World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

River Swilly


River Swilly

River Swilly
An tSúileach
On the banks of the Swilly
Origin Glendore Mountain, County Donegal
Mouth Atlantic ocean at Lough Swilly
Basin countries Ireland
Length ~41.8 km (26 miles)
Source elevation ~15.2 m (50 ft)
Avg. discharge N/A
Basin area N/A

The River Swilly (Irish: An tSúileach) is a river in Ireland, which flows in an eastern direction through Letterkenny, County Donegal. Letterkenny, the largest town in County Donegal, is built on the river and became the first crossing point on the river in the 17th century.


  • History 1
  • Course 2
  • Navigation and use 3
    • Fishing 3.1
  • Crossings 4
    • Devlin Way 4.1
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The river takes its name Súileach from a man-eating water monster that was chopped in half by Saint Columba, who was born in Gartan.[1] Letterkenny DJ and Producer Diarmuid O'Doherty produced a song, "A Monster in the River Swilly", about this legend.[2][3]


The River Swilly rises near Glendore, a mountain in County Donegal, and flows for around 41.8 km (26.0 mi) through Letterkenny before flowing into the Atlantic Ocean at Lough Swilly.

Navigation and use

The river is nearly 26 miles (42 km) long. A shipping industry once operated on the Swilly in Letterkenny. The river was extremely hard for larger ships to navigate, as it was narrow and has many bends near Letterkenny. The port was closed to commercial shipping in the 1960s and its warehouses were demolished in 2001. The coal yard still remains on the old site opposite the Mount Errigal Hotel. Newmills Corn and Flax Mills is powered by the waters of the river.


The Swilly traditionally produced approximately 300-400 salmon per year. The heaviest salmon recorded is of 24 lbs as well as a sea trout of 12 lbs.[4] The river is considered one of the best fishing rivers in the north west of Ireland.


The Swilly is spanned by numerous bridges mostly open to road traffic. In Letterkenny there are four bridges across the river:

Bridge Image
Oldtown Bridge
Port Bridge
Rail Bridge
Devlin Way

Devlin Way

Devlin Way at night

Devlin Way was the first pedestrian bridge built over the River Swilly. The bridge was installed on October 25, 2006 in Letterkenny. The bridge connects the suburban Oldtown area with the town centre. It was designed by TS McLaughlin Structural Engineers and the ironwork was constructed by Bonnar Engineering. The bridge cost €100,000 to construct. A maroon-coloured cambered steel structure which measures 28 metres long and 2.2 metres wide, the new bridge proves a major impact on the safety of pedestrians, especially OAPs and school-going children. It is lit by lamp cast from iron and it also contains a commemorative stone seat with a plaque. The bridge is neighbour to the much older and well known Oldtown Bridge.

The bridge was officially opened on November 14, 2006 by local councillor Ciaran Brogan. The bridge is named in honour of the Devlin family who live beside the bridge.[5]


  1. ^ Swilly Monster
  2. ^ Diarmuid O'Doherty - A Monster In The River Swilly
  3. ^ House Obsessed
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ First Pedestrian Bridge over the River Swilly

External links


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.