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McDermott’s Castle In Roscommon Is Like Something Whipped Up Inside Walt Disney’s Head

A grand aul hidden gem

Recently, we started a series that shines the spotlight on some of Ireland’s real hidden gems.

Often, they’re places that are a little off the beaten track, and aren’t as easily accessible as the likes of the Cliffs of Moher or the Giants Causeway.

Here’s where we’ve featured so far

  • A wild and rugged island off the Donegal coast that’s often overlooked, despite the immense raw beauty that engulfs every inch of it (see it here)
  • An Ancient Irish Cottage That’s Fit For A Hobbit King (it’s also one of the most unusual buildings I’ve seen across Ireland – check it out!)

Today, we’re taking a trip to County Roscommon to visit a island that’s home to the ruins of a beautiful old castle

And a harrowing bit of legend that tells the tale of two lovers kept apart by man and lake.

Honestly, feast your eyes upon this…

mcdermotts castle roscommon
Photo snapped by Max (@ihaveadarksoul – check out his stuff on Instagram – it’s ammmmmazing)

It really is like something whipped straight from a Shrek movie.

Hungry for more? Keep reading!

About McDermott’s Castle in Roscommon

You’ll find McDermott’s Castle in County Roscommon on Lough Key, 3km north east of the town of Boyle.

Stretching around 10km across and forming a rough circular shape, Lough Key contains over 30 islands scattered throughout it’s waters.

One of these islands is known as ‘Castle Island’, which is home to the ruins of McDermott’s Castle.

mcdermotts castle ireland
Photo snapped by Max (@ihaveadarksoul)

According to legend…

Local legend tells the story of a girl called Una, the daughter of the McDermott chief, who was in love with a boy from a lower class.

The girl’s father refused to let her leave the island, so the boy she was infatuated with would swim over to the island to see her.

On one such occasion, tragedy struck, and the boy drowned in the lake.

It’s said that the McDermott girl died from grief and that both her and her partner have remained buried on the island ever since, beneath two intertwined trees.

Hit play below to see McDermott’s Castle from the air (via Tadgh Smith on YouTube).

Getting to Castle Island

If you fancy seeing more of Castle Island and McDermott’s Castle, there are several tour providers that offer trips to and around the island.

If you’re visiting the area, make sure to spend some time in Lough Key Forest Park.

It’s home to around 800 hectares of gorgeous, picturesque wood and parkland with a lake and several wooded islands.

For those exploring the park, take some time to ;

  • Check out the observation tower
  • Have a gander at the wishing chair
  • Stroll through the underground tunnels.
  • Ramble along the Trinity Bridge
  • Have a snoop around the Bog Garden
  • Soak up some of the areas history in the visitor centre and soak up some of the areas rich history

Have you visited McDermott’s Castle? Did you hop on one of the boat tours? Let me know in the comment section below!

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mcdermotts castle roscommon

Howaya!The purpose of this site is to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories.No spam. Clickbait. Or boll*x. Ever.Keith

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  1. Beautiful spot! We live in the US, but I have visited there and some other lovely places in Roscommon with my family. Before it was McDermott’s it was known as McGreevy castle. The McGreevy clan was active in the area, and also donated the land for Boyle Abbey to be built. The folks who are the guides at Lough Key still have a McGreevy involved in their venture. A long time ago, the McDermotts defeated the McGreevys and took over the castle. The whole place is magical and well worth a visit.


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