The parish of Patrickswell-Ballybrown is bounded on the north and west respectively by the Shannon and Maigue rivers, and to the east and south by the neighbouring parishes of Mungret, Croom and Adare. The parish was known as Kilkeedy until the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century. Following the split between Roman Catholicism and the Church of Ireland, the Protestant parish retained the name Kilkeedy while the Catholic parish became known as Patrickswell-Ballybrown. In the nineteenth century, Catholic churches were often referred to as chapels, to distinguish them from the Protestant churches.
The ruins of the old Protestant church lie in Kilkeedy graveyard. The more recent Protestant church was designed by James E. Rogers in 1868. It ceased to function as a church over fifty years ago and in recent years was converted to a private dwelling. It is located to the right of the entrance to Kilkeedy graveyard. As well as Kilkeedy there are two other graveyards within the parish, Clounanna and Patrickswell.
Patrickswell has had a number of Catholic churches. The earliest known one was sited near the old Lurriga school. This was replaced by a more modern structure in 1847, at the height of the Great Famine. After Patrickswell village developed along the line of the Limerick to Rathkeale road, a church was needed closer to the centre of population. In 1977 the present-day building was constructed to a modern design on land donated by the McSweeney family. The older former church at Lurriga is now a business premises.
The Ballybrown end of the parish has also had a number of churches, such as St Margaret’s church in Newtown, now in ruins. The first known Roman Catholic church in Ballybrown was situated at the other side of the junction near the present-day church. The construction of the present-day Catholic church in Ballybrown commenced in the 1830s and was completed in the 1840s.
Some more history about the Protestant churches of Kilkeedy may be found in Patrick Comerford’s article here.
Further information on the parish history is available in A Corner of Limerick by John Sheehan.