A boat trip on Lough Key. McDermotts Castle, Castle Island, Lough Key, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

First off, excuse the emoji, the excitement took over.


I had the amazing opportunity to have my own personal tour guide on Lough Key today (Monday) and after visiting the surrounding islands on a row boat (with an engine, but still, a row boat) my tour ceased at McDermotts Castle. My tour guide was my boyfriends brother-in-law but for everyone else tours can be booked here.


So, my mother is a McDermott from County Roscommon and I have studied history in the past, here enters my interest, enthusiasm and excitement. While this castle has no relationship with my mothers family, I was intrigued by it and, as you will soon see, it is amazing.

Here is a brief synopsis of what I learned today, including one of the famous stories about old inhabitants of the island.

Located on Castle Island on Lough Key is McDermotts Castle that dates back to the 18th century. Neighboring islands have beautiful ruins of old priories, churches and towers. It is expected too that there are many unmarked or lost graves on the islands. McDermotts Castle now also lies in ruins but many features of the castle are still intact.

castle outside

Ok time for the story. There is an old legend that states that Úna Bhan, daughter of the McDermott chief, fell in love with a boy of lower class. At that time this was shunned upon. Rumor has it, this boy used to swim to Castle Island to see her. One time he didn’t make it, killed in the water. As the story goes Úna died of a broken heart. This legend is well known in the area and the tale has been mentioned in various forms of literature throughout the years.

castle outside 2

I will definitely be visiting Boyle again soon. Next time I will be including a long walk, a picnic and a go at the Boda Borg.

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