Ballyshannon
County Donegal, Ireland

Birthplace of Sarah Huston and in 1846 her son Robert James Duff. James Duff was potentially stationed in the town sometime between 1843 and 1847.

A brief tour over 2 pages, with pictures taken in August 2008.

Because of its historical associations, around the town there are plaques explaining things of significance. We will use these plaques, where possible, to explain the pictures and captions to expand on them.

Before we cross the river and go into the town we will briefly take a diversion to look at the river. Below, looking west towards the sea, nowadays the waterfall is a weir. Upstream of the the road bridge is the hydro-electric plant (not pictured) which was built in the 1950s.

Assaroe Waterfall and Red Hugh O'Donnell plaque
The River Erne looking west out towards the sea

 

Ballyshannon claims to be the oldest town in Ireland and is associated with the Celtic Kings of Ireland. It is situated at the estuary of the River Erne, there being low hills either side of the estuary. From an early time it was therefore considered to be a strategic and easy place to defend. The majority of the town is on the north bank of the Erne though it has spread, apparently in Victorian times, to the south bank. The below picture shows the town from the south bank of the Erne.
Bridge over the River Erne

 

Crossing the river immediately on the north bank on the right is the Bus Éireann booking office, behind which is Slevins department store . On the left, you can hardly miss it and very excitingly for our family history, is the Barracks where James Duff was possibly stationed between 1843 and 1847 (but see also Belleek). Plaque at the Barracks
Front of Barracks from the bridge
Rear of Barracks
Top, the front of the Barracks from the bridge and above, the rear. The barracks is currently, left to right in the front, an estate agent, an Italian restaurant and a carpet and furniture store. Below, what appears to have been an original entrance is now a French Window into the furniture showroom. Did James Duff ever walk/march through this entrance?
Original entrace to the Barracks?
Detail above door

 

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This page was last updated on 5th August 2010.