A Second Victoria: a new bridge for Buncrana

Before the advent of commercial motor transport, Lough Swilly was the most important naval base in Ireland. Due to the area's military importance and the fact that that ocean sailing vessels used the Swilly as an anchor point, the population of Buncrana tripled between 1861 and 1920, making it the largest town in the county. As a result, the Owenkillew and Mill rivers were merged and the first Victoria Bridge was constructed circa 1900, providing a new thoroughfare capable of handling heavy freight.

The new Victoria Bridge replacing the old iron Victoria Bridge was officially opened in February 2000 by the then Minister of the Environment and Local Government, Mr Noel Dempsey. On the day, Donegal County manager, Michael McLoone stated:

The completion of this project will see a major enhancement of the infrastructure in the town of Buncrana. It will play an integral part in developing Buncrana's links with Derry and the rest of the county and beyond, into the new millennium. The new bridge…symbolises the developing potential of the area in a time of unprecedented and ambitious national planning and expenditure and is set against the background of the new era of peace on this island.

The new Victoria Bridge has a span of 42m. 97 tonnes of reinforcing steel was used in ite construction, with an estimated 210m of roadworks involved. the total cost of bridge and roadworks came to IR£1.26m.

Another example of an earlier constructed bridge in Buncrana is Castle Bridge as shown in this William Lawrence photograph from the 1890s. the bridge also features on the cover of "Donegal the Magnificent", a tourist guide book from the 1940s.


previousPrevious - To the Derry Boat - The Bridge of Tears
Next - Linking North & South: Lifford Bridgenext