Lough na Súil, which means the ‘Lake of the eye’ is located between Geevagh and Riverstown in County Sligo. According to legend, it marks the spot where Balor’s ‘evil eye’ fell after he was killed during the second battle of Moytura. Lugh watched the battle unfold from a cairn overlooking the battlefield now known as ‘Shee Lugh’. He was guarded by a band of warriors as he was considered too valuable to fight or get killed. When Lugh saw King Nuada and Macha killed by the blast from Balor’s eye, he was horrified. In a fit of rage, he jumped over the guards and aimed a stone from his slingshot at his grandfather, Balor. The stone flew with such force that it knocked Balor’s eye out.
The eye was said to have spun around in Balor’s head and killed a number of Fomorian warriors in the process. The flaming eye then rolled down the hill until it came to a stop. It burned a hole in the ground so deep that water gushed out and Lough na Súil was formed.
The lake has become known locally as ‘the disappearing lake’. Apparently, every 20 years or so, the lake completely dries up and disappears. The last time this happened was in 2012.
The scientific explanation for why this happens is that blockages at the bottom of the lake suddenly give way and the water flows into underground limestone caverns and caves. Other people believe that the lake is enchanted and is drained by Balor in search of his long-lost eye!!