September 26, 2015


The beautiful river Slaney, is a river in the southeast of Ireland. It originates on Lugnaquilla Mountain and flows west and then south through counties Wicklow and Wexford of 117.5km, finally entering St George's Channel and into the Irish Sea at Wexford town. It's name comes from the Irish: Abhainn n Slaine, (meaning "river of health").

With the coming of Christianity a number of monastic centers were established on the Slaney. Interestingly the slipway on the north shore was used by the Americans during the First World War when they had a seaplane base at Ferrybank.

While we travel along the river the skyline holds some interesting buildings. A tall tower, modeled on the early Christian round tower, built in 1858 was built as a memorial to the men of Wexford who lost their lives in the Crimean War. This round tower stands in the middle of an important archaeological site as it was here that the Norman's built their first defensive site in 1169 known as 'Fit Stephen's Castle of Carrick.

The river offers many delights. One being fishing. The Slaney river holds good stocks of small wild brown trout also salmon. There are some very good web sites giving information on fishing in The Slaney. A visit to Ireland is not complete without visiting this beautiful river. If you are not into fishing but interested in wildlife, the Lower end of the Slaney Valley is a remarkable area for wildlife. Bare mudflats at low water are favourite feeding areas for redshank, blackheaded gulls, curlews, oystercatchers, shelducks, hooded crows and herring gulls are regularly seen together with mute swans in the quiet stretches of water.

The ideal way way to see its wildlife is from the water. The best way to travel is slowly in a small boat and allowing yourself to take in all this beauty. Breathing in and captivating everything you experience. Or a journey on the train. From Bray, Co Wicklow to Wexford.


This poem was written while travelling on the train from Wexford to Bray. The train ran along by the beautiful river Slaney. Passed the fields, rich in colour. The hay in bales for the famer to collect. It was a delightful journey.

May I come into your parlour so fair?

Would you have just a minute to spare?

The shades of green that I have seen,

so splendid so surreal!

The sun was setting on the land

with golden hues it spread its warmth.

The cows were basking in its glow

but their thoughts we'll never know.

The river Slaney displaying it's grander

flowing so gracefully in its splendour.

It beckoned me to stare,

forget about your cares.

Winding railway tracks invading

on the land the sheep are grazing.

Just a glimpse I got to see,

so pure this beauty was to me.

The train travels along, humming a jolly song.

People laughing, talking, hushed conversations.

Where has my beauty gone?

Along the tracks the rivers winding

once again the sun is shining.

By Valerie Heney.


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