I want to tell you a bit about how I found a creature called an Oiliphéist they are known as an Irish dragon and many warriors died trying to kill them. Its a good job that I never wanted to kill the one that I found or I wouldn't be here telling my stories today. It is believed that one such of these creatures was responsible for cutting out the route of the river Shannon when it heard about St Patrick wanting to rid Ireland of snakes. After I seen one of these creatures for myself I can believe how this could be possible. They are large sea serpent like creatures that live in the lakes and rivers all across Ireland. They are very powerful.
I first came across one of when I was out swimming in Lough Neagh which for those of you that don't know is a large lake in what is now known as Northern Ireland, although back when I was growing up I didn't call it Northern Ireland. I was up in Belfast and decided to explore more as normally I would have just rode to Belfast and although I had to take breaks and rest in a dark place while the sun was up I never paid much attention to the different places I stayed. I headed in a Western direction I wanted to see where It would take me it was a long and winding path but that didn't bother me and my horse, I unfortunately didn't have Ciara as she had passed. Lough Neagh started to come into view and as I started to get ever closer I could see that it stretched for a great distance. It was so large that I could not even see the other edge from where I was standing when I finally came to a halt at the edge.
When I rested at the edge I enjoyed the cool fresh breeze coming of the surface of this cool fresh cold water lough, If there was more cover I would have loved to sit there all day on a nice morning, There was a chillin the early evening air. I was always warned to never go in the water for fear of the creatures that would lurk there and what they could do. This however didn't put me off as I wanted to feel that refreshing water on my sink straight away. It was so cold when I first dived in I found this relaxing, I didn't know how deep the water was but I wanted to explore I wanted to know what secrets this great Lough might hide.
I swam around for what felt hours I felt so calm I couldn't believe that I had never been here before and wished that I had discovered it before. The water was so deep and so rich with plant life and many different fish, some fish where so large and they all swam so fast. I didn't want to swim too far away from the edge at first because I didn't know how big this lough was but the further in I got and the more that I seen I wanted to discover more. I swam close to what felt like the centre and just decided that I would see how deep I could get before I felt the need to re surface. At one point I seen from a distance what looked like a giant snake coming towards me at what seemed like a tremendous speed, I froze what a strange creature I thought to myself at first, was this the creature I had been warned about years ago one that was capable of killing in one snap of its powerful jaws. I decided that I didn't want to find out and started swimming to the surface as quickly as possible.
When I reached the surface I took a deep breath, I thought this must be what true fear really looked like, I didn't want to get out of the water just yet wanted to find out more about this creature. Was it really as dangerous as what was said, did it only attack if it felt under threat these were questions that needed answers. I decided after a while to go back down under the water, I went down so far until I suddenly felt the swift current of something big coming up fast below me. I didn't move I stayed as still as I could, I waited until I seen its head start to pass below my feet. This creature was so large It seem to take up all the room between me and the floor, it Its head was that of a snake but with large horns at the top. Although it was dark I could see it eyes where glowing green very similar to that of a dragon. Its scales were a shiny blue that shimmered with a green hue in the moonlight that broke through the surface of the dark water. It felt like hours for it to pass by me because it's body was so long but it was only a couple of minutes.
The Oiliphéist that I discovered did me no harm it just left me in amazement, I watched it all night until I had to go just before the sun came up, I watched it hunt. I watched how it caught fish with ease in it large jaws. I seen how it was able to move close to the surface and still not be discovered and how this only made slight ripples across the surface, during the day these ripples would be more noticeable but could be easily explained by the wind blowing gently across the surface. On a calm night like this though it looked mysterious. This Oiliphéist was gentle and only killed what it needed for food, it never once attacked me or made me feel like it would attack. The feeling of fear I had was slowly dismissed as soon as I seen how graceful it was while it swam around. I don't know if this creature is still in these waters or if it has moved on as it could always go into the river Bann where it will always find salmon and eels. I would say that if you ever come across on of these great creature please don't attack. These creatures mean no harm, they are gentle creature who just want to live in peace. I am not sure how many of them there ever was of these Oiliphéist as up until I discovered this one I only ever heard stories about the giant worm beasts that lived in the water but I never looked for more and I never went back into the water at Lough Neagh to try and find it again.