Lough Mask

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Lough Mask
Loch Measca
Lough mask panorama.jpg
Lough Mask.png
Location County Mayo
Coordinates 53°37′N 9°21′W / 53.617°N 9.350°W / 53.617; -9.350Coordinates: 53°37′N 9°21′W / 53.617°N 9.350°W / 53.617; -9.350
Lake type Limestone lake
Basin countries Ireland
Max. length 16.1 km (10.0 mi)
Max. width 6.4 km (4.0 mi)
Surface area 83 km2 (32 sq mi)
Average depth 5 m (16 ft)
Max. depth 57 m (187 ft)

Lough Mask (Irish: Loch Measca) is a limestone lough (lake) of 20,500 acres (83 km²) in County Mayo, Ireland, north of Lough Corrib. Lough Mask is the upper of the two lakes, which empty into the Corrib River, through Galway, into Galway Bay. The lake is popular for its trout fishing. Lough Mask feeds into Lough Corrib through an underground stream.

In 1338 Sir Edmond de Burgh was drowned in the lake by his cousin Sir Edmond Albanach Bourke of County Mayo, at the end of the Burke Civil War 1333–38. He was captured at Ballinrobe and taken to Oilean-an-lara (the Earls Island) where he was killed.

According to a side-note on the manuscript containing the oldest copy of 'Tóruigheacht Dhiarmada agus Ghráinne' ("The Pursuit of Diarmuid and Gráinne") (Royal Irish Academy Ms. 24.P.9), Irish scribe Dáibhídh Bacach ("lame David") Ó Duibhgeannáin was living and working on Oileán Ruadh ('Red Island') on Lough Mask in the house of Tadhg Og O Flaherty on the date, April 1st, 1651.

The lough was the scene of the 1882 "Lough Mask murders", when two bailiffs working for Lord Ardilaun were killed, described as "an old man and a lad".[1] Tensions had arisen in the area during the Land War and the proximity of land managed by Charles Boycott. The corpses were found in the lough itself. The controversial lack of credible witnesses led to four well-publicised trials of the accused in 1882-83.

"Loch Measca" was taken as the pen-name of Séan Seoighe (John Joyce) in Eachtra múinteóra an Irish-language memoir published in 1929.

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