IT HAS BEEN IN USE SINCE 1393
Because of really heavy rain and a wet lens it was almost impossible to get correct focus and soon after I photographed this old bridge I had to give up and return home.
This Bridge over the River Boyne in Trim, County Meath, has been, and continues to be a working bridge since 1393. It is referred to as the oldest bridge in Ireland but when I asked Google’s Bard AI to confirm that this claim was true I got the following response: “The oldest bridge in Ireland is the Athlone Bridge, which is located on the River Shannon in Athlone, County Westmeath. It was built in 1329 by John Darcy, Lord of Athlone, and is a single-span stone arch bridge. The bridge is 30 metres long and 7.5 metres wide, and it is one of the most iconic landmarks in Athlone.” This does not appear to be accurate as the current bridge was built in the 19th century to replace the old bridge which was becoming dangerous to the increasing volume of traffic. Originally the bridge had a moveable section which was decommissioned in the mid 20th century. Also during the mid-19th century, the Board of Works built a weir wall south of Athlone to improve the navigation of the river.
According to Wikipedia King John’s Bridge in Lucan is the oldest bridge in Ireland but it is no longer used.
The Boyne river has been known since ancient times. The Greek geographer Ptolemy drew a map of Ireland in the 2nd century which included the Boyne, which he called Βουουίνδα (Bouwinda) or Βουβίνδα (Boubinda), which in Celtic means “white cow” (Irish: bó fhionn). During the High Middle Ages, Giraldus Cambrensis called it the Boandus. In Irish mythology it is said that the river was created by the goddess Boann and Boyne is an anglicised form of the name. In other legends, it was in this river where Fionn mac Cumhail captured Fiontán, the Salmon of Knowledge. The Meath section of the Boyne was also known as Smior Fionn Feidhlimthe (the ‘marrow of Fionn Feilim’). The tidal estuary of the Boyne, which extends inland as far as the confluence with the Mattock River, ‘the curly hole’, had a number of names in Irish literature and was associated as a place of departure and arrival in the ancient legends and myths, such as The Tragedy of the Sons of Tuireann, Togail Bruidne Dá Derga, &c. In the Acallam na Senórach the estuary has the name Inber Bic Loingsigh, abounding in ships. Inber Colpa or Inber Colptha was the principal name for the mouth of the Boyne in early medieval times. The townlands and civil parish of Colp, or Colpe on its southern shore preserve the name. It was associated in myth with Colpa of the Sword, a son of Míl Espáine, in the Milesian origin of the Irish, who drowned in the attempt to land there and is by tradition buried in the ringfort behind Colpe church. An alternative Dindsenchas tradition associates the name with the Máta, a massive aquatic creature, which having been killed was dismembered at Brú na Bóinne was thrown in the Boyne. Its shinbone (colptha) reached the estuary giving name to Inber Colptha