Bower's Lane

Photo:View of Metal Bridge spanning River Rove with the Bower's Lane to left leading up to Main Street.

View of Metal Bridge spanning River Rove with the Bower's Lane to left leading up to Main Street.

Pat McGovern

Photo:Steps leading up to Metal Bridge from Bower's Walk

Steps leading up to Metal Bridge from Bower's Walk

Averil Staunton

Photo:Nattie and John McTigue.

Nattie and John McTigue.

Photo: Kindly donated by Blanche, their daughter

Photo:Entrance to Bower's Lane with its right side wall the boundary of the Rectory.

Entrance to Bower's Lane with its right side wall the boundary of the Rectory.

Averil Staunton

Photo:The Metal Bridge spanning the River Robe linking the Bower's Lane with the Bower's Walk

The Metal Bridge spanning the River Robe linking the Bower's Lane with the Bower's Walk

Averil Staunton

Photo:The Rectory for the Church of Ireland, built c 1810 is adjacent to Bower's Lane.

The Rectory for the Church of Ireland, built c 1810 is adjacent to Bower's Lane.

Averil Staunton

Entrance to Bower's Lane on Main Street.

Leading down from Main Street to the Bowers Walk and River Robe
By Averil Staunton

The entrance to Bower’s Lane which leads down a steep incline to one of the metal footbridges over the River Robe is opposite the two Bank buildings.   This Bridge in turn leads to the 2 mile, well known walk locally known as the Bower’s Walk.   After crossing the metal bridge there are steps down to this walk along the banks of the Robe which at this section had been rebuilt as a canal – see Bower’s Walk.

Nearly 40 miles long, the River Robe rises at Brickens near Ballyhaunis in Co Mayo.   On its long winding journey it passes Claremorris, through Hollymount and Ballinrobe and drains into Lough Mask just three miles past Ballinrobe and close to Cushlough Bay.

Fishing was interrupted on the Robe the 1980’s when the river was drained in parts but recovered well, and one will find a plentiful supply of brown trout, perch, pike and eel.

Below is a poem entitled The Ballad of the Bowers which was first published in the 1972 edition of the Bridge Magazine, visit library for copies in the Local History Dept.

The Ballad of the Bowers

By Nattie McTigue.

There’s a beauty spot in Ballinrobe, in the County of Mayo,

It’s the Bower’s Walk that skirts along, where the gentle waters flow

From the River Robe and waterfalls, (more beauty, dare you ask?)

See them hurry on to mingle, with the world-acclaimed Lough Mask.

 

If the trees along the Bower, could but a story tell,

In confidential whispers – they would hold you in their spell,

Repeating the romantic things that lovers had to say,

As they strolled along together in their youthful happy day.

 

In years gone by – as girl and boy we walked along this Bower,

So did children, sweethearts, parents, to spend a pleasant hour,

But like that water’s moving across the smooth and rough,

The Hill of Life – we had to climb with “the going” sometimes tough.

 

Our youthful years soon pass away, hands of time move quickly on,

And again, here by the Bowers he’s my Darby, I’m his Joan,

We are sifting through the only thing that life can call its own,

“The memories” of a by-gone day alas, too quickly flown.

 

Flow on the Robe by that lovely Bower, and do God’s given task,

Flow on, until you meet your mate – the bountiful Lough Mask,

You do your duty well and true to so many giving pleasure,

When I am gone you’ll travel on in never-ending measure.

 

My step is getting weary now but, if well, I’ve done my task,

I shall move along to Heaven as the Robe does to the Mask,

Then when meeting with St. Peter should he be inclined to talk,

First question I will ask him, will there be – a Bower Walk.

Nettie married John McTigue and they ran their supermarket McTigues on Main Street, now Vaughan's Shoe Store. previously Fahy's supermarket.  

This poem was first published in The Bridge magazine in its 1972 edition.   Nattie was a very creative and talented woman winning many prizes for her handcrafts.   Their two daughters Blanch and Delma still live in Ballinrobe.

No.11 on the CDC Town Heritage Walk

 

This page was added by Averil Staunton on 04/02/2011.

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