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Gougane Barra, the name of which comes from Saint Finbarr, who is said to have built a monastery on an island in the lake during the 6th century.

During the 1700s, when the Penal Laws were enforced by the British, Gougane Barra’s remote location made it a popular place for the celebration of the Roman Catholic Mass.

The oratory, seen in the photo above, dates from the 19th-century oratory, is famous for its picturesque setting and has become a popular place for wedding photography.

The Oratory is also the final destination for St. Finbar’s Pilgrim Path, which starts 35km away in Drimoleague. It is one of the five Pilgrim Paths of Ireland.

The source of the River Lee rises in the hills above the park and flows into Gougane lake.

For those looking to explore the forest park, there is a 5 km motor trail and a 10 km hill walk.

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