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Ballyshannon - Donegal - old photo
Ballyshannon lies at the mouth of the river Erne. Just west of the town the Erne widens and its waters meander over a long sandy estuary. The northern bank of the river rises steeply away from the riverbank, while the southern bank is flat with a small cliff that runs parallel to the river.
Ballyshannon (Béal Átha Seanaidh in Irish) is a town in County Donegal, Ireland. It is located where the N3 and N15 roads cross the River Erne.Location
Ballyshannon lies at the mouth of the river Erne. Just west of the town the Erne widens and its waters meander over a long sandy estuary. The northern bank of the river rises steeply away from the riverbank, while the southern bank is flat with a small cliff that runs parallel to the river.History
During the 12th century an order of the Cistercians were to be found living in Ballyshannon. Remains of the old mill can still be found there thanks to the restoration work carried out by the Abbey Mills Restoration Trust.
Ballyshannon is claimed to be the oldest town in Ireland, receiving Royal Charter in 1613. The town is a British garrison town and the building hosting the garrison can be found at the Erne bridge.
A hydroelectric power station was built in the town in the 1950s. This involved building a dam upriver from the town at Cathleen's Falls and digging out a deep channel to lower the riverbed through the town to increase the head of water at the dam in order to drive the turbines. Before the station was built, the river was wide, and the water level much higher than it is today. A long bridge spanned from the northern shore to the 'port' on the southern bank. The waters spilled over a number of waterfalls, among them Cathleen's Falls, before meandering out to sea. Today, however, the river runs through a narrow channel, far below the level of either bank and a narrower single arch bridge has replaced the old one. The newly buit Ballyshannon-Bundoran bypass has added a new, more modern bridge over the river. A pedestrian bridge was also constructed to mark the millennium.Local attractions
Transport & Communications
Ulsterbus offers services to major cities in the north of Ireland including Belfast and Derry city.
Bus Eireann offers routes to major cities in the south of Ireland including Cavan and Dublin.
Feda ODonnell offers routes to from north Donegal (Gweedore) to major cities in the west of Ireland including Sligo and Galway, via Ballyshannon.
Ballyshannon lacks train services.
Commercial broadband is available in Ballyshannon.
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