- The village of Shannonbridge is named
after the bridge built in 1757 which spanned the river connecting
county Offaly and county Roscommon. The village
has recently run a small jazz festival, and a vintage car rally and a
boat regatta stop in the village during the summer months. The village
is close to Clonmacnois, a site world famous for the ancient monastic
buildings found there, and is about 8 miles from the town of Athlone.
History - It’s said that the first town of Shannonbridge was built by the military to protect the ford in the river. The remains of the nineteenth century Napoleonic fortifications found at Shannonbridge are considered to be a unique example of fortifications of the period. They were completed in 1817 at a cost of £30,000. There was originally a lock here, but the Shannon commissioners decided to remove it and dredge a channel in the 1840’s.
Our bit - Shannon Bridge is the first place to cross the Shannon south of Athlone, and more importantly the first watering hole if travelling by boat. The bridge is certainly high enough to allow all boats through but did have a swing bridge mechanism at one time which can still be seen next to the moorings below the bridge. There is limited mooring by the bridge, and additional mooring in a cut further down stream. This however does require a walk through the fields to reach the village. Anyone mooring here should ensure they have adequate lighting with them if they intend to use these moorings after dark.
As you leave the moorings you notice that there is a bar next to the bridge, but when we
arrived on Sunday afternoon and walked in we were told by the locals drinking there that it was closed,
they were also unhelpful in our enquiries as to if there was other bars that were open in the village.
● The other bar in Shannon Bridge is next door to Maisie's (no I haven't forgotten the one by the bridge,
but I'm trying to). Michael Killeen's
is one of those odd bars that are occasionally found in Ireland that
serves multiple roles, its both a shop and a bar. As we entered the main bar, which was crowded with
both locals and tourist listening to a fairly good duo of a keyboard/guitarist and a singer, performing
modern songs at the far end of the bar.
Other Shannonbridge Bars or Bar/Restaurants not visitedWe have not yet visited the places below, and therefore any comments have been taken from the www, and are not by me.
The Old Fort
Comments and additional material on the bars in this area are always welcome.
I can be contacted on Neil MacPherson.
Last Updated 28th December 2004 - Neils Travel Web - Ireland - Shannon Bridge - Pubs