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Over the centuries the people around the Lough embraced a maritime culture that depended on the sea for a way of living and communicating, and only faded with the coming of better land access.

In the medieval folk-lore origins of Strangford Lough, poetically named ‘Loch Cuan of the Curraghs’, the story is that the Irish sea god Manannan Mac Lir, in a grief-induced rage over the killing of his son, let forth an outburst of water which formed three Irish sea loughs, Waterford, Dundrum Bay and Loch Cuan, meaning Loch of the Harbour.