Sliabh Foy Loop Trail | The Home of Ireland’s Last Leprechauns

Rising majestically above the town of Carlingford, Sliabh Foy (or Slieve Foye) is the highest peak on the Cooley Peninsula and within Co Louth. 

The Sliabh Foy Loop Trail begins in Carlingford, then winds its way toward the protected reserve. In 2010, Carlingford earned official European Union recognition for its leprechauns. The Sliabh Foy Loop Trail became a sanctuary for the country’s remaining leprechauns— 236 in total —and nearby Slieve Foye Mountain gained protection under the European Habitats Directive, which protects flora, fauna, and apparently, magical fairies.

In 1989 P.J. O’Hare, a local businessman and publican, was upon Carlingford mountain when he heard a scream coming from the area beside the Wishing Well. Being curious, he went to investigate and found a patch of burnt ground. Beside this patch, he found a little hat, jacket, and trousers with four gold coins in the pockets. The whereabouts of these four coins are only known to one other person, but he maintains he can’t give away the secret. The clothes of ‘The Naked Leprechaun’ are on display at PJs Pub in Carlingford.

Top of Slieve Foy | Dermot Mathers

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