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Derrywarragh Island

Derrywarragh Island

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Derrywarragh Island is a boulder clay
Boulder clay
Boulder clay, in geology, is a deposit of clay, often full of boulders, which is formed in and beneath glaciers and ice-sheets wherever they are found, but is in a special sense the typical deposit of the Glacial Period in northern Europe and North America...

 island on Lough Neagh
Lough Neagh
Lough Neagh, sometimes Loch Neagh, is a large freshwater lake in Northern Ireland. Its name comes .-Geography:With an area of , it is the largest lake in the British Isles and ranks among the forty largest lakes of Europe. Located twenty miles to the west of Belfast, it is approximately twenty...

, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

. It is linked by a bridge to Maghery
Maghery is a small village and townland in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It lies on the southwest shore of Lough Neagh, near Derrywarragh Island, in the northwest corner of the county...

, County Armagh
County Armagh
-History:Ancient Armagh was the territory of the Ulaid before the fourth century AD. It was ruled by the Red Branch, whose capital was Emain Macha near Armagh. The site, and subsequently the city, were named after the goddess Macha...

. The island is approximately 13 kilometres (8 mi) northwest of Portadown
Portadown is a town in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The town sits on the River Bann in the north of the county, about 23 miles south-west of Belfast...

. Most of the island is wet grassland. There are also areas of wet woodland, marshes and swamps. The island is also regularly the home of wintering and breeding birds.


On entering the River Blackwater
River Blackwater, Northern Ireland
The River Blackwater is a river in County Armagh and County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, as well as County Monaghan and County Cavan in Republic of Ireland, which has its source to the north of Fivemiletown, County Tyrone...

 barges used to sail down the river for about three miles to Lough Neagh at Maghery, where they navigated the mouth of the River by Derrywarragh Peninsula, causing endless delays through silting, flooding and blockages. In 1802 work started under the direction of Daniel Monks to excavate a short channel from the eastern bank of the Blackwater straight to the lough shore through the lower section of Derrywarragh Peninsula thus turning it into what is now Derrywarragh Island. This cut, "the Maghery Cut", finished in 1803, allowed vessels to avoid the sand bars at the river’s mouth. A pontoon bridge
Pontoon bridge
A pontoon bridge or floating bridge is a bridge that floats on water and in which barge- or boat-like pontoons support the bridge deck and its dynamic loads. While pontoon bridges are usually temporary structures, some are used for long periods of time...

was erected and was later replaced by a fixed bridge to allow access onto Derrywarragh Island by the main resident of the island who owns a livestock haulage business and was noticing weakness as the lorry passed over the bridge.

Places of interest

The O'Connors Stronghold can be found on the north-east end of the island. It is a 17th century fortified house. The existing remains measure about 18 ft by 14 ft and include a standing 32 feet (9.8 m) brick chimney stack. According to Craigavon Museum Services, it was probably a "watchtower to protect the mouth of the River Blackwater".
Derrywarragh is linked to Maghery by land ,How can it be an Island?