Lough Derravarragh

Lough Derravarragh

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Name Lough Derravarragh County Westmeath Nearest Town Mullingar Access Road N6 About

Lough Derravaragh, which means " Lake Of The Oak Wood Grove", is located between Castlepollard and Collinstown, north of Mullingar in County Westmeath. The lake is some 2800 acres in surface area, and fed by the waters of the River Inny as it enters the Lough on the north east shore. Today, the lake and lakeside margin is a national heritage area which links the lake eco-system with open grassland and woodland habitats.
An area of great natural beauty, the lake attracts both Irish and overseas anglers as large shoals of perch, roach and bream abound. Lough Derravaragh, shaped somewhat like Italy, is a popular lake for angling and other water sports. The main public area is at Donore, near Multifarnham, where there is a caravan park and shop restaurant open in summer.

Lough Derravaragh is best known for its connection with the Irish legend of the Children of Lir ). According to the legend, after being turned into swans, the four children of King Lir spent 300 years on Lough Derravaragh before moving to the Straits of Moyle (between Ireland and Scotland for 300 years,, 300 years on the Atlantic by Erris and Inisglora. The enchantment would end, when a woman from the south would mate a man from the north.

Knockeyon Hill or the Hill of St Eyon is located on the southeastern shore, rising steeply to seven hundred feet. Situated half way up the slope of the hill, there remains the ruins of an ancient, St Cauragh chapel, built and dedicated to St Eyon. The chapel was cut out of the natural rock, and is believed to have never possessed a roof. Adjacent to this chapel are the ruins of St Cauragh's Well, its waters were believed to be miraculous.