Malin Head

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Looking out into the North Atlantic from Malin Head.

Malin Head (Irish: Cionn Mhálanna), is located on the Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal, Ireland and is the most northerly point of the island of Ireland. The northernmost tip is the headland named Banba's Crown located at latitude 55.38ºN.[1] Malin Head gives its name to the Malin sea area. There is a weather station on the head, which is one of 22 such stations whose reports are broadcast as part of the BBC Shipping Forecast.

Banba's Crown on Malin Head is the most northerly point of the Irish mainland.[2] Banba was one of the mythical queens of Ireland. Banba's Crown is about 16 km (10 mi) north of the village of Malin. The island of Inishtrahull is further north, located approximately 10 km (6 mi) north east of Malin Head. Further north still is the most northerly landfall of Ireland, Tor Beg rock.


To the north east Inistrahull Island can be seen. The first lighthouse on the island was put into operation in 1813, and the light flashes every 30 seconds.

Above Banba's Crown to the east lies Ballyhillion beach, a unique raised beach system of international scientific importance.[citation needed] The very distinct shorelines show the changing relationship between the sea and the land from the time the glaciers began to melt, some 15,000 years ago. At that time County Donegal was depressed by the weight of an immense ice sheet, so the level of the sea, relative to today's shore, was up to 80 feet higher than today.

Wartime use[edit]

The Met Eireann station at Malin Head

During World War II, the Irish government allowed the British government to site two radio direction finders on Malin Head. This top-secret operation was mentioned in the The Cranborne Report. The RDF equipment was used to monitor U-Boat and aerial activity in the North Atlantic.

After the war, the site became a weather station for the Irish Meteorological Service and a Navtex transmitting station.


Malin Head is an ideal vantage point from which to view the Autumnal movements of seabirds such as gannets, shearwaters, skuas, auks and others, on their southward migration flights.

Coordinates: 55°23′N 7°22′W / 55.383°N 7.367°W / 55.383; -7.367


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ireland Geographical Facts, Figures and Physical Extremities". Travel through the Ireland story... Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  2. ^ "See Ireland’s most northerly point at Malin Head". Brilliant Ireland. Archived from the original on March 27, 2009.