Short Stories from the Longest River

A series of 12 stories set on the River Shannon, starting at its source at the Pot in Dowra, County Cavan, through the Callow’s and finishing in Limerick at the Shannon Estuary where the river ends.

Each episode is a story from nature’s perspective, highlighting the animals, birds, insects and aquatic creatures that reside along its banks or in the river itself.

Written by Sinéad McClure

Narrated by Margaret Kilcoyne, Pat Feely & Sinéad McClure
Produced for Rtejr Radio by All Points West Radio Productions
And Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee.

Episode 1

The Duckling that fell into the Pot.

We start the series at the Shannon’s humble source, The Shannon Pot. With a story that touches on the folklore and mythology often associated with this part of the River. The landscape surrounding the Shannon Pot is the perfect place to delve into the story of Sianann the granddaughter of Fionn McCumhaill who it is said came to this part of Cavan and to this special place in search of the Salmon of Knowledge famed by her grandfather. But when she meets a duckling who was warned by his mother not to enter the water – the story of Sianann takes a different course.

Photo by Dei R. on Unsplash



Episode 2

The Heron on the Jamestown Canal

A heron who fishes in the river settles by the banks of the canal one morning. He has never fished in this part of the river before but he doesn’t think he’ll have a problem catching his usual daily allowance. That is until boating activity on the canal scuppers his plans.

Photo by Frederick Tubiermont on Unsplash



Episode 3

Kingfishers in Rooskey

A story about a pair of stunning kingfishers who are preparing for nesting season. They have settled to make a nest in a high bank at the back of houses that border the Shannon in Rooskey. However, the male Kingfisher is feeling particularly lazy but the female makes sure he is busy!

Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash



Episode 4

The Pike of Lanesborough

This is the story of the biggest fish on the longest river, and how he got away! Fishing for pike is one of the many shared pastimes on the Shannon River but there are strict regulations governing their catch. That doesn’t stop one particularly confident pike recounting tales of being hooked and released and his understanding about why lies above

Photo by James Wheeler on Unsplash



Episode 5

The Little Grebe at Lough Ree

The third-largest lake in Ireland.  Lough Ree is a designated Special Protection Area and is a nationally important population for several birds that have been recorded at the lake. These include the Greenland white-fronted Geese, the common tern, and whooper swans.  The Little Grebe wants to meet them all.  He’s a curious little bird and he is able to get the stories from some of the rarest visitors who winter at Lough Ree.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash



Episode 6

The Dragonfly at Shannonbridge

At Shannonbridge we pause to tell the story of how the dragonfly nymph transforms into a beautiful dragonfly. The nymph swims in a marshy area along the banks of Curley’s Island. She is watched by two curious ducks who seem to know more about her fate than she does!

Photo by Shreyas Bhosale on Unsplash



Episode 7

Corncrake on the Callows

The Callows is a flat piece of land along the shores of the Shannon River.  It lies between Lough Ree and Lough Derg.  It’s a Special Area of Conservation and holds many species of Ireland’s birds, the rarest among them is the Corncrake.  His story is told in this episode.

Photo by Sinéad McClure



Episode 8

The Otter of Killaloe

This picturesque town along the river is famed for being the place where Ireland’s last High King reigned supreme. The birthplace of Brian Boru. But what has an otter got to do with his story? We travel back in time to find out.

Photo by Hean Prinsloo on Unsplash



Episode 9

The Eel’s Journey

From Lough Derg to the City of Limerick we follow the journey of a young elver who against all the elements finally grows into an eel.

Photo by Drew Farwell on Unsplash



Episode 10

The City Cormorants

The story of a family of cormorants living on the river in Limerick City. It’s a busy time of the year for visiting birds and the city cormorants are getting a little anxious that there won’t be enough food left for them in the river.

Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash



Episode 11

Heading for the estuary

We learn about the conservation issues affecting Ireland’s lamprey and freshwater pearl mussel population. The threats to the ecology of Ireland’s Longest River. And the importance of this body of water, to Ireland as a whole

Photo by Dan Smedley on Unsplash