The Blackwater River is 168 kilometres long and is Ireland’s fourth longest river. From its source in the Kerry mountains to the sea at Youghal, it passes five major towns, dozens of villages, and through some of the most beautiful countryside to be found anywhere in Ireland. It has a rich diversity of flora and fauna and is famous as a salmon, trout and coarse angling river. During the 19th century, it was sometimes referred to as ‘The Irish Rhine’.
Fermoy is the only town on the Blackwater that faces the river and incorporates it into its streetscape. In past times, local industries that depended on the river included a corn mill, a paper mill, brewery and electricity generation.
The rowing club is one of the oldest voluntary bodies in Fermoy. There are also clubs for the development of salmon, trout and coarse angling. Fermoy Sub-Aqua Club and River Rescue Unit also operate on the river. There are walks with rights of way from the town centre upriver to Barnane and Glenabo Wood and down river to Carrigabrick Viaduct.