Brief feature description
This is really a playspot for longer/old-school boats, or bring your river runner for a surf. The feature is a wave, similar to Termonbarry, but much smaller. Leave the short playboat at home.
It works on medium and medium-low water flows, but only if the correct gates are open (it needs 2 or 3 gates together). Ideally, the water would be at a high level on the upstream side (i.e. they should soon have to open more gates), showing that there would be a greater hydraulic drop. There is a guage just downstream of the weir at the end of the stone wall. The upstream level is low if you can see a large square stone/block just further than the last gate about 2m out. Note that a at fairly high flow rate, the river may actually have a low level on the depth gauge upstream of the weir, as they open all the gates (of course with very high flows this will be high). In high water flows, the weir gets easily washed out and flat.
In general this is a shallow feature, so expect a few bumps if you capsize. Be careful of breaking paddles etc. Make sure you have a good helmet! :) It usually works well after other features have become too low, due to the catchment size of the Shannon upstream.
When it is working, it is a good fun fast wave to surf. It doesn't tend to surge much, so you can sit on it carving for a long time.
The large bank beside it makes photography easy, and large eddies are easy to use normally.
The spot is about an hour from Galway city, 2 from Dublin.
From Banagher, take the Eyrecourt/Killimor road (r356). About 5km out here, take a left for Meelick/Ruane (this is the first left outside Banagher). Continue down this road about 2km until you see Meelick Quay on your left. You can drive the 200m down the roadway to the weir (remember to close the gate if is was already closed). There is parking down at the weir for up to about 10 cars, and parking for lots of cars or buses etc. at meelick quay. You can ten walk down to the weir.
If you are coming from the Eyrecourt side, take the road for Meelick beside the Garda station on the main street (opposite the shop - road number not known). Turn left about 1km out the road for Meelick (first left), and continue for about 4km until you see Meelick Quay on the right. At one point after about 3km, the road bends 90 degrees to the left, with straight on being a cul-de-sac at an old church and unmarked pub. Go left here!
Swimmers need to mind downstream trees. Rescue boaters will be needed. DO NOT paddle down through the weir obviously.