A Sligo is known to disappear and return. Does this occurrence foretell disaster? Is a giant with an evil eye to blame?

Every twenty or thirty years, Lough na Súil, the lake of the eyes, near the village of Geevagh disappears completely. Local people believe that that when the lake water goes a disaster is not far away..

The best part of a hundred and fifty million gallons of water have disappeared from here leaving contour lines and cracked soil to indicate the original lake bed.

According to legend, Lough na Súil formed when Balor of the Evil Eye was slain in battle here.

Des McDonagh explains the story of Balor of the evil eye and the mythology associated with the lake. 

The lake disappeared in 1933, 1964 and August 1989. In 1933, the disappearance was associated with the Spanish Civil War and World War II, in 1964 it is said it foretold the troubles in Northern Ireland, and now people are wondering what will happen as the lake has run dry again.

According to environmental scientist Doctor Richard Thorn, the irregular nature of the lake's disappearance makes it different to turloughs which disappear annually. Richard Thorn can not provide a full explanation as to why the lake disappears. 

Local legend says the lake has three eyes like Balor and when they open without warning the lake is swallowed up within days or weeks.


An RTÉ News report broadcast on 18 October 1989. The reporter is Eileen Magnier.