Letterkenny canal

Letterkenny, in Co Donegal, has a Canal Road, but did it have a canal? If so, can anyone tell me anything about it?

5 responses to “Letterkenny canal

  1. Nope never had a canal, just the river swilly. A port yes, canal no.

  2. Thanks for that. It might have been named for a planned or proposed canal, I suppose, or for a mill or drainage channel, although I see no sign of either nearby. bjg

  3. I wonder whether there was once a bit a a wharf at the bottom of Canal Road, for small lighters (see my other post about lighters in a painting)?
    There’s also a Canal House, in Lower Main Street.

  4. Here is the text of Tim’s post about lighters, copied from here. bjg


    I’m interested to know whether this painting, near Letterkenny, is of a genuine scene, or is it ‘composite’ with the foreground boats and buildings imported from somewhere else – and if so, where?


    The small lighters are quite similar to the one shown here, at Lowtown:-


  5. Although the OSI Historic maps, both 6″ (~1840) and 25″ (~1900), show a Canal Road, I have found no evidence that there was ever a navigation canal in Letterkenny. There is no mention of such a thing, built or projected, in James McParlan’s Statistical Survey of County Donegal [Dublin Society 1802].

    There was, though, a port, with a quay and a custom house, a little further downstream. This Wikipedia article says that the port’s warehouses were demolished in 2001 but it also says that (as the map shows) it was difficult for large vessels to reach the quay; it would not, therefore, be surprising were lighters used and, as on many Irish rivers, they might have travelled with the tide, controlled by poles (shafts/quants) and oars.

    However, I have no evidence on the matter and I don’t know the area. I wonder whether the Donegal Historical Society might be able to help. bjg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.