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    Killaloe, Bourke's house across the river among rather ragged woods. "City" (I think with some high old church towers) standing high at the other end of the bridge, in dry trim country, at the foot of the long lough, was pleasant enough from the outside; one small skirt of it was all we travelled over. Lough now, with complex wooden and other apparatus for dispersing water; part of the questionable "Navigation of the Shannon". Questionable; indeed everywhere in Ireland one finds that the "Government", far from stinginess in public money towards Ireland, has erred rather on the other side; making, in all seasons, extensive hives for which the bees are not yet found. West side of Lough Derg: pleasant smooth-dry winding road. Clare hills stretching up, black-fretted, and with spots of culture, all treeless to perhaps 1500 or 2000 feet, gradually enough, on the left. Greener high hills on the other side of lake with extensive slate quarries, chief trade hereabouts.

    Thomas Carlyle, 1849
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    Detail from the Fullarton map of Ireland, 1872.
    Above: detail from the Fullarton map of Ireland, 1872.
    Map © Cartography Associates, from the Rumsey Collection.

    Left: detail from satellite photo (click for larger version).

    Charon (MIT Project) 1989, James Coleman ©