Previous stop: Scariff
Killaloe is the southernmost town on Lough Derg and is steeped in history, and is separated from its 'twin' town of Ballina by a beautiful arched bridge which spans the river to join these two towns. Killaloe, on the left bank, in County Clare is a network of charming narrow streets, flanked by old shops and houses, that climb up the steep hillside and look down over the 13th century cathedral. The buildings of Ballina, in North Tipperary line the roadway that runs parallel to the river.
Killaloe is unique in having two little oratories, built about three centuries apart. St. Flannans Cathedral so called after the first Archbishop of Killaloe in 639, dates back to the 13th century. The beautiful Romanesque doorway of the present cathedral belonged to the original one.
Beal Boru, a mile upstream of Killaloe, is a particularly fine example of an iron age earthen fort: as its name implies, it is associated with King Brian. The Brian Boru Heritage Centre, built on the site of a lock keeper’s cottage on the banks of the river in Killaloe, contains a tourist information office, souvenir shop and an exhibition on Brian Ború, the Shannon Navigation project and the history of the town. A visit to the Centre tells the story of the High King.
Nearby, the Shannonside Activity Centre at Mountshannon also offers sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, pony-trekking, hill-walking and biking facilities.
Early in July, the Brian Boru Festival brings traditional music and a variety of entertainment, inside and outside, to the towns for a week. Towards the end of July the Killaloe International Music Festival centred on the cathedral, concentrates on the classics and is growing in reputation around the world.
Its greatest claim to historical fame is as the site of Kincora, the palace of Brian Ború, the 11th century high king of Ireland and one of its most powerful rulers of all time. Brian Boru’s royal residence stood on the summit of the hill, above the bridge at Killaloe.
The tourist office is in Lock House on The Bridge - open May-Sept daily 10am-6pm. Tel: 061 376866
Limerick Arts Festival mid September. Bus available to Limerick or taxi @ 45mins from Killaloe. For a wonderful day out, visit Bunratty Folk Park, just outside Limerick. It is a living reconstruction of the homes and environment of Ireland of over a century ago. Rural farmhouses, village shops and streets are recreated and furnished as they would have appeared at that time. Visit the School, Doctor’s house, Pawnbrokers, Pub, Drapery, Printworks, Grocery, Hardware shop, Pottery and a Post Office.
There are many fine pubs including Molly’s and Galloping Hogan’s which have the added attraction of seats in the open beside the river in fine weather.
Mollys Bar & Restaurant
Address: Ballina, Killaloe
Cuisine: Irish. Vegetarian. Seafood. Steak
Contact Details: 353 (0)61 376-632
Address: located on the Ballina (East) side of the River Shannon,
Atmosphere: Lunchtime and evening 'pub grub'. There is a separate restaurant for those seeking a slightly more formal evening meal
Cuisine: Traditional Irish
Contact Details: 353 (0) 61 376 791
Cherry Tree Restaurant
Address: Lakeside Ballina , Killaloe Co Clare
Atmosphere: Elegant, with fine river views. Children welcome until 7pm only. Wheelchair accessible
Cuisine: Seasonal menus offering a well-balanced choice of dishes prepared with luxurious ingredients like truffles, foie gras, crab and diver caught scallops.
Speciality: Beef, especially perfectly cooked dry-aged steak - and the Comeragh Mountains ‘black-faced’ lamb
Opening Hours: Dinner 6-10 Tue-Sat. Set menus, also à la carte; Sunday lunch 12.30-3, around €30; house wine €18.50. Closed Sunday evening and Monday
Contact Details: 353 (0)61 375 688
Small Supervalu, next to the Convent Hill Shopping Centre - will deliver to boat. Tel: 061-620230
Mooring is available just before the bridge on the Killaloe side of the river against the quay wall. Very limited space only. Please do not use the private marinas.
Green Cross Pharmacy, in the Convent Hill Shopping Centre or Grogans Pharmacy Main Street, Killaloe