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Slieve AlpHillSliabh Ailp A name in Irish (Ir. Sliabh Ailp [logainm.ie], 'mountain of the lump')MayoCountyIn Binnion List
Height:329mOS 1:50k Mapsheet: 23Grid Reference: F86583 13144This summit has been logged as climbed by 4 members. Recently by: turfymccloud, Younghappy, osullivanm, simon3 I have climbed this summit: NO (You need to be a logged-in member to change this.)
This ambitiously named hill lies west of Slieve Carr. 'Alp' means a lump or protuberance and has the same origin as the Alps of Central Europe according to P.W. Joyce. There is a cairn at the summit. The link with the Alps goes further, even if it is a only link of the imagination: a stirring tale recounted by Geoffrey Keating in his Foras Feasa ar Éirinn (History of Ireland, ca. 1634) and also by Duald Mac Firbis in the Genealogies, Tribes and Cusoms of Hy-Fiachrach (1650) tells of the voyage to the continent of King Dathi of Connacht, the last pagan king of Ireland, in order to avenge the death of Niall of the Nine Hostages. He dies in AD 427 when struck by lightning on Sliabh Ealpa (taken to be the Alps). His army, led by his son Amalgaid, fights a number of battles to bring his body back to Ireland to be buried in the Releg of Cruachan. The places in Europe mentioned in this account were identified by Sir Samuel Ferguson, but Hubert Knox, author of the History of the County of Mayo, rightly doubts its historicity. Instead he suggests that Sliabh Ealpa where Dathi died was not the Alps, but rather Slieve Alp near Ballycroy, and that the tale of the invasion of the Roman Empire was an inspired piece of fantasy concocted by somebody unaware of [or deliberately ignoring] the existence of Slieve Alp in Mayo. The association of Dathi with this part of Mayo may be confirmed by the presence of a cairn named Laghtdauhybaun on Slieve Carr and Lough Dahybaun near Bellacorick [Knox, 25-26]. The moral of the story is: make sure you say your prayers if you don't want to be struck by lightning when climbing Slieve Alp!
Slieve Alp is the 985th highest summit in Ireland. Trackback: http://mountainviews.ie/summit/925/