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Lough Neagh. It’s big. But it’s little known. Perhaps even a bit mysterious. Well, this is your chance to discover some of its secrets. Join seventh-generation fisherman Gary on board his own passenger boat. And have your eyes opened to the human and the animal life of a very special place.
The lough laps the shorelines of five of Northern Ireland’s six counties. It covers over one hundred and fifty square miles. There are many stories to be told about it - and Gary’s the man to tell them.
While he chats to you, you’ll see how swiftly and skillfully a Lough Neagh fisherman “runs his line”. Gary hardly seems to be looking at it! He’ll talk you through his typical working day. He’ll explain the traditional fishing methods that have been used on the lough for generations. You’ll learn about the fish that live here, like the Lough Neagh Eel and the Lough Neagh Pollan. Who knows, you might encounter a fishing boat on the hunt for them.
Gary also has fascinating Lough Neagh artefacts and photographs to show you. He’ll tell you about his own ancestors too. There are seven generations of them, including Sally-Anne, “The Traád Pollan Woman”. She’s a real legend around these parts. And if you ever wanted to try your hand at mending a fisherman’s nets? That’s another skill that’s been handed down from generation to generation in Gary’s family. He’ll show you how it’s done. Then you can have a go yourself.
But Lough Neagh can put you in touch with your spiritual side too. Hear from Gary about the ancient pilgrimage site of Cranfield church and holy well. There’s even a chance that Lough Neagh will inspire you to write a poem or two. Well, it certainly had that effect on Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney