Slieve Donard

Slieve Donard

Slieve Donard, peak: see Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland.

Slieve Donard (Sliabh Domangard or Sliabh Dónairt in Irish) is the highest mountain in Northern Ireland, and in the province of Ulster as a whole, at 849 m (2,786 ft). It is situated by the small seaside town of Newcastle on the east coast. Sitting at the edge of the Mourne Mountains only 2 miles (3 km) from the sea, it provides spectacular views of the coast and as far afield as Belfast, 30 miles north. The mountain is an easy climb although the path is very eroded at places. In recent years a stone path has been made on the steepest parts of the mountain. The most prominent feature of this mountain is the Mourne Wall running along its southern and western shoulders.

Slieve Donard is named after Saint Domangart, or Domangard, also known as Saint Donard. He was a follower of Saint Patrick and the patron saint of the town of Maghera, also in County Down. His feast day is March 24; his "church Rath Muirbuilc, now called Maghera, was at the foot of the mountain near the sea, but he had also an oratory on the very summit of the hill." His death is given as 507 AD.

Although Slieve Donard is Northern Ireland's highest peak, it is not the highest mountain in Ireland - this title belongs to Carrauntoohil in County Kerry, which is almost 200 metres higher.

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