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Kippure, southern slopes with the transmission mast visible on the summit
Highest point
Elevation757 m (2,484 ft) [1]
Prominence262 m (860 ft) [1]
ListingCounty Top (Dublin), 100 Highest Irish Mountains, Marilyn, Hewitt, Arderin, Simm, Vandeleur-Lynam
Coordinates53°10′41″N 6°19′55″W / 53.178°N 6.332°W / 53.178; -6.332Coordinates: 53°10′41″N 6°19′55″W / 53.178°N 6.332°W / 53.178; -6.332
English translationKippure
Language of nameIrish
Kippure is located in island of Ireland
Location in Ireland
LocationWicklow & South Dublin Ireland
Parent rangeWicklow Mountains
OSI/OSNI gridO1158215455
Topo mapOSi Discovery 56
Mountain typePale grey fine to coarse-grained granite[1]
Easiest routeEastern path from the R115 Road (the "Military Road")

Kippure (Irish: Cipiúr)[2] at 757 metres (2,484 ft), is the 56th-highest peak in Ireland on the Arderin scale,[3] and the 72nd-highest peak on the Vandeleur-Lynam scale.[4][5] Kippure is situated in the far northern sector of the Wicklow Mountains, where it lies on the border of the counties of Dublin and Wicklow in Ireland.[6] Kippure is the County Top for Dublin, and its height and positioning over Dublin city have made its summit an important site for transmission masts, which are highly visible from a distance.[7] Kippure's slopes feed into the Liffey Head Bog which forms the source of the River Liffey.[6][8] The summit can be easily accessed from the east via a path that lies off the R115 (also called the "Military Road") road along the route to the Sally Gap.[8]


According to Irish academic Paul Tempan, "Kippure" is simply a "transliteration of a pronunciation collected locally, but without any clear meaning".[2] Tempan notes that it resembles the Irish language term "ciop" (meaning stump) and "iúr" (meaning yew), however "stump of the yew" would be "Ciop Iúir".[2] While it is unlikely that yew trees could have ever grown on an exposed mountain such as Kippure, Tempan notes that there is a connection with a similar name in the lower valley, where the association with yew trees could have come.[2]


Kippure's large massif sits at the head of two major valleys: the valley of Glencree (part of Wicklow) to the east, which it forms with Tonduff 642 metres (2,106 ft), Maulin 570 metres (1,870 ft), and Prince William's Seat 555 metres (1,821 ft); and the valley of Glenasmole (part of Dublin) to the north, which is forms with Seefingan 724 metres (2,375 ft), and Corrig Mountain 617 metres (2,024 ft).[6][7]

To the south of Kippure is the high mountain pass of the Sally Gap at 503 metres (1,650 ft), and the long winding "central spine" of the Wicklow mountains as the range runs to Mullaghcleevaun 849 metres (2,785 ft), and then on to Tonelagee 817 metres (2,680 ft), and finally to the terminus at Lugnaquilla 925 metres (3,035 ft) in the south, Wicklow and Leinster's highest mountain.[6][8]

Kippure has two corrie lakes on its north-east flank, Lough Bray Upper and Lough Bray Lower.[8] The slopes of Kippure hold the sources of several rivers, including tributaries that feed the River Liffey from the Liffey Head Bog on the western slopes of Tonduff, and tributaries that feed the River Dodder.[8]

Kippure's prominence of 262 metres (860 ft) qualifies it as a Marilyn, and it also ranks it as the 32nd-highest mountain in Ireland on the MountainViews Online Database, 100 Highest Irish Mountains, where the minimum prominence threshold is 100 metres (328').[9][5]

Transmission site[edit]

Transmitter mast on the summit

At the summit of Kippure stands a 127m (417') television and radio transmitter mast. This is the oldest television transmission site in the Republic of Ireland and was initially selected as a potential VHF FM radio transmitter site during the course of a Radio Éireann survey in the mid-1950s. The Irish Board of Works built an access road to the site in 1959, and the transmitter installation work was then started by the British company Pye Ltd. By the summer of 1961 the mast was erected[10] and test transmissions followed, consisting of slide views of Ireland, a test-card, and the music of Count John McCormack.[citation needed]

Telefís Éireann began with transmission from Kippure on 31 December 1961 using the British 405-line TV standard on VHF Band III channel 7, to be followed by a 625-line service on channel H in the summer of 1962. Kippure was the first of the original five main Telefís Éireann transmitters to come into service, the others being, Truskmore (1962), Mount Leinster (1963), Maghera (1963), and Mullaghanish (1963).[citation needed]

Entrance gate

VHF FM transmission of RTÉ Radio (the former Radio Éireann) commenced in 1966, with stereo broadcasting beginning in 1969.[citation needed]

405-line transmission from Kippure ceased in 1978 with the arrival of RTÉ 2, however, Kippure did not transmit RTÉ 2 until much later. Initially on Channel J at low power later moving to Channel H with RTÉ 1 moving to Channel E.[citation needed]

Kippure's importance in radio and television transmission has diminished since the late 1970s with the opening of three new UHF transmitter sites at Three Rock in County Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Clermont Carn in County Louth, and Cairn Hill in County Longford, which provide better reception in most areas previously served only by Kippure. Today the Irish DTT service, Saorview, the national FM radio stations, and some commercial radio stations are broadcast from the site.[citation needed]

Current transmissions[edit]

Terrestrial television[edit]

Frequency UHF kW Multiplex Pol
578 MHz 34 125 Saorview 1 H
586 MHz 35 125 Saorview 2 H

Digital Radio[edit]

Frequency Block kW Multiplex
227.36 MHz 12C 20 DAB Ireland Mux 1

Analogue FM radio[edit]

Frequency kW Service
89.1 MHz 50 RTÉ Radio 1
91.3 MHz 50 RTÉ 2fm
93.5 MHz 50 RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta
98.7 MHz 50 RTÉ lyric fm
100.9 MHz 50 Today FM

Kippure TV relay transmitter[edit]

Relay transmitter County Mux 1 Mux 2 kW Pol
Laragh Wicklow 47 44 0.025 H
Rathnew Wicklow 22 25 0.5 V


  • Fairbairn, Helen (2014). Dublin & Wicklow: A Walking Guide. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1848892019.
  • Fairbairn, Helen (2014). Ireland's Best Walks: A Walking Guide. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1848892118.
  • MountainViews Online Database (Simon Stewart) (2013). A Guide to Ireland's Mountain Summits: The Vandeleur-Lynams & the Arderins. Collins Books. ISBN 978-1-84889-164-7.
  • Dillion, Paddy (1993). The Mountains of Ireland: A Guide to Walking the Summits. Cicerone. ISBN 978-1852841102.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Kippure". MountainViews Online Database. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Paul Tempan (February 2012). "Irish Hill and Mountain Names" (PDF).
  3. ^ Simon Stewart (October 2018). "Arderins: Irish mountains of 500+m with a prominence of 30m". MountainViews Online Database.
  4. ^ Simon Stewart (October 2018). "Vandeleur-Lynams: Irish mountains of 600+m with a prominence of 15m". MountainViews Online Database.
  5. ^ a b Mountainviews, (September 2013), "A Guide to Ireland's Mountain Summits: The Vandeleur-Lynams & the Arderins", Collins Books, Cork, ISBN 978-1-84889-164-7
  6. ^ a b c d Dillion, Paddy (1993). The Mountains of Ireland: A Guide to Walking the Summits. Cicerone. ISBN 978-1852841102. Walk 2: Tonduff and Kippure
  7. ^ a b MountainViews Online Database (Simon Stewart) (2013). A Guide to Ireland's Mountain Summits: The Vandeleur-Lynams & the Arderins. Collins Books. ISBN 978-1-84889-164-7.
  8. ^ a b c d e Fairbairn, Helen (2014). Dublin & Wicklow: A Walking Guide. Collins Press. ISBN 978-1848892019. Route 10: Kippure and the two Lough Brays
  9. ^ "Irish Highest 100: The highest 100 Irish mountains with a prominence of +100m". MountainViews Online Database. September 2018.
  10. ^ RTÉ NL. "Video: Building the transmitter Network". RTÉ NL. Retrieved 6 November 2012.

External links[edit]