, Bowman Street: (now Westland Row). Two brothers named Bowman were Sheriffs of Limerick. Daniel in 1684 and Abraham in 1693. However, this street is probably named after Daniel, who was an extensive landowner, having a property in the parishes of St. Michael, St. Nicholas and in the South Liberties of Limerick.
Ballysimon Road: located towards the Tipperary side of the city, connected to the Pike.
Bank Place: named because the Bank of Limerick (Maunsel’s Bank) was located at No. 6 Bank Place. This bank was established in 1789 and after a number of partnership changes, finally failed in 1820. Photograph of Bank Place
Barrington Street, Little Barrington Street, Barringtons Pier, and Barrington’s Bank: are named after the famous Limerick Barrington Family. The family is best remembered for the founding of Barrington’s Hospital in 1829. They were also the owners of what is now Glenstal Abbey. Photograph of Barrington Street.
Barrack Hill: named from its proximity to the military barracks (now Sarsfield barracks).
Barrack Lane: This was located off Barrack Hill.
Barrack Lane: This was in the St. John’s Parish area, across from James Street.
Barrack Lane: This was in the St. Marys Parish area.
Barry’s Lane: This was in the Thomas Street, Roches Street area.
Bawdie’s Lane: This was a lane in the same area as Barry’s Lane.
Bell Tavern Lane: is reputed to be named after an eighteenth-century tavern which stood at the corner of this lane off Broad Street.
Bedford Row: named after John Russell, Duke of Bedford, who was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1806. Photograph of Bedford Row
Bellow’s Lane: This was in the O’Connell Avenue area of the city.
Benson Lane: This was located off Mungret Street.
Billy Whites Lane: This was located off John’s Street.
Bishop’s Quay: The, was named because of its location between the Church of Ireland Bishop’s House in Henry Street and the River.
Bishop Street: (formerly Pump Lane), named after Edward Thomas O’Dwyer (1842-1917), who was Bishop of Limerick from 1886 to 1917. He was made a Freeman of Limerick in 1916.
Blackboy Road: According to the historian Maurice Lenihan this name derives from the sign of the “Black Boy” which gave its name to a once-celebrated public house, and to a very old Turnpike which led on to the great highway between Limerick and Tipperary.
Blackbull Lane: This was located off Mungret Street
Bloodmill Road: (formerly Old Singland Road). Singland Mill was taken over in the 1880s by the Dublin and Wicklow Manure Co. They processed blood from the bacon factories and produced fertilizer, hence the name of the road.
Boherbuoy: also known as Boherbee (or Bothair Bui), which means yellow road, was apparently known as such because of the yellow clay under the road. The first road would have been bare, exposing this soil, so the road would have had a yellow appearance. Another possibility is that the name comes from the yellow gorse which grew beside the road.
Bonfield Lane (or Bondfield Lane): This was in the Old Abbey area of the city, off Meat Market Lane.
Boreen na Tobar: Was the Irish name for a small road leading to a well.
Bourke Avenue: named after Dan Bourke who was Mayor of Limerick from 1936 to 1941.
Bow Lane: is now known as St. Augustine Place, and was named after the bow or arched walk which crossed to the Cathedral. It also led to Bow Lane Gate.
Bowles Lane: located off O’Sullivan’s Place in St John’s Parish. Named after Patrick Bowles, who owned several houses in the area.
Brennan’s Row: named after John R. Brennan, a property owner in the area.
Bridge Street: (formerly Quay Lane), probably because it connected the then-new Mathew bridge to the centre of Englishtown.
Broad Lane: This was located in the St. Mary’s Area.
Broad Street (part 2): This name goes back to at least the middle of the 18th Century and the street was probably so named because it was a wide thoroughfare through the old city.
Brown’s Quay: took its name from the owner of the adjacent brewery, and is still known locally as “The Brewery”.
Brown Lane Lower, Brown Lane Upper: Located in the Cecil Street area of the city.
Brian Merriman Row: Located off Clare Street, this row is named after an 18th-century poet who was born in the area.
Brunswick Street: (now Sarsfield Street) was named after the British Royal Family at that time. After the death of Queen Anne in 1714 the crown passed by Act of Settlement to George the First, Elector of Hanover. When he ascended to the throne he was styled “King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick – Luneburg and Defender of the Faith”.
Bushy Lane: This was in the St. John’s Parish area.
Byrne Avenue: named after Robert J. Byrne of Town Wall Cottage, who was shot in April 1919, when an attempt was being made to rescue him from British custody.