Slieve League Cliffs

Standing at the viewing point on Sliabh League in Donegal Ireland an amazing sea vista and landscape open before you. From here we can see across Donegal Bay to counties Letrim, Sligo and Mayo, out to the west is the Atlantic ocean as far as the eye can see. North west is Rathlin O’ Byrne island and Glencolmcille and here beside you of course is the magnificent cliffs ofSliabh Liag. Rising almost 2000 ft / 598 m from the Atlantic, one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe and twice as high as the cliffs of Mohar, at the base of the cliffs is the “Giants Desk and Chair”. but just as amazing as this view ,is the history we can see here. Over there is Benbulbin with megalithic tombs and mythical links to Finn McCool and the Fiona of old. Below Knoch na Rí at Carrowmore lies one of the largest and oldest known Neolithic cemeteries in Europe. Between you and the Sligo shore is Inishmurry home to early Celtic Christian monks. Further along the coast in county Mayo is the little port of Killala, scene of the French landings in 1798 . They came to help the United Irish men in their rebellion against the British crown. Unable to succeed, the French men made peace and sailed home again. If we look closer to hand at Carrigan head we can see one of the “Signal Towers” built by the British to watch out for the return of the French. Up there on top of Sliabh Leig is an early Christian monastic site with the remains of Ade mc Bric’s chapel still to be seen, as are the ruins of the monks stone dwellings or bee hive huts as they are called. Take a walk across the “one man’s path” and there you will find a trig point, placed atop of an ancient structure of unknown origin. This is a sacred mountain, for over a thousand years there was a Christian pilgrimage, no doubt Sliabh League was a sacred mountain before the Christians arrived here. You should remember this when visiting, so please do not disturb these monuments of Irish cultural heritage to suit some passing fancy you may have. These are cultural remains as important to Irish heritage as Stonehenge is to English heritage or the Coliseum is to Rome. On Sliabh League they are not fenced in, but you need to have respect for our heritage as you would have for others.

During WW2 the south of Ireland, while neutral, had agreements with the allies, one of which was the “Donegal corridor”. this was a free fly zone for allied aircraft to fly from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland out over the Atlantic. The word Éire was placed in stone on headlands around Donegal, to act as navigaetion aid, here on Sliabh League you can see one today beside the viewing point car park. originally stones were placed on the ground to spell Éire and painted bright white, now partly over grown you can still make out most of the word and the numbers above it. Look out for another one on your way back down the road. There’s much more to know about sliabh league, like the monks who went to Iceland or the eagle and the baby and much more but all that for another day. Enjoy your visit and call in to “Tí Linn” for a cup of coffee and some home cooking. Slan go foil.