Clare County Library
Clare Places: Towns & Villages
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Places of Interest

  • LOUGH DERG is the largest of the Shannon lakes and is noted for its coarse fishing, particularly pike. Tench are also plentiful; and occasionally pollan, a species of white fish found only in the Shannon lakes, are caught here. The lake, covering an area of more than fifty square miles, is famous for its trout, rudd, rudd-bream and pike. Twenty-five miles long by nine miles wide at its widest point, it can be a deceptively dangerous inland waterway where strong winds can build up waves of an exceptional height. There are two folk tales to explain the origin of the name Lough Derg. The first describes how MacCreiche of Liscannor drove the fairy badger, a monster that was half animal and half fish, into the deepest part of Lough Derg, where it stayed until slain by Murchadh, son of Brian Boru. His blood was so red, so "dearg", that it coloured the lake. The second story tells how Deirc, a young local chieftain, fell in love with a girl who had not the slightest interest in him. "I'd give my right arm or my right eye for her." "Do just that," said his druid adviser, "and she is yours." The lovesick youth believed him and tore out his eye and ripped off his right arm with an axe. He washed his wounds at the lake shore and his blood coloured the water. Hence the name of the lake, loch Deirg Dheirc - the red lake of Deirc. His love refused to have anything to do with him, saying she wouldn't marry a one-eyed monster who couldn't even embrace her properly!

  • MOUNTSHANNON PIERS, one close to the village and the other at Knockafort near Holy Island, allowed vessels of up to twenty tons burden to load or unload. The pier at Mountshannon dated from the end of the eighteenth century but was not shown in an 1838 map which depicted Knockafort Quay. In 1850 the Shannon Navigation Board erected the larger pier, allowing Mountshannon to play a wider role in the trade and passenger service on the Shannon.

  • WOODPARK WOOD is situated about a mile from Mountshannon village. A forest walk has been developed here. Woodpark was acquired for state forestry in 1928 and the Community Council assisted the development. 

  • Woodpark House has been demolished but two gate lodges remain. The house was built in the nineteenth century. The Reade family resided here, as did the Hibbert family. The house was burned to the ground during the War of Independence in the 1920's.

  • MOUNTSHANNON HOUSE is a nineteenth century residence. It was associated with various landlord families, including the Tandy family. Napper Tandy, the well known United Irishman, is said to have built the gates here. In 1956 Joyce, Lady Talbot de Malahide, then proprietor, transferred Mountshannon House to An Oige for use as a Youth Hostel.

  • St. Caimin's Church of Ireland, MountshannonST. CAIMIN'S CHURCH OF IRELAND was built on the Tandy Estate in 1789. The mason was John Boyle. The Board of First Fruits gave a grant of 390. Repairs were carried out in 1831 and it was at this time that the square tower was added on. It was built by John Boyle Junior. The bell cost 8 and was cast by the Dublin Company, Sheridan Bros. The inscription on the bell was "Eireann go brath."
    St. Caimin's is a simple gothic structure. Various monuments have been erected in and around the church. The Reade family vault is in the churchyard. A wall-tablet in the church is a reminder of the drowning of the two Coghlan brothers. Sons of Rev. Augustus Coghlan, they drowned in Lough Derg in 1876.

  • St. Caimin's Catholic Church, MountshannonST. CAIMIN'S CATHOLIC CHURCH was built in 1836 on the site of an existing thatched church. It is a simple gothic style building.

  • THE CHIEFTAIN'S ROCK is situated in the townland of Sallernane. It may have been used as a marker for a boundary between territories. It may mark the burial place of an important person of long ago, now referred to as the "Chieftain." It may mark the site of a notable event, perhaps a battle site where a chieftain was killed. For now, it is a standing stone of uncertain date or purpose.

  • GRAINNE'S ROCK is a wedge tomb in the townland of Bohatch. It is a megalithic tomb which may have been used as a burial chamber. These tombs date from the Early Bronze Age.

  • RINGFORT in the townland of Bohatch. It is located in an area of blanket bog. It is not noted in the Ordnance Survey maps but has been mentioned in the Folklore Commission Project as a fort called "Lios na Grei."

  • CIST GRAVE in the townland of Bohatch lies below ground level.