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09 April 2010

“The Black Bridge over the River Shannon at Plassey was closed again this week by Limerick County Council after some people had removed the barricade put up by the council, which does not want people to use it because of safety concerns. The bridge was closed by the council last November following the torrential rains, but the structure, which dates to 1840, was reopened at the end of March by persons unknown.”

16 May 2015

“Following the floods of late 2009, the bridge was closed to the public for safety reasons after some of its wooden supports became damaged.But now, the area councillors have agreed to dedicate €50,000 of a special fund for their area to start work to make the walkway safe again.”

Plassey is an area of Limerick City about 5km upstream on the River Shannon from Limerick City centre. It is located near the suburbs of Castletroy and Monaleen. The University of Limerick has its main campus in the area, which is the site of its Plassey House administrative centre. The University's other main campus is located across the River Shannon with the 2 campuses connected by 2 bridges. The area is not to be confused with the Plassey estate in County Clare owned by Robert Clive. Both were named after the Battle of Plassey 1757, part of the British Conquest of India.

The Black Bridge in the grounds of Plassey House crosses the Shannon from Limerick (Mill side) into County Clare. Approaching Plassey across the bridge allows a view of picturesque sections of the community. Swans nest near a worn pathway lined with trees. On the left is the beautiful lock house (Annabeg house) owned by the Ryan Family. To the right, there is a stony area of the river known as "Jim Stones". This is a very special spot for fishermen and is named after the late Jim Ryan who lived in Annabeg House (a private home), Plassey until the 1980s. The family still live here.

A pub owned by the Shanny family once stood on the Clare side of the Plassey bank. The decline in the fortunes of the pub set in when three salmon anglers were drowned in February 1930, only a few months after the Abbey fishermen had been forced off the river.

Another building, Plassey House, passed through the hands of several Limerick families including the Maunsells, the Russells and the Baileys before it was acquired in 1933 by Patrick Keating, a Clareman who had made his fortune in China. On Patrick Keating's death the estate was purchased by the Rehabilitation Institute of Ireland from whom the new National Institute for Higher Education acquired it in 1970.

In the 1970s a technical college, which later became the University of Limerick, was built at Plassey. Thomond College of Education, Limerick was also located on the same campus and was later dissolved and integrated into the university.