Rams Island Heritage Project Supported By
The Rams Island Heritage Project is an undertaking of the River Bann and Lough Neagh Association Company.
Rams Island History
Rams is mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters. Cumaighe, son of Deoraidh Ua Floinn, lord of Durlas, was drowned in Loch-Eathach (Lough Neagh), after the island of Inis-Draicrenn (Rams Island) had been taken by the Ui-Eatach, where forty-four persons were slain.
Derlas (Derlus, Durlais) - The location for a territory named Derlus is described by John O'Donavan in Ui Tuitre, co. Antrim.
As the Ua Floinn (or O'Lynn) are described as chiefs of Durlas in the 12th & 13th centuries, and McLysaght places them in southern Armagh (between Lough Neagh and the sea), perhaps the country of Derlas was on the Armagh-Down border. McLysaght cites the Ua Floinn lineage from Clanna Rury of Ulidia, tracing their descent Colla Uais.
The most obvious monastic relic is the Round Tower which stands on top of a steep eminence near the east shore of the island. It is constructed from fairly small rounded stones which may well have come from the island's shores, and is forty three feet high, but was probably somewhat higher when it was originally built. The original doorway was about eight feet above ground level on the south side of the tower, a more recent one at ground level on the west side was built up in the late 1960s to give the tower extra strength and to hinder vandals. Two fairly small windows survive further up the tower.
During the Second World War the Island was a favorite spot for visits by the American Eighth Army Air Force stationed at Langford Lodge. One night during the war, vandals visited the island and burned down the cottage.
Click pics below to enlarge
Date of Pictures unknown but probably circa 1900
This is a drawing by Admiral Kerr 1838
Sunderland and Tender
Lough Neagh, Rams Island and Sandy Bay played their part during the build up to the D day landings The first transatlantic service by PB2Y Coronado was operated by the U.S. Navy Naval Air Transport Service from New York to Sandy Bay, via the flying-boat base at Botwood in Newfoundland. Materials for the war effort were flown in daily to Sandy Bay.
This site was last updated 12-May-2021