9. The Footbridge between Doonass and Castleconnell

Footbridge between Castleconnell and Doonass
Horsfall Photography
Footbridge view from Castleconnell
Peggy Ryan
Plaque to the 7th engineering field Coy 1942
Peggy Ryan

Before this footbridge across the Shannon was erected in 1942, there was a ferry in operation for many years at this location. “The quaint old industry of the river ferry was carried on….this service was a boon to anglers and anyone having business at one side or other of the river” (Through the Green Isle MJ Hurley FRSA).

In 1893 it was reported that a totally blind ferryman (Tom Enright) was operating the ferry. “We may remind visitors who desire to cross the Shannon at Castleconnell that they are likely to avail of the services of a blind-absolutely blind ferryman” (Through the Green Isle MJ Hurley FRSA).

The ferry was operated right up to the opening of the bridge. As well as a passenger ferry, the Postal authorities also operated its own boat and the local postman made the crossing every day from Castleconnell post office to deliver post for the Clonlara district.

This wooden footbridge, three hundred metres across was built in 1942 by the Clare 26th Battalion Engineering company and the FCA C Company. It was built to facilitate the movement of soldiers between Castleconnell and Doonass.

During the 2nd World War, in order to protect Ardnacrusha Power station and Parteen Weir at O’Briensbridge, the 12 th Desmond Infantry Battalion was stationed in Castleconnell and the Clare 26 th battalion Engineering company was stationed in Doonass House, Clonlara.

At the end of the war, it was the practice of the Irish Army to leave areas in their original state, removing any temporary buildings or installations. The local communities lobbied the commanding officer to have the footbridge remain intact.

This Footbridge has become an integral part of our landscape and continues the close links between the parishes of Clonlara and Castleconnell.


  1. 1&2 Castleconnell (part 2) by Kevin Hannan as per Through the Green Isle MJ Hurley FRSA 1895
  2. Freddie Bourke local historian

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