Killaloe/Ballina Walking Tour

Take a self-guided stroll through the historic twin towns of Killaloe and Ballina learning about the Canal and the Waterway.

Killaloe/Ballina Walking Tour

Ballina, County Tipperary V94 YPK4, Ireland

Created By: Killaloe-Ballina Local History Society

Tour Information

A self-guided walk through the historic twin towns of Killaloe and Ballina following the Canal and the Shannon river.

The tour will take you past nine panels each with an old image and description of the place in its time; you will also find out about the trades associated with these waterways and how they shaped our towns.

Don't forget to check out our website for further details -

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

The twin-towns of Ballina and Killaloe developed at an important fording point on the River Shannon. The name Ballina comes from Béal an Átha: “Mouth of the Ford”. The ford has long been replaced by a 13 arch bridge which links Ball... Read more
The Killaloe Railway, as it was called even though it was located in Ballina, opened in April 1864. This was a 5km line from Birdhill to Ballina, which connected to the Limerick Railway line. In 1894 the branch was extended to a wharf below... Read more
The Inland Steam Navigation Company who had their headquarters in Killaloe in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Navigation of the river was very difficult due to a ridge of rocks below the bridge. The Canal was built here to carry river tra... Read more
The Inland Steam Navigation Company had their headquarters here in the late 18th and 19th centuries and established regular services for passengers and goods up the Shannon through Lough Derg to Portumna, Athlone and Banager, and from Banag... Read more
The Shannon Hydro-Electric Scheme was introduced as a means of using the power of the River Shannon to generate electricity. The scheme involved building a generating station at Ardnacrusha and a weir at Parteen. A budget of £5.1 million w... Read more
A canal was necessary at Killaloe to carry traffic past the rapids on the Shannon. The lock on the canal controlled the water levels and allowed craft to be moved from one level to another. This was the job of the Lock Keeper, who lived in ... Read more
This canal forms part of the Limerick Navigation and was constructed in the 1790s to bypass the unnavigable falls in the Shannon near Killaloe; this part of the navigation system was known as Killeen’s Lock. In the early 19th century stea... Read more
The Mill was established in 1832 by Charles Wye Williams to cut and polish stone and marble by way of waterpower driven machinery. It employed over 100 men pre famine and was one of the mainstays of Killaloe industry. After Charles died in ... Read more
About 1km further downstream from this point is the now submerged Friars Island. Friars Island was once the home of St. Molua’s (or St. Lua’s) Oratory; a small Oratory built in the 9th or 10th century by St. Molua, who was a Christian A... Read more


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