River Slaney: Glen of Imaal                       


The river Slaney rises on the western slopes of Lugnaquilla, the highest peak in the Wicklow Mountains and once an area notorious for its bandits. The last insurgents of the land agitation that followed the 1798 uprising hid themselves from the authorities in this area. The Wicklow Mountains offer fantastic walking including the Wicklow Way.

The River Slaney meets its first tributary in the Glen of Imaal, a beautifully scenic area with plenty of walking opportunities. The area is also home to the Coolmoney camp and artillery range run by Defence Forces Ireland, so look out for red flags to show when the range is in use and therefore offlimits. Nearby is the small village of Davidstown, from where the crown forces set off to arrest Michael Dwyer after the 1798 rebellion. The village is also the starting point of a trail in the local area following the exploits of Michael Dwyer. In Derrynamuck on the southeast side of the valley stands the Dwyer-McAllister Cottage where Samuel McAllister drew the enemy’s fire enabling Michael Dwyer to escape the British forces. There is an An Oige youth hostel at Ballinclea, just two miles south of Donard (Tel 045 404657. Mar-Nov daily, Dec-Feb weekends only).

Heading west along the river Slaney before reaching the N81, a sign indicates the site of an ancient stone circle in the townland of Castleruddery. Once on the N81 the Slaney Drive heads south, following signs for Baltinglass...