• Fiona

A River runs through...

We completed our first house-sit from the 25th July until the 9th of August in Kilmore, which is located just outside Limerick City and on the County Clare side of the Shannon River. (see post Our first house and pet sit')

During this time we explored Limerick City as well as the lovely local towns of Killaloe and Ballina.



Killaloe and Ballina

Killaloe is a small town in east County Clare. It lies on the River Shannon at the southern end and on the western bank of Lough Derg, Ireland's third largest lake. It is connected to its "twin town" of Ballina in County Tipperary on the eastern bank of the lake by the lovely stone Killaloe Bridge. The Bridge dates back to 1013 when there was a wooden bridge spanning the river. The present stone bridge was built In the early18th Century,


Killaloe is most famous as the birthplace of Brian Ború – the great High King of Ireland who was on the throne from 1002 to 1014. While Brian was High King, he ruled from Killaloe making it the "Capital of Ireland.” (Brian Boru was known as the last great High King of Ireland and perhaps the greatest military leader the country has ever known - read more about him here)


We had a couple of trips to Killaloe and Ballina and we enjoyed exploring Killaloe and its pretty narrow hillside streets but the best views came when we crossed the bridge to Ballina and looked back at Killaloe and St. Flannan's Cathedral Church - absolutely stunning! Ballina has made the most of the views with several outside bars that look out over the river to Killaloe.


Ballina is not as hilly as Killaloe but it is almost as charming with colourful buildings, lots of flowers and a paved walkway along the riverbank. It shares the history of Brian Ború as well as being an important stopping point for barges travelling up the Shannon in the 19th and early 20th centuries when dockers and bargemen would pass through Ballina to go to Dublin to deliver their goods. By the 1930’s new train lines in the area saw the demise of the barges.


Ballina also remembers three young men were shot on the bridge as suspected IRA men by the 'Black and Tans' and auxiliaries during the War of Independence (1919–1921), by way of a memorial being placed where the men were shot. Read more about it here


Images

1 St. Flannan's Cathedral Church viewed from Ballina. It was built in the 13th century, it is shaped like a cross, with a low tower.

2-3 The hilly streets of Killaloe

4 Killaloe riverside houses

5 Stunning countryside viewed while crossing the Shannon River on the aKillaloe Bridge

6 Looking back at the arched Killaloe Bridge

7-8 Lovely streets and colourful buildings in Ballina

9 Brother and sister - Anne and Alan on the Ballina riverside walkway

10-11 Interesting colours and Liam's bar in Ballina

12 A riverside bar in Ballina

13-14 The Washer Woman pub - a great story about the washer women of Ballina who when new train lines were laid that blocked their way to the river to wash clothes, protested by lying across the line to stop the trains. The bridge was built in 1894 to ensure their safe passage to the river!

15-16 More beautiful views of the Shannon River and surrounding countryside.






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