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Lady of Lough Gowna

Lough Gowna which has a version of the Loch Ness Monster and a mermaid according to local folklore
Lough Gowna which has a version of the Loch Ness Monster and a mermaid according to local folklore

An eerie cry echos the evening air
The mermaids plaintive song
The saying among the folk that know
Is there will be a drowing before long.

Some local have tales to tell
When by its shores they walk
Or meet for drinks in a local pub
The lady of the lake is their talk…

Dopping Hepenstal on the lake had a boat
The “Nita” at anchor there was kept
Her keel too deep on the lake to sail
For it did not have sufficient depth.
So in its moorings in deep water it stayed
Its guests out to it in a small boat rowed
When the weather was pleasent, or the fishing was good
And quiet were the waters that flowed.

One such night four men to her sailed
Dined and partied, fired guns at the moon
Having had their fill of food and fun
The decided to return to land soon.
Three of the drunken party to the small boat
Safely the sides of the Nita descended
The lady had been crying at Inch Island the evening before
The fourth man fell and the boat upended…

The waters cold and the men were drunk
The waves the upended boat wildly tossed
The mermaid of misery had foretold true again
All four in the party were lost!

The Nita was designed and built in iron in 1868 by Bewley, Webb and Co of Dublin for the Dopping-Hepenstal family of Lough Gowna in County Longford. Despite the fact that in her long sailing life The Nita never left the waters of Lough Gowna, she was of an able seagoing shape very typical of her time, and as she too was 25 tons TM, 44ft LOA and 12ft beam, Source: http://afloat.ie/blogs/sailing-saturday-with-wm-nixon/item/24138-was-this-th%0De-first-round-ireland-voyage
The Nita was designed and built in iron in 1868 by Bewley, Webb and Co of Dublin for the Dopping-Hepenstal family of Lough Gowna in County Longford. Despite the fact that in her long sailing life the Nita never left the waters of Lough Gowna, she was of an able seagoing shape very typical of her time, and as she too was 25 tons TM, 44ft LOA and 12ft beam,
Source:
http://afloat.ie/blogs/sailing-saturday-with-wm-nixon/item/24138-was-this-th%0De-first-round-ireland-voyage

Another tale tells of a funeral held
To attend four men of Columbcille set sail
It was shorter across the waters than by road
So sets the scene of our tragic tale.
Two or three days before this day
The Currys were at work on their land
A father and sun, who her the ladies cries
The elder the omen did understand.
He said to his son, still but a boy
“There will be a drowning before long”
One of the Culumbcille men died sailing home from the burial
The old Curry man alas was not wrong!

The last hearing was in more recent times
An old Miss Rudden on a summers evening
Saw a lady face up bathe in the lake
And heard her mournful keening.
Or it looked like a lady, and yet not
Being old her sight would be failing
Her hearing too, but plain it was
The sound of the creatures wailing.
In time, inside the week its said
A lady local of unsound mind
Escaped from her families care in the dark of night
Who her corpse in the water in the morning did find…

Me at Lough Gowna some years back.
Me at Lough Gowna some years back.
These are but tales some people say
But foolish folklore, mindless superstition
If asked direcect I agree its so
But me, I have my own suspicion,
There may be more to life than meets the eye
Such as this banshee of the lake
To say a prayer who am normally not prayerful
I a sign of the cross on myself I make!

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