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Sheen River

  Grade:   3 to 4       Rating: river rating
  County:   Kerry   Date updated:15/08/2014
  Section Length:   4km   Version: 3 (History)

Brief River Description

This is a pool drop river with some rapids that run into each other especially in high water. One long flat section after first rapid by Dromanassig Bridge and after that regular grade 3-4 rapids, some will need scouting.

Directions to the Put-in

Dromanassig Bridge, on a left turn off the N71 Glengarriff road 6km south of Kenmare (Irish White Water 1995). You will see a water fall on the left just down stream of a bridge (Dromanassig Bridge). Get on just up stream of this bridge (about 70m) park on side of road and access through farm land, be nice!

Directions to the Take-out

Take out is at sea level. After the final rapid by Sheen falls hotel there you are at sea level. Take out is on river left. There are a few different options to take out so look around just before getting on the river to see what suits your group best. We used a hotel car park just after the arch bridge (Name to follow)

Sheen Falls Hotel

River Description

There are four major rapid sections on the river which are of grade 3-4 difficulty.

The first is visable from Dromanassig Bridge. A short series of rapids lead into this drop and its important to be up right on the final approach! We ran this rapid in the middle channel, river right channel drops 12ft onto rock with no plunge pool so dont go down that one! we ran down the middle channel from the centre to river left.

The second rapid comes after a long flat section which follows Dromanassig Bridge and a minor grade 2plus rapid. it is a series of small rapids with a man made wier on river left, in the middle of a rapid is a tecnical 6ft drop that some may wish to look at first.

The third section is a series of three rapids that run into each other esp. in moderate-high water. Each rapid individually is not particularly difficult but few if any easy breakout are available in between. Recovery for the bottom of these rapids is not easy in moderat-high water since few eddies exist, scouting is advised.

The final rapid is right beside sheen falls hotel and is recognisable from the water by a road bridge which is just upstream of this rapid. Eddie out on the river left immediately downstream of this bridge and scout. There is a few minor rapid followed by a main fall which can be run either straight down the middle or through a river right shoot depending on water levels.

Local issues

From what we noted locals were friendly and willing to come out in the rain to watch us paddlers The land to the river left of the third main rapid is privately owned by a local hotel (you will see a nice big sign!) that said, we used the land for rescue and scouting and had no problems, this may change in fishing season. If in doubt ask before taking to the water.

High Season will be a problem, you will have issues with fishermen/bailiffs.

River level gauge

No idea yet, please add


River Hazards

There some steel bar in the s-bend just after the first weir

Theres sometimes a footbridge in place across from the hotel.

In high water and depending on tides, a swim on the center line of the last drop at the hotel can result in some serious down time. At this level a large boil rising about 1ft - 2ft high is visible below the last drop.


Original Author: William McCarthy
Latest Author: Richy
(Full History)

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