1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ballyshannon
BALLYSHANNON, a seaport and market-town of Co. Donegal, Ireland, in the south parliamentary division, at the mouth of the Erne; on the Bundoran branch of the Great Northern railway. Pop. (1901) 2359. The river is here crossed by a bridge of twelve arches, which connects the town with the suburb of The Port. Below the bridge the river forms a beautiful cascade, 150 yds. wide, with a fall at low water of 16 ft. Here is the salmon leap, where the fish are trapped in large numbers, but also assisted to mount the fall by salmon-ladders. The fisheries are of great value, and there is an export trade to England in salmon, which are despatched in ice. The harbour is a small exposed creek of Donegal Bay, and is only accessible to small vessels owing to a bar. Previous to the Union Ballyshannon returned two members to the Irish parliament and it was incorporated by James I. There are slight remains of a castle of the O'Donnells, earls of Tyrconnell, where the English, on attempting to besiege it, were defeated and lost heavily in their retreat across the river, in 1597. There are numerous raths or encampments in the vicinity and other remains. Coolmore, 3 m. N.W., is a bathing-resort.