Glenshane Pass

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The Sperrin mountains from the Glenshane Pass road

The Glenshane Pass (from Irish Gleann Seáin, meaning 'Shane's valley') is a major mountain pass cutting through the Sperrin Mountains in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. It is in the townland of Glenshane Pass on the main Derry to Belfast route, the A6.

A large wildfire broke out in Glenshane Pass in late June 2018, burning more than 600 acres of dry gorse in the pass by 27 June.


It is a Special Area of Conservation. Carn/Glenshane Pass is a large area of intact blanket bog, characterised by undulating topography and including a large, well-developed hummock and pool system within a thick mantle of blanket peat.[1] It is also classed as an Area of Special Scientific Interest.[2] The Ponderosa is claimed as being the highest public house in the island of Ireland, situated 946 feet (288 metres) above sea level.[3]


The Glenshane Pass is claimed as being named after Shane Crossagh Ó Maoláin a notorious rapparee, or highwayman, who roamed the highways of County Londonderry and County Tyrone in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century.[4]

The Troubles[edit]

  • On 24 June 1972, three British Army soldiers were killed by a landmine explosion on the Glenshane Pass.[5] Their Land Rover was destroyed by two IEDs consisting of 120 lbs of explosive packed in milk churns.[6]
  • On 17 March 1978, a British Army soldier was shot dead in a gun battle with IRA gunmen near the Glenshane Pass. Some reports said he was involved in a covert observation post when he spotted two suspected gunmen. He stood up to challenge the men and was fatally wounded, but he shot back wounding one man.[6]


  1. ^ "Carn – Glenshane Pass". Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Retrieved 26 June 2008.
  2. ^ "Carn/Glenshane Pass". Environment and Heritage Service. Retrieved 26 June 2008.
  3. ^ Brankin, Una (14 August 2014). "The Ponderosa: Tall tale of highest pub in Ireland". The Belfast Telegraph.
  4. ^ Deeney, Niall (5 February 2013). "The bandit who escaped 'the Devil's Claws' – Shane Crossagh O'Mullan". The Londonderry Sentinel.
  5. ^ "Members of the Army Air Corps killed as a result of the Troubles in Northern Ireland from 1958". Palace Barracks Memorial Garden. Archived from the original on 7 December 2002. Retrieved 26 June 2008.
  6. ^ a b "Members of The Parachute Regiment killed as a result of the Troubles in Northern Ireland from 1971". Palace Barracks Memorial Garden. Archived from the original on 12 January 2003. Retrieved 26 June 2008.

Coordinates: 54°52′48″N 6°47′27″W / 54.88006°N 6.79084°W / 54.88006; -6.79084