Ballyshannon is a busy town set beside the River Erne where it flows into Donegal Bay. Its riverside position has been of great significance in the past. It was here at Ballyshannon during the Nine Years War at the end of the 16th century that the river crossing was held by the Donegal chieftains, the O'Donnells, in a bid to repel the English. After the Flight of the Earls in 1607, the town was planted with English settlers and so Ballyshannon swiftly became a Garrison town for the British army.

Ballyshannon is also famous as the birth place of poet William Allingham (1824-89). He lies buried in the graveyard of St. Anne's Church. From here you can see the small island of Inis Saimer where, according to legend, Greeks founded the first colony in Ireland after the Great Flood.

The town is a great location from where you can explore the surrounding coastline. It also makes a good base for day trips into Northern Ireland. During August of each year there is a festival of traditional music, which is one of the best of its kind in the country.

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