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Killaloe Bridge was for many years the only dry crossing over Lough Derg stretching over to Ballina. There may have been many other crossings during the time of Brian Boru, such as one near Béal Boru fort to the north and another, a distance down stream. The earliest recording of the bridge dates back to 1013, the time of Brian Boru (Bryan Boru). Another bridge was built by Turlough O’Brien in 1071.
A wooden bridge was still in existence on the present location of the bridge at the time when Dónal Mór O Brien was reprimanded by Rory O’Connor of Connacht, he was also the last person to hold the title High King of Ireland. These wooden bridges were fragile so they were easily destroyed by enemies. There was a period of time in the early 16th century when Killaloe was without a bridge but this changed when Muircheartaigh O’Brien – Church of Ireland Bishop had one erected in 157O made of stone. Unfortunately this stone bridge helped the invasion of the invading Cromwellian army who repaired it and added doors to either end.
There is a plaque on the centre of the bridge today; commemorating 4 men who were shot here by Auxilaries in 1920. A Pill Box was erected opposite the site where the Brian Boru Tourist Office is now located during World War 2 to guard the bridge and for defence purposes.
Nearby is located the Well of Murrough, more commonly known as Tobermurrough. This is the site where apparently Brian Boru’s son was baptised. Murrough, like his father was a great Warrior and leader, he was killed in 1014 at the Battle of Clontarf, where he fought alongside his father. It is alleged that Tobermurrough Well has never ran dry and was used as drinking water for the townspeople of Killaloe until the arrival of the water mains. A brick structure built in the 19th century still protects the well today.
Thank you Stephanie! I have been meaning to write you a note and have been so crazy with work since we returned. The trip was unbelievable! We had a wonderful time and loved every minute of the trip.
Andrea Stevens, Plantation, Florida