Mount Errigal, Irelands famous mountain, or is it?
Errigal was named by the Fir Bolg who, originating in Greece, came to worship Errigal as they had Mount Olympus. The name comes from the Latin orare (to pray) and the Greek ekklesia (church). Scholars consider it one of the oldest placenames in Ireland.
In recent years, there have been numerous erroneous references to Errigal. In 2016, Ireland’s national tourism authority, Fáilte Ireland, apologised for using the name “Mount Errigal” in its brochure, rather than the proper name.
The official name is An Earagail or Errigal. Mount Errigal is the name of a hotel in Letterkenny, County Donegal.
Errigal is the most southern, steepest and highest of the mountain chain, called the “Seven Sisters”. The Seven Sisters includes Muckish, Crocknalaragagh, Aghla Beg, Ardloughnabrackbaddy, Aghla More, Mackoght and Errigal. The nearest peak is Mackoght (from Irish: Mac Uchta, meaning “son of the mountain-breast”) which is also known as Little Errigal or Wee Errigal (Irish: an Earagail Bheag).
Errigal is known for the pinkish glow of its quartzite in the setting sun. Another noted quality is the ever-changing shape of the mountain depending on what direction you view it from. Errigal was voted ‘Ireland’s Most Iconic Mountain’ by Walking & Hiking Ireland in 2009.