Lough Neagh’s Stories
Lough Neagh’s Stories is owned and managed by local couple, Gary and Anne-Marie, who are passionate advocates for the place in which they grew up and still call home, and who both already work Lough Neagh’s waters themselves, as local fishing people. Gary is a seventh-generation, commercial Lough Neagh fisherman. Anne-Marie is a licensed commercial boat-helper on Gary’s boat, and an English and History teacher, who often writes her own poetry inspired by Lough Neagh.
“We pride ourselves on the fact that our tours will acquaint you with the authentic, real Lough Neagh landscape, people, and stories. Join us for experiences you will reflect on, recall fondly, and certainly never forget. It is our aim that you will experience … learn … enjoy… share … cherish!”
Lapping the shorelines of the five counties of Antrim, Derry, Tyrone, Armagh and Down, spanning over one hundred and fifty square miles, and vitally draining more than one third of the region’s water; Lough Neagh is, undoubtedly, a geographic and ecological beating pulse.
Incredibly, however, its remarkable attributes and residents – aquatic and shoreline, human and non-human; its genuinely, authentically epic stories; and its traditional, skilful, resilient people, especially its fishing people, have long been uncelebrated, undervalued, and even unseen, for a host of reasons. We at “Lough Neagh’s Stories” intend to change all that! We recognise and appreciate Lough Neagh as not just a natural wonder, and a vast reservoir of water, but also as a vast reservoir of inspiring non-fiction and awesome legend!
As local fishing people who feel very blessed to have always called the Loughshore “home”, and who enjoy the privilege of working Lough Neagh’s waters ourselves, we feel it is our duty to ensure others have opportunity to learn about incredible people like Gary’s ancestor, Sally-Anne, “The Traád Pollan Woman”; and to see firsthand the incredible speed and skill with which a Lough Neagh fisherman “runs his line”, without scarcely looking at it, as he chats to you. We feel it is only right that others get to see and hear the stunning panoramic landscape we enjoy every day in our working lives; and certainly only right that they have opportunity to experience for themselves the mental and emotional solace Lough Neagh has long provided and continues to provide for very many people. For this reason, we feel particularly privileged to be able to introduce people to ancient spiritual sites such as Cranfield, a place very dear to our hearts. In addition to all of this, many visitors will relish the opportunity to get up close and personal with the landscape and people which inspired Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney!
Lough Neagh’s Stories Tours Include:
- Lough Neagh’s commercial fishing heritage, its characterful people and its quality produce
- Loughs Neagh and Beg as literary landscapes
- The spiritual and Christian history and heritage of Loughs Neagh and Beg
- The most exclusive “A LOUGH NEAGH SEQUENCE” tour combines fishing and literary excerpts from Seamus Heaney
- The wider ecology and wildlife of Lough Neagh
- The Lough Neagh experience of the Plantation of Ulster
- The Lough Neagh experience during World War Two
- Lough Neagh as a creative/cultural/sporting landscape
- Catch and release angling on Lough Neagh and in the Lower River Bann
- Eel Suppers as part of the above tours (seasonal)
Tours last approx two hours and are designed for up to twelve people, larger groups can also be accommodated
Both Gary & Anne Marie are official Lough Neagh Ambassadors, and qualified tour guides. All boat tours are skippered by Gary, and Anne-Marie is a crew member with “Lough Neagh’s Stories”. They fully guide all tours themselves.
For more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org