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    Of the various lakes, which are strung like pearls on the silver thread of the Shannon, the two middle ones, Lough Ree, near Athlone, and Lough Bodarrig, are the least pleasing, as they lie in the central plain of the island, and are partly surrounded by bog-land. The shores of the northern half of Lough Derg are also quite flat and unpicturesque. But the upper lake, Lough Allen, is in the northern mountainous part of Ireland; and, the Slievh Boughty, and the Slievh Bernagh, which here stretches its numerous arms far into the lake. Like all the Irish lakes, Lough Derg is filled with a number of little green islands, which give it a particularly attractive appearance. Small as these are, each one has its name, as Crow Island, Hare Island, Cow Island, &c. Many of them afford excellent pasturage.

    Johann Georg Kohl, 1844

    Detail from Pinkerton map of Ireland, 1813.
    Above: detail from Pinkerton map of Ireland, 1813.
    Map © Cartography Associates, from the Rumsey Collection.

    Left: detail from satellite photo (click for larger version).

    Charon (MIT Project) 1989, James Coleman ©