Originally Old Ballybrittas was a cluster of houses near the church and castle of O'Dempseys at Cloneyhurk. New Ballybrittas grew as a village along the new Dublin-Maryborough-Limerick road in the 18th century. About 500 metres south-east of the village is the remarkable Hiberno-Romanesque Rathdaire Church. Designed by J.H. Fuller with a facade modelled on Saint Cronan's in Roscrea, it was completed in 1890 at a cost of 8000 to the philathropic Cornelia Adair, who had it built in memory of her father-in-law and her husband, the much-vilified landlord John George Adair. Nearby is the ruin of Bellgrove or Rathdair House, their luxurious home.


 © 2009