Charleville was founded in 1661 by Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery. The name ‘Charleville’ is French for ‘Charles Town’. Roger Boyle had been a supporter of Oliver Cromwell in the English Civil War. When King Charles II was restored in 1660, he had to prove his loyalty to the crown. He did this by naming Charleville after the English king. The Irish version ‘Raith Luirc’ was given official recognition in the 1920’s by the Irish Free State. This name in its shortened form ‘An Raith’, meaning ‘the Fort’ in English, is represented by the use of a fort in the crest of local sports teams. Iarnrod Eireann ceased to use the name Raith Luirc as the sole official name of the station in the 1980’s; although it is still retained (as at all Irish railway stations) in the bilingual station signs.
The villages of Brohill and Rathgoggin, who in their former guise preceded the formation of the town of Charleville in the area, fell under the rule of the following political entities: the Eoghanachta of southern Munster, at some point by the Hiberno-Norman Lordships of Ireland 1169-1541 although this rule was nominal rather than actual and subsequently by the Kingdom of Desmond 1118-1596.
The lands of Broghill and Rathgogan were purchased by Roger’s father Richard Boyle as a part of the Plantations of Munster and Roger subsequently established his residency there after the founding of Charleville.
During the time of the Penal Laws, practising the Catholic faith was illegal. As a result, the parish of Charleville was amalgamated with the parishes Bruree and Colmanswell, both in the Diocese of Limerick. In 1704, Fr. Daniel Mac Namara of Bruree was registered as the Catholic priest for this very large pastoral area. The fact that Catholics had to attend Mass secretly meant that the old chapel in Holy Cross cemetery was abandoned. The remains of this church – now overgrown with ivy – are still to be seen in the centre of the graveyard. Indeed, like so many other pre-1700 churches, the old church of Holy Cross literally became part of the surrounding graveyard, in that several gravestones, both marked and unmarked, are to be found within the building itself. Upon one such gravestone is a Latin epithaph to none other than Sean Clárach Mac Domhnaill (1691-1754), who was, in his time, the Chief Poet of Munster, as well as a native of Charleville.
Charleville Park Hotel – http://www.charlevilleparkhotel.com/
Charleville (Holycross) graveyard has been digitally surveyed and is viewable if you follow this link: Charleville Historic Graves, click here
Charleville has a strong retail sector,It is home to retailers such as Murrays, Morans, Bridgets,charisma fashions and Noonan’s Sports. Dunnes Stores in the town center. Charleville is also home to Cavanagh’s of Charleville Ford & Hyundai Dealership, voted by the SIMI as Ireland’s best Franchise Dealership in 2010. Charleville is also home to stores and restaurants such as Lidl, Supervalu, Centra, Subway, Supermacs, Papa Johns and Elverys Sports.
Golden Vale (part of the Kerry Group) continue to make cheese products in the town. Golden Vale is the largest employer in Charleville.
Charleville has numerous pubs and also two nightclubs, as well as two theatre facilities and is home to the North Cork Drama Festival which is held in the Parochial Hall. The second facility is the Schoolyard Theatre which is home to the Shoestring Theatre group.
- Hartigans Chip Basket, Broad Street Cork, Phone: 063 89572.
- Rossi Pizzeria, Main Street Cork, Phone: 063 81922.
- Hungry Harrys & Papa John’s, Main St. Charleville, Cork. Phone: 063 32000.
- Super Mac’s, Main St, Charleville, Co.Cork.
- Subway, Unit 2, Main Street, Charleville Town Centre, Cork, Phone: 063 32914.