The Emerald Isle

Cavan, in which the two great rivers, the Shannon and the Erne, both have their sources, is said to have as many loughs as there are days in the year. Much of the heart of Westmeath is dotted with loughs, including Sheelin (shared with County Cavan), Lene, Derravaragh, Owel, and Ennell. Many of these are familiar names in Irish folklore: Lough Derravaragh, for instance, is said to have been the home for 300 years of the children of the King of Lir, turned into swans by their jealous stepmother. Today, it is not folklore so much as the fine fishing in the lough, as well as the 163 The Emerald Isle LEFT: The beautiful river Shannon. ABOVE: Tullynally Castle is near the village of Castlepollard, County Westmeath. The name Tullynally is an adaption of Tulaigh an Eallaigh – the Hill of the Swan. The hill overlooks Lough Derravaragh, the legendary lake of the Children of Lir who were turned into swans. Today Tullynally Castle is a popular tourist destination. OVERLEAF: Lough Ennell is one of several lakes dotted throughout County Westmeath. It is located near the town of Mullingar, County Westmeath.