1) Rosie Hackett Bridge, Dublin City
One of Ireland’s youngest bridges, The Rosie Hackett, opened in 2014 and is named after famous trade unionist and activist Rosie Hackett. Rosie is best known for fighting for women’s rights and founding the Irish Women Workers Union, but also for her contributions to the Irish fight for freedom. Her bridge links Marlborough St and Hawkins St across the River Liffey, a stone’s throw from Liberty Hall where she once worked and set up a soup kitchen during the 1913 Lockout. Said to be the first Liffey Bridge named after a woman, it’s currently used by buses and taxis but is set for purpose to carry the Luas Cross City line once work is completed.
2) Butt Bridge, Dublin City
A spectacular view of the Liffey, docklands and Custom House greets you as you cross over one of Dublin’s most famous bridges. Built at a slightly skewed angle, it links Tara St on the South to Beresford Place on the North Quays. The Liffey’s first reinforced concrete bridge was opened in 1932 after a previous bridge from 1879 wasn’t deemed wide enough for traffic. The Loopline Bridge running parallel to Butt Bridge featured in the film The Commitments when the characters pass by on the dart overhead.
3) Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, County Antrim
Not a bridge for the bearer of a sensitive ticker, this bridge links the mainland to Carrick-a-Rede Island and is as rickety as they come. Traditionally used by fishermen who needed to check their nets, these days it’s brave tourists who venture across the 20m-wide swaying bundle of rope and wood. Worth fighting the nerves to cross as the views and scenery are beyond compare.
4) Knocksink Bridge, Enniskerry
Built in 1859 this Enniskerry bridge runs 150 feet above Dargle River tributary, the Glencullen River and was, at the time, the highest bridge in Ireland. In the surrounds of the Knocksink woods the area is a Special Area of Conservation down to a rich collection of diverse and extensive woodland invertebrate fauna, trees and birdlife.
5) Daly’s Bridge, Cork City
Spanning the width of the River Lee, this wrought iron pedestrian bridge links the long winding, Sunday Wells Road to the North side and UCC campus. Referred to locally as ‘the shaky bridge’, it’s Cork’s only suspension bridge. Large mansions line the banks and the area is popular with fishermen/women.
6) Ha’penny Bridge
One of Ireland’s most famous and beloved structures, the Ha’penny Bridge is a historic icon, a symbol of Dublin, a meeting place and the handiest way to get across the Liffey as a pedestrian. Built in 1816, it was once considered an eyesore by some people and there were plans to demolish it. Luckily these plans were scrapped and it recently celebrated its 200th birthday. It takes its name from the Ha’penny toll a person once had to pay to cross the bridge, though the official name is The Liffey Bridge. Refurbished in 2001 at a cost of €1m it continues to be the busiest little bridge in the country.
7) Dromana Bridge, Co. Waterford
Lying at the entrance to Dromana House in Co. Waterford is a rare example, in Ireland, of Hindu-Gothic architecture. Built in 1849 this ornate gate lodge was once inhabited and marked the entrance to an 18th century estate called Villierstown. Originally it was built with paper mache to welcome home the owners from their honeymoon, before being rebuilt with more sturdy materials. The small bridge spans the River Finnisk and while it’s now a private estate it still attracts visitors with due to its sheer beauty and uniqueness.
8) Huband Bridge, Dublin
Huband Bridge was built in 1791 and was funded personally by Joseph Huband a director of the Grand Canal Company. One of the most beautiful georgian bridges along the canal, it’s nearby a canal lock and overlooked by an Edwardian house once owned by Samuel Beckett. There are three houses along the canal that were built by Samuel’s father.
9) OId Weir Bridge, Killarney
This ancient bridge in Killarney National Park with its two stone arches, straddles the area known as ‘the meeting of the waters’. It is the point where three Killarney lakes meet. One of Ireland’s oldest bridges still standing, it dates back to the sixteenth century. It has undergone many damages and repairs and remains a mystical and popular tourist spot.
10) Bennett’s Bridge, Kilkenny
This beautiful, seven-arch limestone bridge across the River Nore in Kilkenny is included in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. It dates back to 1763 although there are records of the bridge’s existence dating back to 1393. It’s thought to have been washed away in the great floods of the 1700s as many of Ireland’s bridge were.