Ten things about Lough Ree.
Lough Ree means Lake of the Kings in English and this setting has taken great prominence in Irish history of the past two thousand years. With is vast array of islands and its position in the very centre of Ireland it has always been a location of great strategic importance for conflict, religion, and education.
- The first documented regatta on Lough Ree took place from the 28th of July to the 2nd of August 1731.
- At the end of the 19th century 180 people live on these islands. Now there are none.
- In winter an estimated 25,000 wildfowl from Greenland, Siberia and Northern Europe migrate to Lough Ree.
- In ancient Irish myth, after the Tain wars and the death of Cuchulainn, Queen Maeve returned to an island on the Lough called Inchcleraun. Her stay was not to be as tranquil as expected. A warrior who was the son of the King of Ulster waited on the lake shore until the Queen came bathe. When she did he fired a slingshot straight and true killing her instantly.
- There are 52 named islands in Lough Ree, some are only 1 acre in size and some are over 200 acres.
- The poet Sean O Dubhagain died in Rindoon in 1372. He was best known for the an epic topographical poem consisting of 1660 verses which gave a detailed account of live in the Irish clans of the time.
- During the LeCarrow Pattern Day in 1845 a solider from the Athlone barracks was acting drunk and disorderly. He was punished by way of one hundred lashes the next day by his barracks comrades.
- Lough Ree was the site of a major battle in 937 between the two strongest Viking forces in the country from Dublin and Limerick. The Dublin Vikings won the battle.
- On the island of Inishbofin which means island of the White Cow (white cow is ancient Irish reference for the Milky Way) the founder of the monastery was Rioch, the son of Saint Patrick’s sister. He was said to be the keeper of Saint Patrick’s Books and the school on the Islands was known as the University of the Lake.
- In 1845 eight people drowned and three people survived in a boating accident. The people were returning across the Lough from working in a quarry at Cossan point.