Shronell is a small townland a few miles outside the village of Lattin, between the town of Emly and Tipperary town (Ireland) on the main road. The area is not roadsigned, nor does it appear frequently on road maps. Therefore, the best indication for arrival is the crossroads (Shronell cross) where there is a cemetery (graveyard) to be seen.
Shronell is historically divided into Shronellbeg (from the Irish beag, meaning small) and Shronellmór (mór, meaning big). These divisions can be seen on ordnance survey maps, but rarely have a bearing in any other way (although some people use them when stating their address).
The area is home to rich pasture land (used almost exclusively for dairy farming). The Galtee Mountains can be seen from most of the area where unhindered by trees. Originally Shronell National School was located at the crossroads (which is now a residence) but was later moved closer to Lattin village close by what is known as Shronell House. The townland is in the parish of Lattin/Cullen and the school's Gaelic Athletic Association and religious affiliations are concentrated in Lattin.
The townland itself contains no retail shops commercial outlets, the nearest shop being in Tipperary Town itself. The former public house/local shop is still to be seen a few metres up from the cemetery in the direction of Lattin village. This was once a thriving retail outlet and pub in the 1950s and 60's and 70's but is since closed down. It has been said that a shop and/or public house in Shronell would be very profitable and lucrative indeed if one were to exist now.
The area comprises a mixture of large and small modern houses (built in recent years), along with some old 19th century buildings dating back to the famine times. Examples of these old houses can be seen on the southwardly bound road, downhill (having turned left at the cemetery coming from Tipperary Town). The first house of such character which one meets is on the right hand side. It is an old farmhouse, with an estimated 70-80 acres of land. The house is probably dating from the famine period or before. It is distinctive as it has much lush green ivy covering its front. The house was probably built onto as the kitchen area seems to be different and more modern than the actual "rectangular" shape of the house. The house belonged (and still does) to the once very prosperous 'Condon' family a relative of which was once a very successful and skilled optician in County Waterford (Dr. Paddy Condon) - he is now semi-retired.
The road on which this house sits on is historically known as "Bóreen Buí" (Yellow Road). The reason it is called this is not certain, with some people arguing that it is called this due to the presence of a wild yellow flower which blooms only once every so many years. Others argue that originally, when the road was a literal "bóreen" (cow-path) that there was a unique and rather unusual yellow coloured mud/clay present in the ground of the road and surrounding land.
The word "Shronell" is an English version of the Gaelic placename "Srónaill" (Srón=nose / aill=cliff), therefore Shronell means "nose shaped cliff". It is called this probably due to the presence of a steep hill ledge north of the cemetery. This ledge/"cliff" curves in at the base giving the rough outline of a large rounded nose, apparently.
Damer's Court was built, about 1919, by John Damer Esq.; it afterwards passed to the Earl of Dorchester, then to the Lady Caroline Damer, his daughter and sole heir, and is now the property of the Earl of Portarlington. The mansion, which was a large and magnificent building, was taken down in 1776, and little remains but the offices, which are in a state of dilapidation. The ruins of the court are located in a field north of the "new" Shronell National School and is visible from within the classrooms.
Damer was reputed to be the richest man in Ireland - a sort of Irish Croesus: so that `as rich as Damer' has become a proverb in the south of Ireland. An Irish peasant song-writer, philosophising on the vanity of riches, says:
There was ould Paddy Murphy had money galore,
And Damer of Shronell had twenty times more
They are now on their backs under nettles and stones.
The story goes that he got his money by selling his soul to the devil for as much gold as would fill his boot. On the appointed day the devil came with his pockets well filled with guineas and sovereigns, as much as he thought was sufficient to fill any boot. But meantime Damer had removed the heel and fixed the boot in the floor, with a hole in the boards underneath, opening into the room below. The devil flung in handful after handful till his pockets were empty, but still the boot was not filled. He then sent out a signal, on which a crowd of little imps arrived all laden with gold coins, which were emptied into the boot, and still no sign of its being filled. He had to send them many times for more, till at last he succeeded in filling the room beneath as well as the boot; on which the transaction was concluded.
Proud primary pupils have turned the story of the difference a local business has made to their area into badly needed funds for their school.
Dec 06, 2010; Primary pupils receive top marks for enterprising ideas Katherine Donnelly Proud primary pupils have turned the story of the...