Lough Mask

Situated on the northern border of Connemara, Lough Mask is one of the largest lakes in Ireland.  Allusions to water monsters in Mask are long standing, in fact the very name, curiously, translates into "worm" from the Scandinavian invaders who left the title.  Supposedly in the Oughterard church a carving can be found on the tomb depicting a dragon-like creature encountered by a member of the O'Flaherty clan.  

Captain Lionel Leslie received an account of a modern sighting by a  Mr. A. R. Lawrence of Tullamore, Co. Offaly.  Lawrence's sighting transpired on a calm sunny day on June 16, 1963.  An unidentifiable object was observed from the shore of Inishdura island at a distance of an estimated 250 yards.  Lawrence was looking north-west across the bay when he saw what was initially took to be the risen head and tail of a large fish close to some rocks.  A couple seconds later the movement was repeated in the same area.  Lawrence then noticed what appeared to be another head and tail rise to the north-east of the first two.  It was followed by the same movement some yards further north-east.  It then become apparent he was observing the humps of an animal, one behind the other as they were moving slowly forward across the mouth of the bay.  He had the impression it was a large eel-like fish.  The head or tail wasn't noticed but the projecting humps looked about five or six feet in length with a distance of of eight or ten feet between them.  The object was traveling through relatively shallow water, only three or four feet deep.  It disappeared from sight after an island blocked his view.

The duration of the observation was estimated at around 1 1/2 minutes.  It had traveled what looked to be about 250 yards.  The height was about 12-15 inches and the color black.  The skin looked smooth and a wash was produced behind the humps.  When it passed a small island, nesting gulls arose in alarm.    

F.W.Holiday The Dragon and the Disc (p. 43-44) [Sidgwick & Jackson, London, 1973]