THE SHANNON...continued

From Irish Pictures Drawn with Pen and Pencil Richard Lovett

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At Killaloe, and between that town and Limerick, the course of the Shannon is broken by rapids, and consequently the water traffic between those two places is carried on by canal. About midway between the two towns is one of the loveliest bits of landscape in Ireland. This place is known as Castle Connell, and here occur what are generally called the Falls of Doonass.

Castle Connell
Castle Connell

The waters of the Shannon, which are here in some places 40 feet deep and 300 yards wide, for a distance of half a mile rush and roar over ledges of rock and huge boulders. The effect of the scene, which is really very impressive, is due not to anything like a high fall. It owes its charm to the fact that the Shannon makes a wide curve, the banks are either precipitous and well-wooded, or else bordered by fine and well-kept demesnes, and rushing along between the beautiful banks is the noble stream, its surface broken up into falls and whirlpools and hurrying rapids; the ever-changing and yet ever-constant forms delighting the eye, and the varied tones of the troubled waters combining into a volume of sound delightful and refreshing to the ear. Few spots are better suited for a quiet walk, for a summer picnic, and, above all, for the pursuit of Izaak Walton's craft. Even a short walk along the river can seldom be taken at this point during the season without the sight of a salmon or a trout capture. Nor is this operation limited to its legitimate pursuit. Walking along the right bank of the stream, sheltered corners are shown in the rocks where fires can be lit to attract the salmon, and report has it that poaching after this fashion is by no means uncommon.

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