Sliabh an Iarainn Mountain is the wild and rugged mountain in County Leitrim. It rises 585 metres above sea level and is located on the eastern shore of Lough Allen. Sliabh an Iarainn or “Mountain of Iron” derives its name from the iron deposits to be found in the rocks. It is said that iron ore from the mountain was used in the construction of Dublin’s Halfpenny Bridge.
The mountain is steeped in Irish mythology. There is an ancient Irish Legend that tells of the Tuatha de Dannan, a magical race that possessed supernatural powers. Most of them were said to be god-like creatures or divine beings that were worshipped. This race was also known to believe in Goddess Danu. According to the legend, they came to Ireland “in dark clouds” and landed on the mountains of Sliabh an Iarainn, bringing with them their wisdom and skills.
There certainly is a magical quality to the mountain and walkers will stand in awe at the breathtaking panoramic views over the west and midlands of Ireland, surrounded by the varied native flora and fauna. The landscape is the natural habitat of Ireland’s wildlife and there are regular sightings of foxes, hares, rabbits, badgers and peregrine falcons.
A visit to the Sliabh an Iarainn Visitor Centre in Drumshanbo tells more of the history of the region and there are three lovely looped walks perfect for exploring and enjoying this majestic landscape.