In the olden days long, long ago the people along the foot of the Galtees were terrified by a great serpent, so dangerous was it that no person dare approach the mountain or lake.At last St Patrick arrived at the Galtees and after a long discussion the serpent agreed to remain under a large vat or tub at the bottom of the lake. St. Patrick agreeing to set it free after the day of "Luain". The old people say and did believe up to a short time ago, that the serpent puts its head over the water every St. Patrick's Day and cries out in a mournful voice. "Is fada an luainí, A Pádraig"
So strong was their belief that an attempt was once made to drain the lake. The owner of Ballinacourtie estate, one Captain Dawson, about 150 years ago heard so much about this serpent that on one occasion he took a number of workmen with him to drain the lake and destroy the serpent. They had pick axes, shovels, spades with them. As they were about to start work Captain Dawson looked towards home only to see as he thought, his mansion
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