Lough Derravaragh in county Westmeath, 10 miles / 12 km from Mullingar, is a beautiful, shimmering, freshwater lake. Also known as Donore Lake, it is one of the highest situated large lakes in Ireland, at about 210 feet above sea level -- which gives it a dominating aspect over the neighbouring countryside.
Fishing on Lough Derravaragh
Lough Derravaragh is an exceptionally good pike lake and, while fishing from the shore is possible, boats are preferred by local anglers. Roach, bream and trout stocks are also plentiful. Tip: Be familiar with the laws and permits required for coarse fishing in Ireland before setting out, especially if you are angling for pike. See: http://www.fishinginireland.info/regulations.htm
The Children of Lir
The lake is known for its association with the famous Irish myth of the Children of Lir, a Celtic legend that has survived since pre-literate times.
- The Children are sentenced to live as swans by their wicked stepmother, who is jealous of their love for their father.
- In the most well-known of the endings, the children are rescued after 900 years by MacCaomhog, a monk in Inis Gluaire, who blesses them.
- When transformed again to humans, the Children of Lir are so old that they immediately die.
Derravaragh Lake. Image by Fiona MacGinty-O’Neill.