"Well, that beats Banagher!" This small Shannon-side town is best known in Ireland because of this common phrase, which dates from the 19th century when the town was the very worst example of a "rotten borough"—a corrupt electoral area controlled by the local landed gentry. In short, if something "beats Banagher" it's either pretty bad or rather extraordinary. Nowadays, Banagher is a lively marina town that is a popular base for water-sports enthusiasts. Charlotte Brontë (1816–55) famously spent her honeymoon here. Pick up a copy of the Banagher Heritage Trail, available in shops, pubs, and B&Bs, that will guide you around 17 buildings, sculptures, and sites of interest in the town and along the riverside, including places with a Brontë connection.


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