- Text size: A A

Telling the Story of Lough Neagh

16 March 2017

Eamon Moore is a Lough Neagh fisherman and has stories to tell about a lifetime fishing for eels on Lough Neagh.

 

Lough Neagh Landscape Partnership is looking for local storytellers who are willing to welcome visitors to their community and tell them a little about the local stories and history that makes Lough Neagh and its people special. 

The project is one of 27 projects funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of a 5 year Landscape Heritage Programme.  The programme will recruit 16 people who will work together to explore the rich built, natural and cultural heritage associated with Lough Neagh and how the heritage could be packaged to attract tourists to visit and enjoy a few days around the lough.  We plan to facilitate the 16 participants to develop a range of heritage experiences and tours based on wildlife old buildings and monuments and local songs, poetry and music from around the lough.                                

A Valuable Wildlife Sanctuary

The programme will involve talks by experts and visits to rich environment habitats around the lough for migratory birds from the Artic that come here for the winter.  The Lough is also an important breeding site for common terns, and overwinters a wide range of birds from Bewicks swan, Golden Plover, to Great crested Grebe.  Of course no story about the lough is complete without mentioning our Lough Neagh Eels and our native dollaghan trout.  Visitors will be interested in learning more about these and the important habitats the animals and birds make their home in. 

Gaels, Planters and Early Christian Heritage

Lough Neagh played a key role in the “Nine Years War” which marked the decline of Gaelic Ulster and the O’Neill dynasty and the subsequent Plantation of Ulster.  There are a lot of significant sites on the shores of the Lough that played a role in this local storytellers would help make the experience more memorable and enjoyable for visitors.

Songs & Poetry

Lough Neagh has inspired many local people to poetry and song.  Seamus Heaney use the Lough Neagh and loughshore characters as subjects of his poetry.  While Seamus Heaney’s poetry is recognised around the world there are many other poets that used Lough Neagh as inspiration for poetry and song such as Moses Taggert and Geordie Hanna.   

Food

Over the last few years the creativity of local food producers has improved beyond recognition.  Lough Neagh Eels and Bramley Apples have secured the EU “Protected Designation of Origin” status.  We would like to involve local food producers, pubs and restaurants in our efforts to make the visit to Lough Neagh a special and memorable experience.

If you would like to play a part in this tourism development initiative for Lough Neagh and have an opportunity to gain a qualification in tour guiding or becoming a “Welcome Host” for your community we would like to hear from you.   Please contact Chris McCarney on 077 8824 9517 or [email protected] for an application form.  Applications must be submitted for Friday 31 March 2017.