Abandoned ireland


Ballinagarde House,

Co. Limerick

Documenting our Heritage

Ballinagarde was built in 1774 by the Croker family who were originally from Devon, England.

The house is 2 storeys over a high basement, 5 bays at the front with a 3 bay pedimented break front and wing with an ionic porch. The house gardens were adorned with classical statuary including a fine statue of Hercules which was proposed to have been taken to Limerick but according to the writer Frank O'Connor 'a committee of inspection having studied him carefully fore and aft, decided that he would never do for the fraternities'

Captain Edward Croker bankrupted the estate. He was described as 'a worthless spendthrift who brought up an arrogant race of blockheads of both sexes'

The most famous story around the house concerns Old John Croker who as he lay dying of a terminal illness, would not believe his son Robert, a clergyman, who told him he was going to a better place.

'There's a land that is fairer and better than this you'll regard' Robert told his dying father.

Old Croker surveyed his fine demesne and replied 'I doubt it' and fell dead.

The house is known locally as 'I Doubt It Hall'

The Croker estate is also the ancestral home of the notorious Richard Croker. 'Boss' Croker was leader of the Tammany Hall, New York City, and for some time almost completely controlled that organisation. As head of Tammany, Croker received bribe money from the owners of brothels, saloons and illegal gambling dens. He survived Charles Henry Parkhurst's attacks on Tammany Hall corruption and became a wealthy man. The Tammany club restaurant is called 'Croker's Bistro'.


Co. Limerick