Islands of Lough Neagh
River Bann & Lough Neagh Association
Book Review By Colin Becker
The Islands of Lough Neagh is a slim volume of about 50 pages describing the history, fauna, flora and cultural heritage of two islands on Lough Neagh: Coney Island and Rams Island.
The book begins by describing the various schemes that were used to lower the water levels on Lough Neagh in the 19th and 20th century and the effect they had on the islands.
Coney Island is owned by The National Trust and the warden Peter McLelland lives in the old Victorian Cottage on the island. The history of the island is traced back to Mesolithic times and there are good descriptions of the indigenous wildlife. The section on the heronry is especially interesting.
Rams Island is of particular interest because for the last few years members of IWAI’s River Bann and Lough Neagh Branch have been working to restore the various features on the island and make it more accessible to the public and the book records some of this work. There are also sections on interesting people who have visited the island including Laura Bell a famous courtesan of the Victorian era who reputedly earned £250,000 in one night with Nepalese Prince Jang Bahadur.
This is a very attractive little book and an absolute must for anyone planning to visit the islands or has an interest in the wider history of Lough Neagh and its environs.
Islands of Lough Neagh is available https://www.riverbannloughneagh.org/