J. Stirling Coyne & N. P. Willis
c. 1841
Volume I, Chapter V-2 | Start of chapter

Ballinasloe is a neat and thriving town, watered by the river Suck, one of the tributaries of that monarch of Irish rivers—the Shannon, which it joins about six miles eastward of this place. The plantations of the Earl of Clancarty, adjoining the town, have been laid out with great taste, but the general appearance of the country is bald and uninteresting; the great extent of bog and lowlands which lie on the Galway side of the town, and in the direction of the Shannon, being altogether opposed to the picturesque in landscape scenery. The trade, however, of this town is considerable; in the streets and shops I was struck with the air of business and an appearance of prosperous industry which I had not observed since I left Cork. The extension of the Grand Canal to Ballinasloe has considerably increased its intercourse with the fertile counties through which the Shannon flows, and it may be now considered as the centre of the inland trade and commerce of Ireland.

The road from Ballinasloe to Athlone runs parallel to, but at four miles distance from, the banks of the Shannon, which are here flat and boggy. In the winter season, or after heavy rains, these lowlands are overflowed by the river, and present a most dreary and unpicturesque appearance.