The Slaney, Blackstairs and Curracloe

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  • Aspects of County Wexford

River Slaney

The River Slaney runs through County Wexford from north to south. Its source is Lugnaquilla in the Wicklow Mountains. It then passes through County Carlow before reaching County Wexford at Bunclody. From there it flows in a south-easterly direction through Enniscorthy before entering St. George's Channel in the Irish Sea at Wexford Town.

There are two harbours at the mouth of the Slaney, an outer and an inner, connected by the 'Narrows' on which the town of Wexford is situated. For years, a ferry operated across the river, and that is why the north side of the Slaney is called Ferrybank.

The Blackstairs Mountains

The Blackstairs Mountains are a mountain range that run from north to south along the border of County Carlow and County Wexford.

The highest peak on the Blackstairs Mountains is Mount Leinster at 793 metres. The next highest is the Blackstairs Mountain at 735 metres.

These mountains are quite unique because they are considered as a Special Area of Conservation. This means that it is an offence to damage or interfere with the plants and habitats that are found here.


Curracloe is a coastal village 8kms north of Wexford Town. It is a very popular tourist destination with people staying in mobile homes and caravan parks.

Curracloe was one of the locations in County Wexford chosen for the planting of 50,000 ash plants in 1984. This was to celebrate the centenary of the G.A.A.

North of Curracloe is nearby Ballinesker beach, which was featured in the opening sequence of Steven Spielberg's award winning World War II movie, "Saving Private Ryan."

The beach at Curracloe was awarded Blue Flag status in 2004. The Blue Flag Programme is one of the most widely known and valued indicators throughout Europe and beyond. It is awarded to beaches and marinas on the level of water quality, beach management, safety, education and other factors.