Rams Island Heritage Project  Supported By



Whats New
Interpretive Centre
Island Warrior
Photo Galleries
Contact Us







This page contains Rams Island reports, pictures and movies from television, radio, newspapers, webpages and ourselves.

Island Warrior Carries Olympic Flame

The Rams Island Ferry Island Warrior carried the Olympic Flame across Lough Neagh

 from Antrim to Ballyronan on Thursday 07/06/2012

Torchbearer Eorann O'Neill carries the Olympic Flame aboard the Island Warrior across Lough Neagh

on day 20 of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay on June 7, 2012.




Lesser Spotted Ulster

To be broadcast on Monday 17th Sept 2012 8.00p.m.

watch again on


on UTV

Season 14 Episode 7

Joe Mahon visits Lough Neagh, near Belfast, to meet volunteers working to restore the former monastic retreat of Rams Island to its former glory. He also travels to the nearby town of Glenavy, where he hears the story of John Ballance, a local man who emigrated to New Zealand in 1865 - and became its prime minister 26 years later.

Filmed in April 2012



Broadcast originally  on BBC1 N.I. then repeated on BBC2 N.I.

Dig WW2 with Dan Snow

  link to bbc iplayer

During WW2 USAAF personnel from the American base at Langford Lodge took time off to relax on Rams Island. Made a change from working on Lightnings, Thunderbolts and Liberators etc. Some of the visitors carved their names and home states on the Beech trees. At the start of WW2 a detachment of Belgian Troops were actually stationed on the Island. A television crew from 360 Productions filmed Dan Snow British Television presenter on Friday evening 5th August 2011 for a series of historical programmes on WW2 to be aired by the BBC. Surrounded by airfields and with the famous Sandy Bay Flying boat base Lough Neagh and Rams Island played a large background role in the war effort. This was mainly training, servicing and armament production.



Island Warrior Carries Olympic Flame


The Rams Island Ferry Island Warrior carried the Olympic Flame across Lough Neagh

 from Antrim to Ballyronan on Thursday 07/06/2012




A short video about the Woodcarvings on the Island


Woodcarver from Rams Island on Vimeo.


Open Country      

       Lough Neagh

Duration: 27 minutes   Image for Lough Neagh   Listen now


Helen Mark is in Northern Ireland where she takes to the waters of Lough Neagh, the largest lake in the UK, measuring over 20 miles long, nine miles wide and containing over 800 billion gallons of water! Six major rivers flow into the Lough and only one, the River Bann, flows out. Five of the six counties which make up Northern Ireland have shores on the Lough which is also a source of fresh water to many people. Eel fishing on the lough has played a huge part in the lives of local people for centuries whilst the lake is also at the forefront of the sand extraction industry. Yet although the lough has been described as extremely enigmatic, it has remained very much a place of extraction with very little put back in to it over the years. Seven years ago, a group of local people came together to do something about this and recently their hard work was rewarded when the Lough Neagh Partnership received an award for Outstanding Achievement.
Helen hears from some of the people involved and starts her journey by boarding the Island Warrior from Sandy Bay to Rams Island, formerly a rat-infested strip of land on the lough and now a haven for wildlife and a popular tourist spot. She hears from Gerry Darby about why the Lough Neagh Partnership was formed and also from Island Warrior skipper and volunteer, Michael Savage, about the labour of love carried out to transform Rams Island. Helen then continues her journey around the shore hearing from heritage officer and archaeologist, Moira O'Rourke about some of the stories she has unearthed in her shoreline walks and from Kieran Breen of the Lough Neagh Heritage Boating Association about his passion for keeping alive the age-old spirit of the Lough Neagh by building some of the old traditional working boats used on the lough.
Helen rounds off her day along the shores with a visit to Coney Island, the only inhabited island on the lough, where she hears from the island's only inhabitant about the changes he has seen during his 12 years on Coney.



BBC NEWS CHANNEL Monday, 7 August 2006

Lough Neagh's 'island paradise'

Creating an island paradise from an environmental hell is a big job. BBC Northern Ireland's rural affairs correspondent Martin Cassidy made the voyage to Ram's Island on Lough Neagh to see how it's being done.

click here to read more


Building a New Jetty at Rams Island


Starting in 2003/4 this is the story about the building by Volunteers of a new 72 metre steel jetty at Rams Island


John Kelly Tug and Barges

Clips taken circa1960 from around Albert Bridge


Barge Conversion


Conversion of a Lagan Coal Barge to a Floating Interpretive Centre
for use at Rams Island on Lough Neagh
Built by Harland and Wolff in 1955
The barge (JK 16) an ex John Kelly coal lighter was originally used to transport coal along the Lagan from the Belfast Coal Quays to the Gas Works in Belfast. It was subsequently sold to the sand trade on Lough Neagh and was used by Readymix at Toome Bay. Replaced by larger barges JK 16 was donated to the Rams Island Heritage Project by Readymix in 2004
J.K. 16 dumb barge
O.N. 185561. 53 grt/nrt. 65.2 x 14.6 x 6.2 feet.
1955: Built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast, for John Kelly Ltd, Belfast.
1955: 1st registered at Belfast.
1968: Sold to J. N. Emerson & Sons, Ardmore, Lurgan.
1992: Still on British register.


Barge Conversion Launch and Fitout


Saved from the scrapman in 2004 ex John Kelly Coal Barge JK16 refloated and fitted out at Toomebridge and Antrim during 2008 and 2009 as a floating Interpretive Centre for Rams Island Lough Neagh.


Barge Conversion The Journey to Rams Island


Saved from the scrapman in 2004 Converted to a floating Interpretive Centre for Rams Island Lough Neagh. The journey to Rams Island and the berthing of the barge at the Island.


Antrim Invades Rams Island


Children from Antrim Community Groups spent a few days on Rams Island during August 2010



Echo Ghosthunters  Rams Island


Echo Ghosthunters would like to thank Alfie & Dawn for the wonderful location. Best night in a long time, althought we found no evidence of the paranormal. It was lovely spending time with Jacqui C.P.I., Brian & Veronica B.P.I., Hugh, Kieran & Mary C.A.P.R.A & Darren. Enjoyed every minute of it :)


Echo Ghosthunters investigate Rams Island 2011

Featuring Belfast P.I. & mediums Kellyanne & Patricia


dxpedition for mn0ocg to rams island, lough neagh


Orchard County DX Club




This page was last updated 18-Sep-2012