McDermott's Castle - A tale of tragedy

This fairytale castle sits alone on a tiny island in the middle of Lough Key, Co Roscommon. The McDermott (Mac Diarmada) family who ruled a medieval kingdom in Roscommon called Moylurg constructed the castle in the 12th century.

The legend of Una, a girl who was the daughter of the McDermott chief is told locally. The chief adored his daughter and he had very high expectations for her.


An unnamed local boy from a lower class clan had captured Una's heart, and she fell head over heels for him. When her father found out, he forbade her to leave the island, hoping that would end the affair. To continue their relationship, the local boy swam across the lough to reach Una and continued their relationship in secret. A tragic incident soon occurred when the boy drowned while making the swim across in bad weather.

As a result of her grief, Una never recovered from her loss; she died soon after of a broken heart.


According to legend, Una and her boyfriend are buried on the island under two intertwined trees.


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