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Lough Eske, Donegal Town
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Lough Eske or Lough Eask is a small lake in County Donegal, in the northwest of Ireland. The lake lies to the northeast of Donegal Town, to which it is connected by the River Eske. The lake is about 900acre in size and is surrounded to the north, east and west by the Bluestack Mountains, which occupy most of Central and Eastern County Donegal.RecreationThe lake and its tributaries are popular for fishing, especially for spring salmon, sea trout and char, with the season running from 1 March to 30 September.Because of its scenic and unspoiled surroundings, the lake is a popular getaway destination, with two major hotels on its shores.The area also has many forest paths: unassigned paths on the south-western shores of the lake and there are also newly reconstructed paths in Ardnamona wood.Local populationAccording to the 2006 census results, there are 119 people living in the 'Lough Eask Rural Area', down 16 from 2002.HistoryFollowing the burning of the Franciscan Friary in Donegal Town in September 1601, the friars were forced to flee into the surrounding countryside. They set up a new friary on the western shores of Lough Eske, giving the name of 'The Friary' to the local townland in the district of Killymard, and the 'Friar's Walk' along the shore of the lake. The friars remained in the vicinity of the lake for most of the following century but a Royal Proclamation in August 1687, ordering all Catholic clergy to leave Ireland within nine months, dealt the final blow to the Order in the Donegal area. Since they were brought to Donegal Town in the sixteenth century, the friars had had to abandon their convent on several occasions and it was frequently attacked and damaged, unsurprising given the political instability between the English and Gaelic Irish Lords at the time. About the time of the Royal Proclamation, it's believed the Friars were based around the lake once more, close to Barnesmore on the east shore, near Roshin Island in the southeast corner of the lake, which is believed to have been used as a graveyard by the friars. There is still evidence of graves on the island to this day.
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  • Just about 7 kms. out of Donegal town, you can drive around the beautiful Lough Eske. The road is quite narrow and there are few places to pull in but the surrounding scenery is spectacular at this ti...  more »
  • Spent a couple of days here. One of donegals many gems! Lots of lovely walks and of course Harvey's point hotel to eat in 
  • Whether you prefer seeing him aboard the Water Bus or coast walk along the small paths that surround the River Eske has a special charm, with islets in the Center, and if you're lucky and the Sun is shining, you can also see some seals popping up out of the water!
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