5 km; 1.25 hrs; Start: Map 47 M983225
On roads across bogs. Historic ecclesiastical site. Post-war home of Oswald Mosley.
This gentle walk is a hidden jewel ignored by the vast majority of visitors to the Shannon. The start of the walk is in a little cutting where local fishermen keep their boats (M982224). This is not accessible to cruisers. Hence it is necessary to anchor in the river and come ashore by dingy. The cutting can be hard to find when sitting in a dingy as the entrance is narrow and edged with reeds.
We normally moor in the inlet (M982226) by the west bank a couple of hundred metres upstream from the cutting. The inlet is narrow and weed banks can be close to the surface.
From the cutting follow the road to Clonfert (M962211). A little over half way to Clonfert the road passes across a bog railway. The railway runs in the bed of the disused Ballinasloe Canal.
The places of interest at Clonfert are:
- Clonfert Cathedral. This little cathedral, famed for its beautiful western doorway, is all that remains of a great monastery founded by St Brendan the Navigator in 557. . . . The western doorway is extravagantly decorated . . . and is perhaps the finest surviving example of Irish Ronamesque art (Trodd 1985 page 15).
- The Oratory at the Emmanuel House of Providence, a Catholic centre for prayer and evangelisation. The Oratory provides a most interesting twentieth century contrast to the Cathedral’s architecture that pre-dates the unhappy divisions in the Church (Delany 1987 Page 130).
- The Bishop’s palace, post-war home of Oswald Mosley. Currently in a state of serious disrepair.
- The Friars’ Walk . There is a path from the west end of the Friars’ Walk that curves around to the left and takes one back to the main road.