The Allen Canal - The Shannon Blueway

Episode 3


Rob and Amy Rankin run a travel tour business. Along with their son Finn and daughter Sana they spent a weekend exploring the Shannon Blueway starting in Drumshanbo and following the Allen canal to Battlebridge. Over the two days, the Rankin family headed east towards Ballinamore on a stretch of waterway that connects the Shannon ultimately to Lough Erne. 

Along the route the family met local musician Charlie McGettigan. He discussed the landscape and how it changes from season to season and also his relationship with Drumshanbo. 

The canal was brimming with wildlife and the Rankins stopped and observed nature with nature enthusiasts Michael and Molloy Bell. 

There are all sorts of activities to be encountered along the canal and Rob and Finn spotted a canoe launching site and decided to have a go while Amy and Sana went horse riding.

Eager to experience all activities offered along the way, the Rankins continued their journey on electric bikes. They stopped off along the way where Rob met local historian Seán Ó Suillebháin who gave him some advice about the route ahead and the local history. 

Their next stop took them to Ballinamore Folk Museum, where curator, Brian Kennedy displayed his collection of folk memorabilia, implements, farm machinery and vehicles.

Depending on the time of year there will be different things going on in the communities along the bank. So every canal holiday is unique.  The last stop on the route found the Rankins at a bustling music festival, the first of its kind to be held at Drumcoura.

For anyone visiting the region, here are a number of other trails to consider:

  1. Bothar na Naomh
  2. Derrycarne – Lough Boderg Trail
  3. Glenfarne Yellow Walk
  4. Carrick on Shannon Slí

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