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Croaghaun cliff.jpg
Highest point
Elevation 688 m (2,257 ft)
Prominence 688 m (2,257 ft)
Parent peak None
Listing P600, Marilyn, Hewitt
English translation little stack
Language of name Irish
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Location Mayo, Republic of Ireland
Parent range Achill Island
OSI/OSNI grid F553060

Croaghaun (Irish: Cruachán) is a mountain in County Mayo, Ireland. At 688 metres (2,257 ft), it has the highest sea cliffs in Ireland as well as the third highest sea cliffs in Europe (after Hornelen, Norway and Cape Enniberg, Faroe Islands).


Croaghaun cliffs
Cliffs of Croaghaun, looking towards Achill Head

Croaghaun is the most westerly peak of Achill Island, and its highest mountain. Its cliffs lie on the northern slope of the mountain. The cliffs at Croaghaun can only be seen by hiking around or to the summit of the mountain, or from the sea. They are part of a sequence of sheer rock faces which start south of Keem Bay and loop around the uninhabited north-west of the island, by Achill Head and Saddle Head, and east to Slievemore, occasionally dropping vertically into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.


The Croaghaun cliffs are home to two families of peregrine falcons (RTÉ, 2008). September and October are the best time to see the fastest creatures on Earth here, as they teach their young to fly. Metamorphic, quartz-laden gems may be observed, along with Mediterranean heathers and the waters of the Atlantic. It is common to see schools of bottlenose dolphins and basking sharks, once a source of revenue for Achill Island (BBC, 2009). Porpoises are found in large numbers. Killer whales, humpback whales, and other whales have been sighted.

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