Mountshannon, Co. Clare
Mountshannon (Baile Uí Bheoláin in Irish) is a village on the western shore of Lough Derg, north of Killaloe in east County Clare.
Mountshannon is a favourable haunt of anglers for the mayfly season on Lough Derg. A chain of islands lies along this part of the shore, and there is a large area of shallow water suitable for trout (the record Irish brown trout, 30 1/2 lb, was caught here).
With the recent improvement in the harbour it has become a popular sailing centre. Mountshannon is well placed for exploring the lake's western shores, with plenty of scope for walks and bicycle rides. There is also a bathing area that is popular with families.
Fishing boats are available for hire, and in summer you can go by boat to Holy Island, the site of a monastery founded in the 7th century. The ruins include four chapels and a graveyard of medieval tombs.
A recent addition to Mountshannon is the maze built in the center of town in a very well maintained small park, with lovely views of Lough Derg. The maze features information about the development of traditional art in Ireland. Next to the maze is a picnic area made out of wood carved by local artists. In the entrance is a stone with a hole facing toward Holy Island. To the rear of the maze is a fine turf labyrinth similar to the pavement labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France.