Glencar Waterfall

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  • People and Places in Leitrim

An Inspiring Place

Glencar Waterfall is situated 11 kilometres west of Manorhamilton near the county boundary with Sligo. The waterfall is 15 metres (or 50 feet) high and its stream flows into Glencar Lough.

Although not the largest waterfall in Ireland, it is one of the most beautiful. On days when there is even a slight breeze, the falling water is blown upwards into a graceful plume of steam-like spray. Hence its original name 'srut i n-agaid an aeir' which means 'the stream against the air'.

W.B. Yeats often visited the waterfall in his youth. He mentioned it in his poem 'The Stolen Child', in which he wrote about the Irish folklore associated with fairies and changelings.

What follows is an excerpt from that poem:

'Where the wandering water gushes

From the hills above Glen-Car,

In pools among the rushes

That scarce could bathe a star,

We seek for slumbering trout

And whispering in their ears

Give them unquiet dreams;

Leaning softly out

From ferns that drop their tears

Over the young streams.'