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Lifford Bridge, Lifford, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Courtesy of Monreagh Heritage Centre
Formatted by
Jim McKane



When the town of Lifford came into the possession of Sir Richard Hansard in 1607 one of the conditions of the grant was that a ferry crossing be provided over the Finn river. This service continued until 1730 when the first bridge linking Lifford and Strabane was built. In the nineteenth century, a curious custom existed: if by the end of the Assizes in Lifford or Omagh courthouses, a jury could not reach a unanimous verdict in a case, they were sent to the "verge" of the county to be dismissed. In the case of counties Donegal and Tyrone, this was the middle of the Lifford Bridge.

The following account was taken from the "Strabane Morning Post" on August 11th, 1827:
"Patk Donnelly, indicted for the murder of John Beavers on the 1st Feb last, near Dungannon. The jury retired at twelve o'clock on Friday morning, remained in one night, and on Saturday was removed, together with the prisoner, to Lifford Bridge, the verge of the county. Upon the arrival of Justice Torrens the jury was called over, and not having agreed, the judge then discharged the Jury."

Also see the Patrick Donnelly entry at Tyrone Assizes, Omagh, August 1827

The New Bridge at Lifford, Co Donegal 1964