From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Frank Cawley
Bridge on the River Moy
By Frank Cawley
7, May 2010 - 20:50

There has been a lot of anecdotal controversy regarding the new €1.65m "Salmon Weir" pedestrian footbridge over the river Moy. I've heard that the bridge was sponsored by Shell not sure if that's simply a load of warm gas.

The famous ridge pool, Jack Charlton spends a good few hours hunting the elusive bars of silver here.

The new bridge connects Barret street in the Barony of Tirawley (Cawley Country) to the Ridge Pool road, on the eastern shores of the mighty River Moy. It remained unnamed until a recent proposal by Ballina UDC councillor Willie Nolan. Apparently a survey in the town proposed naming the bridge after the highly esteemed first woman president of Ireland Mary Robinson. She may have ruled Ireland but it appears that's simply not good enough for the Ballina UDC.

The Cloisters of Moyne abbey. Have to be one of the finest examples in the world. I prayed here once for a fish on the Moy. I was granted a massive brown trout which I momentarily mistook for a salmon. Something I am reminded of on an almost daily basis.

The survey was a little flawed when you factor that only 80 people were surveyed out of a population of 10K. I carried out a similar survey in the taverns of Castlebar over the May bank holiday weekend. Most respondents said it should be named the King Cawley of Tirawley bridge. I only surveyed eight people, and Bill Beautiful's suggestion that it be named the bridge on the river Kuai was deemed by the small panel of judges to be a spoiled vote. The famous 1957 film may have won seven academy awards but that bridge served some useful purpose.

This is what I call marine purgatory, it's the half way house between the river and a hungry man's belly. Those fish that are unlucky enough to end up in marine purgatory aka fish mongers, can make five thousand indulgences whilst on their migratory pull up the river, and if they are lucky then they will be sold to royalty.

The now infamous Salmon Weir Bridge. But I'm a thick man and I think I will call it the Mary Robinson Bridge regardless.

Some nice reflections of light in this picture. I believe each arch would have represented a station of the cross. Ten thousand million rosarys must have been chanted on the path where I took this picture. Ed Gilligan would be in his element.

The bridge is supposed to depict a giant fly rod ready for the cast. Back to 11 o'clock forward to 2. Good advice for people who want to learn how to cast a flee rod, bad advice for a man at 2am in puzzled from drink in a late night tavern.

Moyne abbey in its full glory. I threw these pictures in to show there is more to the Moy than salmon and gas.

There is a famous and legendary postman in Castlebar with the same surname as this abandoned victuallers. I'm not sure if he ever bought a pound of sausages in this establishment, but I'm sure he would tell you if they were any good or not. It's not far from Moygownagh

From this angle the bridge looks like the snout of the Concord.

An Bolg Bui, or in English "the yellow belly" named after the yellow belly salmon. I can tell you a relation of mine spend 12 hours one time, lorry back pots of porter during the famous Ballina street festival. His belly was as yellow as saffron scarf the day afterwards.

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