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The Sperrins
Na Speiríní (Irish)
Sperrin Muntains (Ulster-Scots)
Sawel mountain.jpg
Sawel Mountain, the highest point of the Sperrins
Highest point
Peak Sawel Mountain
Elevation 678 m (2,224 ft)
Geography
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country Northern Ireland
Counties County Tyrone, County Londonderry
Range coordinates 54°48′00″N 7°04′59″W / 54.8°N 7.083°W / 54.8; -7.083Coordinates: 54°48′00″N 7°04′59″W / 54.8°N 7.083°W / 54.8; -7.083
Geology
Orogeny Caledonian orogeny
Type of rock Schist, quartzite, granite, basalt, rhyolite

The Sperrins or Sperrin Mountains (from Irish Speirín, meaning 'little pinnacle') are a range of mountains in Northern Ireland and one of the largest upland areas in Northern Ireland. The range stretches from Strabane eastwards to Slieve Gallion in Desertmartin and north towards Limavady, in the counties of Tyrone and Londonderry. The region has a population of some 150,000 and is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Features

It has a distinctive glaciated landscape. The Glenshane Pass, part of the A6 Belfast to Derry road, is in the mountains and has notoriously bad weather in winter. Sawel Mountain is the highest peak in the Sperrins, and the seventh highest in Northern Ireland. Its summit rises to 678 m (2,224 ft). Another of the Sperrins, Carntogher (464 m), towers over the Glenshane Pass.

Geologically, the Sperrins are formed mostly from Precambrian metamorphic rocks, with some younger Ordovician igneous rocks in the southern flank of the range. The Mountains are very sparsely populated and provide habitat for a diverse range of birds and mammals. Red fox, Sika Deer, Pine Marten and Red Squirrels are commonly found there alongside Peregrine Falcons, Buzzards and Sparrowhawks. Visiting Golden Eagles from the neighbouring reintroduced Donegal population have been sighted across the range from Strabane to Draperstown although no breeding population has yet been established. The Mountains also provide one of the last refuges of Red Grouse in Northern Ireland.

List

Rank Name Irish name Height Prominence
1 Sawel Mountain Samhail Phite Méabha 678 m (2,224 ft) 657 m (2,156 ft)
2 Mullaghclogha Mullach Clocha ("summit of the stone") 635 m (2,083 ft) 207 m (679 ft)
3 Mullaghaneany Mullach an Ionaidh ("summit of the wonder") 627 m (2,057 ft) 302 m (991 ft)
4 Meenard Mín Ard ("high mountain pasture") 620 m (2,030 ft) 85 m (279 ft)
5 Dart Mountain An Dairt ("the lump") 619 m (2,031 ft) 89 m (292 ft)
6 Mullaghasturrakeen Mullach an Starraicín ("summit of the steeple") 581 m (1,906 ft) 46 m (151 ft)
7 Mullaghclogher Mullach Clochair ("summit of the stony patch") 572 m (1,877 ft) 127 m (417 ft)
8 Oughtmore Ucht Mór ("big mountain breast") 569 m (1,867 ft) 104 m (341 ft)
9 Spelhoagh Speilg Chuach ("cuckoo rock") 568 m (1,864 ft) 20 m (66 ft)
10 Mullaghdoo Mullach Dubh ("black summit") 568 m (1,864 ft) 20 m (66 ft)
11 Carnanelly Carnán Aichle ("little cairn of the lookout") 562 m (1,844 ft) 307 m (1,007 ft)
12 Mullaghmore Mullach Mór ("big summit") 550 m (1,800 ft) 235 m (771 ft)
13 Mullaghcarn Mullach Cairn ("summit of the cairn") 542 m (1,778 ft) 377 m (1,237 ft)
14 White Mountain Sliabh Bán ("white mountain") 537 m (1,762 ft) 42 m (138 ft)
15 Slieve Gallion Sliabh gCallann ("mountain of the heights") 528 m (1,732 ft) 333 m (1,093 ft)
16 Crockbrack Cnoc Breac ("speckled hill") 526 m (1,726 ft) 151 m (495 ft)
17 Mullaghcarbatagh Mullach Carbadach ("boulder-strewn summit") 517 m (1,696 ft) 32 m (105 ft)

Politics

Sperrin was the name of a proposed United Kingdom constituency in the Sixth Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies.

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