Coach / Boat Trip; Saturday 16th June, 2018

This year we are breaking with tradition and heading to Lough Neagh and The Ram’s Island Heritage Project for the Royal Canal Amenity Group coach trip.

Ram’s Island is located approximately one mile offshore from Lennymore Bay and Sandy Bay on the Eastern Shore of Lough Neagh. Rams is the largest island on the Lough. Lough Neagh was designated as an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI), a Special Protection Area and a Ramsar site in 1992, 1996 and 1976 respectively.

 It has been suggested that Rams was formed as a Glacial Esker. It is nearly one mile long by a quarter of a mile wide at the widest southern end. Notable features of the Island are a round tower (a scheduled ancient monument 58:16, the remains of a Celtic Monastic Settlement about a thousand years old) and the ruins of the O’Neill’s’ nineteenth century summer house. The Island was last permanently inhabited in the 1920s by the Cardwell family who were caretakers for the O’Neill’s. The remains of Cardwell’s harbour, left dry by the lowering of Lough Neagh, can be seen near the ruins of Cardwell’s little house.

The Island has quite a number of mature deciduous trees including Oak, Ash, Alder, Willow, Birch, Beech, Sycamore, Lime, Horse Chestnut, and unusually Walnut. There are Yew, Snowdrops, Bluebells, Primrose, Lords and Ladies (Jack in the Pulpit), Wild Mint, Wild Garlic, Lesser Celandine, Ferns and a carpet of Daffodils, depending on the season. Fungi such as Scarlet Elf’s Cap and Jelly Ear can also be found. There are also various Mosses and Lichens. Although overgrown, there are remains of a carriageway along the elevated central spine of the island. There are overgrown paths along the entire length of the Island. Its remote, wilderness and ‘lost in time’ qualities make Ram’s a pleasant and attractive place to visit.

Flight Around Rams Early Spring from Rams Island on Vimeo.

The date for the trip is Saturday 16th June.  It will be an early start, departing Maynooth at 8.00am for Ashtown at 8.30am, and then to Lough Neagh (2.5hrs) to arrive at Sandy Bay for 11am approx.

We have organised to spend two to three hours as guests of the River Bann & Lough Neagh Association, on Ram’s Island, including a short ferry trip across Lough Neagh from Sandy Bay Marina on board the Island Warrior where we will be shown the work that has been carried out on Ram’s Island, and a chance to walk around.  A light lunch of soup and sandwiches will be provided, or you can bring your own, there is tea/coffee facilities on the island and toilet facilities.

We will then return to Sandy Bay, by boat, and board the coach where we will head back towards home and, we will arrange a stop for a meal, before our onward journey home to Ashtown and Maynooth.

Details of our return meal stop and price of trip to be confirmed, as well as some other detail, so please check back here soon.

Booking is essential for this trip, and limited spaces are available.  Cost is yet to be announced, which we will do when we confirm the hire of the coach.  e-Mail your interest to reserve a seat/s here