Lough Derg

Lough Derg

Derg, Lough, in Ireland. 1 Expansion of the Shannon River, 23 mi (37 km) long and 1 to 5 mi (1.6-8 km) wide, W central Republic of Ireland. On the lake is the republic's first (1927) major hydroelectric power plant, with an 85,000-kW capacity. On Holy Island or Iniscaltra are ruins of churches and a round tower. 2 Lake, c.20 sq mi (50 sq km), Co. Donegal, NW Republic of Ireland. Station Island, traditional site of Saint Patrick's Purgatory, the popular name for the saint's vision of Purgatory, is a famous place of pilgrimage. Saints' Island has ruins of a monastery.
Lough Derg (Loch Dearg in Irish, meaning "Red Lake") is a small lake in County Donegal, Ireland, about seven kilometers north of the border village of Pettigoe. The lake is about 890 hectares (2200 acres) in size, but is quite shallow, making it dangerous during bad weather. The lake is perhaps best known for its pilgrimages but it also has stocks of pike, perch and brown trout.

In the middle of the lough is an islet known as Station Island or, more popularly, St. Patrick's Purgatory, which has been a place of pilgrimage, since at least the 12th century and possibly from the sixth century, and remains very busy to this day. Here, pilgrims fast (being allowed only one meal a day, of black tea or coffee and dry toast) and make barefoot circuits around the stone remains of monks cells during their 3-day pilgrimage. During the first night they must keep a vigil, staying up all night and continuing prayer. The traditional three-day pilgrimage runs from June 1 until August 15th every year. The church on the island is St. Patrick's Basilica.

Station Island is the title of the long and epic poem written by Séamus Heaney. It is also the scene of "The Pilgrimage to Lough Derg" by the Irish writer William Carleton. His experience there led him to abandon thoughts of becoming a Roman Catholic priest, and he converted to the Church of Ireland.

Another Lough Derg is situated on the River Shannon in the south of Ireland.

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