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Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1845


A voluminous and magnificent rapid, almost a sublime cataract, of the river Shannon, between the parish of Kiltonanlea in Co. Clare and that of Castle-Connell in Co. Limerick, and 6 miles below the old episcopal city of Killaloe, Munster. The river is here 300 yards wide; and, over a distance of upwards of a quarter of a mile, it foams and roars, tumbles, rushes, and leaps amidst hillocky masses of obstructing rocks, in a vexed and angry tumultuousness of impetuous torrent. The accompanying scenery of the cataract is superb. Though a clear passage for boat-navigation is narrowed to little more than a boat’s breadth, and is swept so careeringly by the current that a deviation of but a few inches on the part of a navigator would be inevitable destruction, it is steadily and safely swept by the practised boatmen of the vicinity, in an unique sort of flat-bottomed craft called ‘a cot.’ "We cannot easily forget," say Mr. and Mrs. Hall, "our sensations of mingled alarm and enjoyment while rushing along this course-at night, but by the light of a brillant moon; it was exciting to the highest degree. We had confidence in our helmsman (if so we must term the man with the paddle-rudder he held in his hand); yet every now and then the voyage was a startling one, and the danger quite sufficient to shake stronger nerves than ours. He had nothing to do but to keep a keen eye upon the rocks at either side, and guide his ‘cot’ by pushing aside a wave with a strong arm, so as to keep in the centre of the current; and he did so with wonderful accuracy. We were afterwards convinced that there was in reality no more peril than there would have been upon the Thames; for the boatmen are so skilful and so well-practised, that they govern their boats with absolute certainty." Doonas is also an alias name of the parish of KILTONANLEA. The Doonas dispensary is within the Limerick Poor-law union, and serves for a pop. of 4,737; and, in 1839-40, it expended 124 4s., and administered to 1,352 patients.

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland, 1845
Courtesy of Clare Local Studies Project