Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

structed channel, at Ballintra, which always in winter caused a heavy head of water, and an overflow of the adjacent lands. This periodical visitation is now, however, in a great measure removed by an artificial straight channel, which guides its current directly into Lough Allen, while a dam or weir across the exit of the Shannon is constructed, to maintain the waters of the lake in a prescribed level, or only permit such an overflow, as must at times occur, to throw itself off without comparative injury.—The third river alluded to, the Feorish, is so called as taking its rise from "a spring well” in the county Sligo, whence it enters this barony above Ballyfarnon, and flowing by the demesne of Alderford, leaves Lough Skean at south, and Lough Meelagh at north, whence, by Knockranny, and by the wood of Derreenargan, it empties itself into the Shannon, near where that river issues from Lough Allen. Through all the graceful windings of its course it affords to the angler excellent diversion, and, although it constitutes neither a county nor a barony boundary, it separates here the diocese of Ardagh from that of Elphin.

To these notices of the rivers of the interior it must be added, that the lordly Shannon is not only the magnificent boundary of the barony of Boyle, on its whole eastern side, dividing it from the barony and county of Leitrim, but, yet more, has been for centuries the acknowledged, as it was ever the natural, barrier between the province of Connaught and

[blocks in formation]

the other three. Having progressed through Lough Allen, as before suggested, it steals forth a small, and, as it would seem, insufficient, embouchure, for the discharge of that vast reservoir, while its free escape was heretofore yet further retarded by eelweirs, and on the marshy flats by a thick vegetation of rushes. It passes hence by the Leitrim parish of Drumherriff, and rushes with considerable force under the six arches that give name to Battle-Bridge, but, at a very short distance below that, assumes an even surface, rolling in a slow, and seemingly deep, stream, between banks of clay; and the obstacles, that arise to its navigation from the lake, being obviated by a canal, which is carried at the Leitrim side, and here unites with the Shannon, the river is itself traversable for boats of burden, without interruption, thence to the canal near Jamestown. Leaving Battle-Bridge, it glides in the immediate vicinity of the town of Leitrim, where it is joined by a small stream, and flowing by Cloonfad, receives the waters of the river of Boyle, and glides by Carrick, out of the barony under consideration. No one, however, can look upon this lovely river, upon the “Shannon's flowery banks,” as Carolan sings of it at this same point of observation, without wonder and regret, that its attractions have been so long slighted. Winding through noble lakes, and embracing innumerable islands covered with historic architecture, it runs a course of 234 miles, receiving upwards of 30 rivers and 45 lesser streams, traversing the heart of the island, and thus offering the advantages of double that length of coast, yet neither its beauties nor its resources engaged the attention of the tourist, the historian(a), the philosopher, or the political economist. In the remote ages it was but as a mighty fosse, interposed by nature against the hostility of contiguous petty governments; after the English invasion it was for centuries the terminator of their legislation and authority ; in the civil wars, that devastated the other provinces, that beyond the Shannon was by national hostility marked out as the only asylum for the infatuated, but chivalrous, adherents of the Stuart dynasty,—the only wild waste that no conqueror coveted. During the ages of Ireland's distinct parliamentary assemblies, scarcely any measure was effectuated for the navigation of the Shannon; not a sail or boat was to be seen upon its waters; no development of its utilities; no grate

(a) Some years since, the Author of this work collected from his manuscripts the materials for a very full “ History of the Course of the Shannon, and its Tributaries," from their earliest springs to the sea; illustrating the scenery, statistics, and historical associations of all their localities, with memoirs of the septs and families that have flourished on their banks; but, as the subject would occupy three volumes, and should be embellished with numerous engravings and woodcuts, its publication was in prudence declined, even by one who has devoted so much to the cause of Irish literature; and a work which he, perhaps presumptuously, hoped would, as likely to promote that object, be encouraged by national and individual co-operation, has been consigned the companionship of similar unedited manuscripts.

[ocr errors]

ful results of industry or expenditure; no roads or approaches introduced its havens and creeks to the interior, it flowed unheeded, and worse than unproductive; and it is only now, when a power superior to that of water is about to supersede much of its benefits, that some efforts are called into action for its improvement. Upwards of £10,000 has been already levied off the County of Roscommon to facilitate its navigation, of which £1,400 was assessed and raised off this barony of Boyle, being about 1s. 2d. per acre, while it is yet proposed to levy off this county £48,803 additional; and, although the portion of its course here alluded to has yet little benefited by the assessment, it must be admitted, that in its south ward section immense boulders have been raised from all parts of the channel, bridges constructed, beacons and light-houses erected, and the foundation laid for a rich and lucrative agricultural traffic by the port of Limerick.

The other objects of interest in this barony will be found noticed under the titles of the eight respective parishes which it contains, viz., Boyle, Estersnow, Killumod, Killuken, Ardcarne, Tumna, Killbryan, and Kilronan.

a

THE PARISH OF BOYLE ALIAS ISSELYN.

The union, in which this parish is situated, extends over 37,196A. 2R. 30p., comprising in one benefice its vicarage, with those of Kilnamanagh, in the barony of Frenchpark, and Ahanagh, in the barony of

a

Tyraghrill. The entire rent-charge of the latter, £38 per annum, is appropriated to the payment of a curate for said parish, the deficiency of whose salary is contributed by the Curates' Aid Society. The yearly income of the vicar of the union, from the other two parishes, is about £200, between the rent-charge and the benefit of two glebes, total 35A. 3r. 17p. according to the Ordnance Survey. The right of patronage is in the Diocesan, but the rectorial tithes are impropriate, those of this parish being vested in Lord Lorton. The incumbent has a glebe-house in the town of Boyle, with three roods of ground annexed. In the Roman Catholic arrangement the parishes of Boyle and Killbryan form a distinct union. The acreable contents of this are, according to the Trigonometrical Survey, 20,736 a. 2R. 21P., of which 1,252 A. 3R. 38p. are covered with water. The General Valuation estimates the lands in the parish as of the total annual value of £8,900 15s. 7d., basing their calculations on data before alluded to, ante, p. 2, but this scale was for its objects so low, as generally not to exceed twothirds of the ordinary letting price, on a calculation of better interest to the tenant, than, unfortunately, in most parts of Ireland the landlords, however inclined, are by their own responsibilities permitted to afford.

The townlands, into which the parish is apportioned, are sixty-eight in number, fifty-seven of which (upwards of 17,000 acres) form a partof the estates of

« ZurückWeiter »