Cloughoughter Castle
Cloughoughter Castle

Cavan Day Celebrates The Lake County

County Cavan, Ireland’s 19th largest county, is the focus of attention each September as it celebrates “Cavan Day.”

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The annual daylong event marks an online celebration of Cavan, including its people, its heritage, and its global imprint.

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Trails and walks at the Cavan Burren Park. Photo: Brian Morrison, Failte Ireland/Tourism Ireland.

Cavan people in Ireland and abroad promote their county on whatever social media channels they use, be it Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, by using the hashtag #CavanDay.

The celebration takes place online and usually includes a number of well-known Cavan natives.

The 2021 Cavan Day celebration included professional golfer Leona Maguire, para powerlifter Britney Arendse, actor Tina Kelleher, and comedian Kevin McGahern.

U.S. tennis star and CNN commentator Patrick McEnroe, who is of Cavan heritage, also participated. No date has been set for the 2022 celebration.

The 2023 celebration will take place from July 27th to the 30th. To find out more, visit the festival website.

If you’re interested in visiting Cavan, here are some of the county’s main attractions.

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Marble Arch Caves & Global Geopark

This amazing UNESCO Global Geopark is located in parts of County Cavan but also lies in nearby County Fermanagh.

The region’s landscape was formed millions of years ago, which has resulted in an area that boasts extensive valleys, lakes, and drumlins.

a passageway in a cave 9 cool underground attractions
The Marble Arch Caves. Photo: Tourism Northern Ireland.

In the uplands portion of the Geopark, you’ll find areas that consist of forest, blanket bog, and a karst landscape that formed what is known as the Marble Arch Caves.

They are regarded as a top-class natural attraction.

The entrance to the caves is in Co. Fermanagh.

The area is also home to a variety of historic sites, including prehistoric tombs, Iron Age forts, early Christian monasteries, and castles.

Read More: Cavan Heritage Podcast Back for Third Season

Clough Oughter Castle

Many of the islands in Lough Oughter were once “crannogs” (fortified, artificial islands built by the ancient Irish).

The most impressive one is home to the 13th-century circular structure know as Clough Oughter Castle.

The castle was once owned by the Gaelic clan, the O’Rourkes, but eventually fell to the Anglo-Norman William Gorm de Lacy.

In 1233, the rival Gaelic clan, the O’Reillys, took it over and completed its construction.

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Canoeing near Cloughoughter Castle on Lough Oughter, Co. Cavan. Photo: Brian Morrison for Failte Ireland/Tourism Ireland.

At one time, it was the stronghold of Owen Roe O’Neill before being destroyed by Cromwell’s army in 1653.

O’Neill died at the castle in 1649.

You can take a guided boat tour or rent a canoe or kayak to this iconic location that was a source for countless artists in the 18th and 19th centuries and in more recent times for photographers.

Contact the Cavan Adventure Centre for more information.

There’s a small dock on the island where you could leave your canoe or kayak and weather permitting, you could explore the castle further.



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Cavan Burren Park

While the Burren in Co. Clare is well known to international visitors, the Cavan Burren Park doesn’t have the same name recognition.

And that’s a shame because it is equally as captivating.

Be sure to stop at the interpretive center first, where you’ll discover how this unique environment was shaped 350 million years ago in a shallow tropical sea during the Carboniferous Period.

a boardwalk trail Cavan Day
The popular Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail is in the heart of the region's global Geopark in Co. Cavan. Photo: Brian Morrison for Failte Ireland.

The exhibits will prepare you for what lies ahead on the walking trails located in the prehistoric park.

Expect to see huge boulders of sandstone that sit on pedestals of limestone created during the last Ice Age some 13,000 years ago.

Farming communities settled in the park as early as 4,500 B.C.

Evidence of their existence can be found in the remains of old field walls as well as other monuments like the Giant’s Grave wedge tomb, which was used to bury their dead.

The park is located close to the village of Blacklion on the Cavan/Fermanagh border. It is open year-round. There is no admission fee.

Read more about County Cavan

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