Lake festival sailing on to more success
02 July 2007
By Aoife McKeever
The weather stayed dry for one of Ireland’s oldest festivals as thousands of people gathered for the Big Lough Sunday Festival in Co Armagh.
The week-long event came to a close at Maghery yesterday with entertainment from Fame Academy’s Barry McKeever as well as bouncy castles and boat trips across Lough Neagh to Coney Island. Warden Peter McClelland, the only person who lives on the island, ferried people on his boat, The Trostan.
Eel fishing, one of the lough’s biggest industries, was also part of the festival.
A competition was held. All funds raised by the festival go to the parish, mainly St Mary’s Primary School and Maghery Community Centre.
Sean Robinson, one of the organisers, said it had been a great success.
“There was a great turnout and thankfully the rain stayed off for the day,” he said.
“It was a great day for the children with everyone seeming to enjoy themselves and it was another successful year for the festival.”
The festival dates back to the 11th century. The first record of it taking place was in 1012.
The festival has been celebrated in a more extensive way in the past 75 years.
Coney Island lies one kilometre offshore from Maghery.