February 17th, 2008 – by: paulkernan
The Poisoned Glen and the summit of Sleive Snaght (Snowy Mountain)
About 10 miles from where I live in Ardsbeg, Gortahork, Donegal, is the magical village of Dunlewey (or Dún Luiche in Gaelic - meaning the Dún or fort of Lúgh). The village is small, really a ribbon on buildings including a good garage, McGeady's pub a large new Youth Hostel and a fascinating place called the Dunlewey Centre which includes a café (basic but wholesome if you stay off the fries!) an excellent crafts shop, a farmyard, weaving exhibitions, boat trips on the lake and a newly added theatre!
The village overlooks a spectacular landscape of the Dunlewey Lake and above the lake is one of the best glacial geography lessons in Europe. All the main features are present and the bowl of the glacial corrie is well worth the trek.
Full of myths and legends, the ancient tales say the celtic Apollo-like hero Lúgh slew his grandfather (as was foretold!!!) Balor of the Evil Eye in this very valley.
The massive boulder that was split by droplets of poison from Balor's eye can still be seen on the upper valley floor! The name poisoned glen seems to be a typrographical error that stuck! The Irish word for poison, “neimhe” (pronounced niv-uh), differs in its spelling by only one letter from the word for Heaven, “neamh” (pronounced nyow-uh). The glen used to be called the Heavenly Glen by local people, as it was, to them, like they imagined Heaven itself to be. Thus, an English cartographer's mistake in translation added ‘poison’ to the name of one of Ireland’s most beautiful places for ever. But once seen never to be forgotten!
Errigal from Dunlewey Lake