Shannon Harbour is a beautiful little village situated where the Grand Canal joins the Shannon at the mouth of the Brosna River. It contains a fine marina with modern facilities, a shop, pub and a playground. It is a popular village for Shannon cruisers and has a reputation for its relaxing and fun atmosphere during the summer months.
The town was founded in 1830 and was once a hive of activity. Over 250,000 people used the canal passenger barges during this period, many of them emigrating from the ports of Limerick and Cobh. In one year during the 1840s over 300,000 tons of produce was transhipped in the town’s warehouses. This was at the time of the Great Irish Famine when starving locals and emigrating families could easily see the injustices occurring here. The village once contained a Customs Barracks with holding cells, the Harbour Masters house, several pubs and the Grand Hotel. The remains of these building can be easily seen from the marina especially the Grand Hotel, which although roofless still stands proudly.
The village has returned to life in recent years and attracts visitors from all over the world. The area’s strong reputation for coarse fishing and bird watching is the principle contributor to this. Another factor is the famous McIntyre’s pub who’s legendary pints of Guinness attract visitors from far and wide. The pub also has a shop for stocking up on supplies.
A little over a mile’s walk north from the town is Clonony Castle. This was built in the 15th century as a stronghold for the MacCoghlan clan. It still stands impressively and a visit is recommended. A cousin of Anne Boleyn is buried in the castle yard. In Moystown, just across the Brosna River and a short stroll from the castle is the old monastery of Saint Saran. The Belmont Mill museum is also located nearby and is worth visiting.