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.
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…
Update: the castle is now up for sale!
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.
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!