Ballinasloe & Our Waterways

Ballinasloe is situated on the Roscommon Galway border, on the main N6 from Dublin to Galway and is built on the river Suck. This town is the second largest town in County Galway next to Galway city. Ballinasloe town is developed as a crossing point on the River Suck. The River Suck is one of the main tributaries of the River Shannon and is an extensive river system in its own right. It meets the Shannon close to the village of Shannonbridge. The town also boasts a newly built marina, a short cruise from the river Shannon on the river Suck.

The River Shannon

The River Shannon is the longest river in Ireland, with a total length of 386 km. It rises at a place known as the Shannon Pot, near Dowra, in the Cavan Mountains but the various tributaries and bogs along the spine of Ireland also filter into it and together have forged this great river. Up until the 20th century it was still a highway of transport and commerce and many towns line its banks. Now the Shannon is a world-famous tourist destination, popular for its fishing and magnificent scenery. Thousands of people come for boating holidays every summer and its loughs and marinas are usually buzzing with activity.

For more information on Shannon navigation check out Waterways Ireland and Blueways Ireland.

the OLD grand canal

An extension of the navigation to Ballinasloe had been proposed even before the main line had reached the Shannon. In 1807 the canal company decided to apply for a loan to construct a canal to Ballinasloe, which would be a continuation of the existing Grand Canal from Shannon Harbour. Work began in 1824 with up to 1,000 men employed. The canal was fourteen and a half miles long, twelve of which were through bogland, and had two locks, one at the junction with the Shannon and one at Kylemore. It opened to traffic on 29th September 1828.