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Lough Erne, Enniskillen

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Lough Erne or Loch 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 further up the river) or South Lough. The bigger northern lake is called the Lower Lough or North 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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  • I attended my cousins wedding here and its a fabulous venue for an wedding. The food was delicious and service excellant. We stayed that night and the rooms are fab. There was a problem with our room ...  more »
  • Great cruise on a part of the lough erne with MV KESTREL, the staff is fabulous and very attentive and caring, stop on Devenish island for 30 minutes for a ride and visit to the small Museum of the island
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  • No matter where you go in Fermanagh, you're guaranteed to see this lough. While it is the heart of Fermanagh it can be a bit boring due to it constantly being there.  more »