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Bridge connecting Leinster with Connacht

Shannonbridge is a town in County Offaly, Ireland located at the junction of the R444 and R357 regional roads in County Offaly, Ireland. It lies within the townland of Raghra (Irish: Reachra), at the borders of counties Offaly, Galway and Roscommon, with the majority of the population living east of the bridge in County Offaly. It has a population of approximately 600, and is predominantly low rise and low-density. It contains a number of different building styles, with two housing estates situated within the village. Its location along Ireland’s largest river and its proximity to Clonmacnoise have contributed to tourism being a key factor in its local economy. It is rich in heritage and the village is flanked by an important nature conservation area – the Shannon Callows. The physical environment consists of the River Shannon, callows, boglands and the Esker Riada (a major routeway in the 18th century). The village has one of the oldest bridges still in use over the River Shannon, completed in 1757. The monastic settlement of Clonmacnoise is some 7 km upriver.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

  • R357 from Ballinasloe
  • R444 from Athlone

By boat[edit]

Shannonbridge lies on the River Shannon, so you can get in easily by boat.

Get around[edit]

Walk or cycle.

See[edit]

  • River Shannon. Look at the River Shannon
  • 1 Clonmacnoise Monastery (5 km northeast of Shannonbridge). Daily 10:00-17:30. Monastic site founded in 544 AD, with 3 high crosses, a cathedral, two round towers and several churches. Adult €8.
Clonfert Cathedral interior
  • 2 Clonfert Cathedral (in County Galway 3 km south of Shannonbridge). 12th century church on the site of a monastery founded in 563 AD, reputedly by St Brendan "the Navigator". (Or as the Irish Annals recorded: "and on this day Cluain Ferta Brénainn was founded at the order of an angel.") It's still in occasional use as a C of I (Anglican) church. The interior is richly, indeed wackily, decorated.
  • Our Lady of Clonfert RC Church, a mile south of the cathedral, has a 14th C wooden Madonna and Child. By the church is a 16th C tower house.

Do[edit]

The village petrol Station
  • Fishing. For many years now, anglers from all over the world have been returning to once again plunder the incredible array of waters that ebb and flow a mere stone's throw from the village's Main Street.
  • The Clonmacnoise and West Offaly Railway was scrapped in 2008. It was a 3-foot (914 mm) gauge railway for hauling peat, with a fan of tracks across the bog converging on the power station at Shannonbridge. In its later years they turned it into a tourist ride, and portrayed peat-burning as part of the mystical Celtic yah-di-yah. As a cottage fuel maybe, but peat-burning on an industrial scale was horribly polluting, and the extraction of this non-renewable resource ruined the bog eco-system. There are no plans to restore the railway.

Buy[edit]

  • Morans Shop. For groceries.

Eat[edit]

  • Supermacs, Main St. Go in for chips and burgers and snackboxes.

Drink[edit]

  • JJ Killeen.

Sleep[edit]

  • Ely House, Cloghan Rd, Shannonbridge N37 A400 (jcn R357 & R444), +353 86 264 7719. Smart friendly B&B. B&B double €80.

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]



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