Lough Derg (Loch Deirgeirt in Irish) is the third-largest lake (or lough) in Ireland (after Lough Neagh and Lough Corrib) and the second-largest in the Republic of Ireland. It is a long, relatively narrow lake, with shores in counties North Tipperary (to the east), Galway (north-west), and Clare (south-west). The lake is the last of three on the River Shannon, with the other two, Lough Ree and Lough Allen lying further north. Some towns or villages on Lough Derg include Garrykennedy, Portumna, Killaloe & Ballina, Dromineer, Terryglass and Mountshannon.
At its deepest, the lake is 36 metres deep and covers an area of 118 km² (45.5 sq miles). The lake is a popular place for leisure boating, sailing and fishing. At the point where Lough Derg empties into the Shannon, it slopes steeply downhill—a major reason for the location of the world's then-largest hydroelectric power plant at Ardnacrusha in 1927.
In the nineteenth century, Lough Derg was an important artery from the port at Limerick to Dublin through the canals in the midlands of Ireland. Navigable over its full 40 km length, Lough Derg is today popular with cruisers and other pleasure traffic, as well as sailing and fishing. The University of Limerick have an activity centre by the lake, just outside Killaloe. It is used for canoes, kayaks, windsurfing and yachts, among other purposes.
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