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Waterway in Ireland flowing 75 miles NW from Lough Gowna in Co. Longford through Lough Oughter and Lough Erne, counties Cavan, Fermanagh, and Donegal, to Donegal Bay south of Ballyshannon. Two bodies of water are called Lough Erne, the smaller Upper to the south-east and larger Lower to the north-west. The entire region is rich in ruins of pagan Irish, Danish, and monastic origin. Most remarkable are three islands in Lower Lough Erne: Boa Island, which can be reached by bridge, containing a well-preserved, double-faced, phallic Janus figure and a smaller figure, the ‘lusty man’, so named from its origin on Lustymore Island; Devenish Island, a 6th-century monastic settlement founded by St Molaise; and White Island, containing caryatid-like standing figures of Christian and apparently pagan origin, including a sheela-na-gig. The fabled cataract of Assaroe, now flooded for a hydroelectric project, was on the Erne.

See W. F. Wakeman, Lough Erne (Enniskillen, 1870);John Charles Roy, The Road Wet, the Wind Close (Dublin, 1987).

Subjects: Religion.

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