Lough Erne, Enniskillen

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Lough Erne is the name of two connected lakes in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. It is the second-biggest lake system in Northern Ireland and Ulster, and the fourth biggest in Ireland. The lakes are widened sections of the River Erne, which flows north and then curves west into the Atlantic. The smaller southern lake is called the Upper Lough as it is higher up the river. The bigger northern lake is called the Lower Lough or Broad Lough. The town of Enniskillen lies on the short stretch of river between the lakes. The lake has 154 islands along with many coves and inlets. When windy, navigation on Lower Lough Erne, running for 26 miles almost to the Atlantic, can be something of a challenge with waves of open-sea dimensions. Shallow Upper Lough Erne, spreading southeast of Enniskillen for about 12 miles, is a maze of islands. The River Erne is 80ml (129 km) long and drains an area of about 4,350 km2.Name, mythology and folkloreLough Erne appears to be named after an ancient population group called the Érainn, or after a goddess from which the Érainn took their name. Since tribes were often named after a divine ancestor, T. F. O'Rahilly suggested that the Érainn took their name from a goddess named Érann and that Loch Éirne probably means "lake of Érann". O'Rahilly and other scholars have connected these names to Ériu, the goddess after which Ireland is named. He writes that the earlier forms of these goddess names were Everna/Iverna and Everiu/Iveriu and that both come from "the Indo-European root ei-, implying motion". In his view Érann and Ériu would thus appear to mean "she who travels regularly", explained as "the sun-goddess, for the sun was the great celestial Traveller". Alternatively, John T. Koch suggests that Ériu was a mother goddess whose name comes from an Indo-European word stem meaning "fat, rich, fertile".
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  • This is a beautiful area where you could easily spend a week or two exploring. There are two Lough Erne's - Upper Lough Erne and Lower Lough Erne. Upper Lough Erne (the smaller of the two) lays below ...  more »
  • We had a lovely picnic lunch enroute to Belfast at North Loughshore Erne at Dolan Ring. It was a lovely way to spend a few hours.  more »
  • We were 14 days with the boat on the way and it was wonderful... no mass tourism and one looks a lot. the Islands with the old walls are deserted and the Irish are a very friendly people.
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