River Slaney

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River Slaney
SlaneyAtStartford 4444w.jpg
River Slaney at Stratford-on-Slaney
Native name Abhainn na Sláine
Country Ireland
Physical characteristics
Main source Lugnaquilla, County Wicklow
549 metres (1,801 ft)
River mouth Irish Sea at Wexford via Wexford Harbour
Length 117.5 kilometres (73.0 mi)
  • Average rate:
    37 m3/s (1,300 cu ft/s)
Basin features
Basin size 1,762 square kilometres (680 sq mi)

The River Slaney (Irish: Abhainn na Sláine, meaning "river of health") is a large river in the southeast of Ireland. It rises on Lugnaquilla Mountain in the western Wicklow Mountains and flows west and then south through counties Wicklow, Carlow and Wexford for 117.5 km (73 mi),[1] before entering St George's Channel in the Irish Sea at Wexford town. The estuary of the Slaney is wide and shallow and is known as Wexford Harbour. The catchment area of the River Slaney is 1,762 km2.[2] The long term average flow rate of the River Slaney is 37.4 Cubic Metres per second (m3/s)[3]

Towns that the Slaney runs through include Stratford-on-Slaney, Baltinglass, Tullow, Bunclody, Enniscorthy and Wexford. Over the river's 117 kilometre course, it is crossed by 32 road bridges and one railway bridge.[4]


Varied and plentiful wildlife can be found in the environs of the river. In Wicklow, herds of deer can be seen, as well as swans, dippers, wild ducks, herons and kingfishers. At dusk, bats, owls and otters may be seen, while the mudflats of the estuary are favoured by black-headed gulls, redshanks and oystercatchers.[5] The rare goosander can be seen on the Slaney at Kildavin. In season, salmon and trout and pike are fished.[6]


Ptolemy's Geography (2nd century AD) described a river called Μοδοννος (Modonnos, "mudflats") which may have referred to the River Slaney, though scholarly opinion remains divided on the issue.[7]


Tributaries of the Slaney include the River Derreen, the River Derry, the River Clody, the River Bann, the River Urrin, the River Boro, and the River Sow.


  1. ^ Ordnance Survey of Ireland: Rivers and their Catchment Basins 1958 (Table of Reference)
  2. ^ South Eastern River Basin District Management System. Page 38 Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ South Eastern River Basin District Management System. Page 38 Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Duffy, John. River Slaney, from source to sea, 2006, ISBN 978-0-9554184-0-2, p.30
  5. ^ Duffy, p.19
  6. ^ Slaney River Trust Archived 2008-01-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ http://www.romaneranames.uk/essays/ireland.pdf

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°20′N 6°27′W / 52.333°N 6.450°W / 52.333; -6.450