Killaloe Bridge
Killaloe, Ireland
This notable bridge spans the River Shannon, to link Killaloe in County Clare with Ballina in County Tipperary. It stands on the site of much earlier bridges and is evidently an ancient crossing site of this major river. Apart from its practical and social functions, it is of apparent architectural and engineering merit. Unusually for such a narrow bridge, it is still in use, with well-designed pedestrian refuges which serve a very practical purpose. The variety of finishes to the stone provides textural interest to the structure, and the ashlar in particular is the work of skilled craftsmen. The monument at the centre of the bridge provides both artistic interest and historical information, commemorating IRA men who were shot on the bridge in 1920. Thirteen-arch road bridge over River Shannon, built c.1650, western five segmental arches altered c.1780 to west and seven wider and higher segmental arches to the east, replaced 1843, with lifting bridge between fourth and fifth of these and added 1929. Five central arches rebuilt in 1825. Six pedestrian refuges to north and south parapets walls of west end of bridge and triangular cutwaters to south side. Rubble limestone and ashlar walls and parapets with roughly dressed copings. Ashlar limestone cutwaters and voussoirs. Commemorative plaque to partial rebuilding of 1825, and ornate IRA monument, to north parapet. Courtesy of the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage