The Poisoned Glen, the one-eyed Giant, and the beautiful princess


The Sweeping Valleys, Imposing Mountains and Shimmering lakes

The Poisoned Glen lies at the foot of Mount Errigal, the tallest peak of the Derryveagh Mountains range, in Dunlewey (Dún Lúiche) in the Donegal Gaeltacht. The Poisoned Glen is one of the most renowned areas in Co. Donegal for its sweeping valleys, imposing mountains and shimmering lakes. It is very true to say the magnificent beauty of this area is such a capturing sight that it remains as a sanctuary in your mind forever of a very special place. Keep an eye out for the ghost of the Green Lady on the Guinness Estate across the tranquil Dunlewey Lough!!

So why is this beautiful area named The Poisoned Glen?

One story is that the wrong translation from Irish to English caused the confusion, and the correct name should be ‘Heavenly Glen’ (the Irish word for Heaven is neamh and the Irish word for poison is neimhe). Another story is that the King of Tory, Balor, had a gorgeous daughter who he kept closed away in a Tower out of men’s view. However, word of her beauty spread and she was kidnapped and brought to Magheroarty. Balor followed and got her and killed her kidnapper with a giant stone. At the entrance to The Poisoned Glen one such stone stands, and it is said to be the poisoned eye of Balor.

The Seven Sisters of Derryveagh

The Derryveagh Mountain range in Donegal, or as referred to by the locals as the ‘Seven Sisters’, includes the mountains of; Aghla Beg, Aghla More, Ardloughnabrackbaddy, Crocknalaragagh, Errigal, Mackoght (also known as little Errigal) and Muckish. The Poisoned Glen is a renowned venue in Ireland for climbing and mountaineering and has Ireland’s largest continual rock face The Bearnas Buttress.

A Breathtaking View of an Old Ruined Church

Built around 1830 from local white marble, can be seen at the bottom of Mount Errigal at the entrance to The Poisoned Glen. From this church, by following the right bank of the Owenabhainn River, you can go right into The Poisoned Glen. The picture of this ruined Church with Mount Errigal in the background is widely known.

The Musical Tastes

Music flourishes here, and it is an essential part of everything that makes this place so unique. Clannad & Enya grew up nearby. Behind Mount Errigal lies Lake Altan at the foot of the Aghla Mór Mountain, the lake inspired the naming of the music group Altan. The Poisoned Glen is the home place of the Lunny’s mother, and the brothers regularly spend time with their mother’s people. The Glen has been very influential and inspirational to them. Manus Lunny and his family live here and he commutes to Scotland to play with his band Cappercaile. Daniel O’Donnell and his sister Margo live not far away in Kincasslagh.

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