Shannon Harbour is a very small village built where the Grand Canal meets the Shannon River. At one time it was a very busy area. If you descend from Irish Immigrants, your family likely passed through Shannon Harbour. Now much of it is ruins.

There are a lot of campers, boaters, fishermen and birdwatchers in Shannon Harbour, though. I was told it is a famous place to fish salmon, perch and pike. Birdwatchers come to see rare birds.

The Harbour Master's House Shannon Harbour

The Harbour Master’s House Shannon Harbour

I stayed at the Harbour Master’s House. I thought it would just be a marketing name, but it really is the harbour master’s house.

Canal Bar, Shannon Harbour

Canal Bar, Shannon Harbour

There is a shop, a pub and a bar.

Cheese & Onion Crisps – That’s one way to get potatoes.

Cheese & Onion Crisps

I got these chips in the shop as I walked around.

Remains at Shannon Harbour

Remains at Shannon Harbour

There seems to be more empty houses and inns in Shannon Harbour than there are occupied houses and inns.

Remains of the Grand Hotel, Shannon Harbour

Remains of the Grand Hotel, Shannon Harbour

Shannon Harbour town was built in 1830 to provide accommodations to passengers traveling along the Grand Canal. There are large abandoned hotels and warehouses.

This was the route most emigrants took as they left Ireland.

Abandoned warehouses in Shannon Harbour

Abandoned warehouses in Shannon Harbour

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal is much smaller than you would expect. It was built to connects Dublin with the River Shannon, which runs to the Atlantic Ocean. Construction began in 1757, but faced a lot of complications, especially trying to bring the canal through bogs. The Grand Canal runs all the way from the River Shannon to the River Liffey, near Dublin.

Lock in the Grand Canal at Shannon Harbour

Lock in the Grand Canal at Shannon Harbour

Lock in the Grand Canal

Lock in the Grand Canal

Lock in the Grand Canal

Lock in the Grand Canal

There are various locks. A lock is a mechanical device that allows a boat to be raised. This allows a canal to remain deep and navigable where it would otherwise be too steep.

To go up, the boat passes the first lock into a chamber. The first lock is closed and the chamber fills with water. When the water reaches the higher level behind the second lock, it is opened and the boat goes through.

This video is stop-motion animation of 1500 still photographs  taken from the bow of the 68M heritage boat on the journey down the Grand Canal from Shannon Harbour to Edenderry in Co Offaly. The audio is recordings of local people and wildlife along the way. The canalboat goes through the locks. The video, called A Grand Experience, was made by Mixed Bag Media, commissioned by Offaly County Council 2012 under the percent for art scheme.

Canal Boats

Canal Boat in Shannon Harbour

Canal Boat in Shannon Harbour

Canal Boats and other Boats at Shannon Harbour

Canal Boats and other Boats at Shannon Harbour

Canal boats are very narrow, to fit in the narrow canal. They are also called narrow boats. Some were painted very decoratively.

Canal Boats and other Boats at Shannon Harbour

Canal Boats and other Boats at Shannon Harbour

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