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Boating holidays on the Shannon

  • Ballina Tipperary boating holiday
  • boating holidays on the Shannon
  • Dromineer Tipperary boat moorings
  • Garrykennedy on the Shannon
  • the Lookout at Portroe Tipperary

The weather is beautiful here in Tipperary and what better way to enjoy it than a boating holiday on Lough Derg on the Shannon? We have lots of things to do on the water, with many towns and locations where you can moor up and enjoy the surroundings, whether as a couple, a family or as a group of friends. There are festivals going on all summer around the lake and most can be reached from the water. It’s hard to describe a sailing holiday on the lake if you haven't tried it but the tranquillity experienced on a boat is like nothing else. You can only go a certain pace so it forces your body and mind to relax, a perfect way to take time to get away from it all.

If you are new to boating, the hire companies will give you lessons on how to drive the boat, steer it and moor it. A search in Google for “boat hire companies Tipperary” will return all available boat hire companies and all are listed on Please remember to always wear a life jacket when on or near water. It’s tempting to get complacent and not wear one, but every year lives are lost that could have been saved if they had worn their life jacket. If you already own your own boat there are many locations to moor it around the Lake in on of the many quays on Lough Derg .

Lough Derg starts in sister towns of Ballina and Killaloe and is approximately 38 kilometres long.


Ballina on one side of the bridge is in county Tipperary whilst Killaloe on the other side is in county Clare. This is one of the most beautiful locations in Ireland with stunning vistas of the mountains and the Lake.There are facilities for boats to be moored at either side of the bridge. The Old Canal on the Killaloe side still remains with its Canal Store and Old Grain Store and footbridges while the old Railway Station on the Ballina side is now a private residence. A real gem to be experienced during the summer months is the outdoor heated swimming pool which is heated to a relaxing 26oC! There are craft shops and many fine restaurants including Flanagans on the Lake, The Cherrytree and Tuscany Bistro while the Lakeside Hotel is operating as a hotel in the area since the 19th century. The village has something for everyone from Gin and Whiskey tasting classes, lake cruises to nightly music entertainment in the local pubs.

The Lookout

Between Ballina and Portroe lies one of Ireland’s best kept secrets, the Lookout. It offers the stunning views across Lough Derg to Counties Clare and Offaly and even county Galway can be seen on a clear day. Many marriage proposals have been made here! There are picnic tables there who want to linger and a short forest walk which is part of the Lough Derg Way walk. The walk can be followed down to Castlelough Amenity Park or if you are feeling more energetic you can follow the walk up to the Millennium Cross and the Graves of the Leinstermen. Castlelough Amenity Park and the Graves of the Leinstermen, where local legend has it the King of Leinster and his men were buried after being defeated in battle by Brian Boru , can also be accessed by car. Castletown graveyard which lies beneath the Lookout has some interesting headstones made from local slate on the graves of the Welshmen who came from Bangor to train the local men in how to quarry for slate when the Imperial Slate Quarries began commerical operations in the 1820s.


For the most spectacular view of Lough Derg and the surrounding green rolling Tipperary countryside, the village of Portroe offers a marvellous setting and is not to be missed.


Close to Portroe is Garrykennedy. This is a beautiful hamlet where you can moor up, grab some cool drinks and top quality food. It’s very busy during weekends in the summer time to try to eat outside of busy times to avoid long queues. The old harbour was constructed in the 1820s so that Killaloe Slate from the Imperial Slate Quarries could be shipped worldwide. The slate that was used has been used in many famous buildings including Thoor House, Ballylea, Co Galway where W.B. Yeats lived in the 1920s. Angling is very popular on Lough Derg and among others Irish fishing tours provide customised fishing holidays from this location. Contact for further details.


On the lake Dromineer is approximately 8km from the large market town of Nenagh. Lough Derg Yacht Club located in the village is one of the oldest sailing clubs in Ireland and many of its members have competed internationally. The river Shannon was once the main transport artery through Ireland and was linked to Dublin via the Grand Canal at Shannon Harbour Co. Offaly. Dromineer was a thriving port on this system where goods and livestock where traded and was known as the Port of Ormond. One of the oldest pubs in the region, The Whiskey Still is located in the village and serves delicious food and has weekend entertainment. There is also a 'beach' for swimming and two playground, picnic areas, cruises on the lake , fishing and both private and public boat mooring facilities in the village.


Nenagh a large market town in the north of the county and its name in Irish ,an tAonach Urmhumhan , means “The Fair of Ormond” – a reference to the Ormond (East Munster) Fair.  There are a large selection of places to eat and shop in the town. Visitor attractions including , the Heritage Centre ,North Tipperary Family History Centre and Nenagh Castle which has 360o views from the Silvermines mountains, over Nenagh town and right down to Lough Derg. There is also a town park which has a play area and skate park. The twin steeples of the two adjacent St Marys churches dominate the skyline over the town. There are three statutes in the grounds of the Courthouse on Banba Square to Nenagh’s three Olympic gold medalists to date: Johnny Hayes (Marathon, London 1908), Matt McGrath (Hammer, Stockholm 1912) and Bob Tisdall (400m, Los Angeles 1932).


Puckane, or Puckaun, is a gorgeous village just a short distance from Lough Derg that is home to a number of thatched traditional style cottages which are available for rent. The songwriter Shane MacGowan ancestral roots are in the neighbouring townland of Carney and Shane has immortalised a number of local places in his songs such as "The Broad Majestic Shannon". A local landmark is "Paddy Kennedy's Pub" where a number of well known musicans and bands have played down the years. Ireland's 2015 Eurovision entrant Molly Sterling hails from Puckane.


This is a quiet and attractive village located in the north eastern part of the lake.  There is an impressive, large all-metal mill wheel and derelict mill adjacent to the village. The North Tipperary Angling Centre is located at Killea House, Ballinderry, Nenagh. The lake is also home to naturally occurring pike, perch and eel. It can be fished by boats which are supplied or from fishing stands which have been constructed on the shore line.


This pretty village has a long and distinguished history with a monastery being founded there by St. Columba in 549 A.D. The famous Book of Leinster was produced at the monastery and can now be seen in Trinity College Dublin. You can join the craic, bia agus ceol (fun, food and music) in Paddy’s Bar and the Derg Inn. Mooring facilities are available at the harbour where there is also a playground for the children. There are also two holy wells in Terryglass which are said contain curative properties for eye problems and headaches. Terryglass had won twice won the National Tidy Towns Competition.

Visitor information centres

There is a visitor information centre located in Nenagh at Nenagh Arts Centre and also at the Old Lock House on the bridge in Ballina Killaloe.
For further information on accomodation, activities and things to see and do around the lake see
There is a Local Injuries Unit at Nenagh University Hospital that is open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm while the main A &E unit is located at University Hospital Limerick.
In case of emergency numbers are 999 from a landline, or 112 from a mobile. Ask for the emergency service you require and you will be re-directed.