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  • Marlene Dahl

Lough Corrib

The Lough Corrib is the largest body of water closes to my place of residence. Despite it being so close to where I live, I actually know very little about it. So I have decided to research it as a part of this project. But because of Covid-19 restrictions in place all over the country at the moment I am not able to visit it physically. But research still needs to be made! So we do what we can.


So Lough Corrib is infact the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland as it covers a surface area of 176km2. Most of the lake is located within County Galway but a small part of it is located in County Mayo. The inflows to the lake is Cregg River, River Clare and Black River - which was mentioned and photographed in my previous post. Its primary outflow is The River Corrib that runs right through Galway City before connection to the sea in Galway bay. The lake was said to have have 365 island but a recent figure states that there are in fact over a thousand islands of various sizes.



In Irish the name for the lake is Loch Coirib which is according to placename lore derived from Loch Oirbsean. This in turn is said to refer to Oirbsen which is another name used for the Irish god figure Manannan mac Lir who in Irish mythology is a god of the sea. Irish folklore and myths is still a bit confusing an overwhelming for me. There is so many different names and expressions for things that referes back to the same thing. But I suppose thats the thing with folklore and myths - there is always many strands of the same tale.


In 2007 there was a Cryptosporidium outbreak in the drinking water in Galway that originated from Lough Corrib. I had not been in Ireland long at that time but I remember it clearly. We were told to boil our water prior to consuming it or you could risk getting severely sick. Water is naturally a source of healing and recovery; when we are sick we are advised to drink plenty of fluids or water from healing wells. However, it is so vulnerable. And by humans interference with ecology and climate it can lead to water being the carrier of decease of bacteria. In fact the Covid virus is transmitted and spread through water droplets. But at the same time - water is life and we need it to survive.


All the best

Marlene