What is an Irish mountain?
Traditionally, a "mountain" in Ireland would only have been classified as a proper mountain if its summit was at least 2,000 feet above sea level. While most hillwalkers and mountaineers have now moved on to embrace the metric system, we have decided to respect this particular summit listing tradition by recognising 2,000 feet as the minimum height of a proper Irish mountain. In addition, the Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme (UIAA) - also known as the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation - recommends that summits only be classified as mountains if they have a topographical prominence of at least 30m. Sometimes the old traditions are the best, so why mess with them?
There are are currently two separate and long-established original third-party Irish mountain summit lists (the Dillons and the Irish Hewitts) both of which were compiled in the 1990s using the traditional 2,000 feet lower height limit. These two lists are very similar (200 summits are common to both), but their secondary selection criteria have produced several differences. In addition to the 2,000 feet minimum height requirement, the Dillons are based on the original list compiler's on-site assessments while the Irish Hewitts require at least 30m topographical prominence. These two lists comprise a combined total of 221 mountains in Ireland, including 12 with less than 30m prominence.
A third earlier list, the 'original' Vandeleur- Lynam list from 1952, was also compiled using the traditional 2,000 feet lower height limit. The original version of that list has fallen by the wayside in recent years, however its formal inclusion here would not have raised the overall mountain total beyond 221. Its modernised metric replacement has a very low 15m prominence criteria, which is well below the UIAA recommendation of 30m. For this reason, along with its sub 2,000 feet minimum height criteria, we cannot promote the modernised Vandeleur-Lynam list as a true mountain list.
All three of the original Irish mountain lists used the same 2,000 feet criteria.
Based on the traditional and widely-accepted 2,000-foot minimum height requirement and the UIAA 30-metre prominence recommendation, we recognise the Irish Hewitt list as the one and only official All-Ireland mountain list. The list comprises all 209 proper mountains in Ireland.
Mountain summits offer great walking opportunities all year round, however we particularly recommend visiting them during months when the days are longest. For this reason, we promote upland walking as our monthly theme for June.
Be aware that other organisations are attempting to artificially increase the number of Irish mountains by metricising and lowering the traditional 2,000 feet limit to a mere 500m. They are hoping to achieve this by promoting their own derived 21st-century list based entirely on original third-party 20th-century lists which had been painstakingly compiled by actual researchers. In reality, if an Irish summit wasn't a mountain in the 20th century, it's still not a mountain in the 21st (unless a professional survey proves otherwise). Other than trying to compete on paper with Scotland - our closest and much more mountainous neighbour - as a mountaineering destination, there is no genuine or logical reason that remotely justifies altering the traditional definition of an Irish mountain. It is also worth noting that one of the organisations promoting their derived list has taken it upon themselves to manipulate Irish summit content on the Wikipedia platform, primarily to boost their own website's traffic statistics.
Each marker on the map represents the location of a mountain summit in Ireland. Click on a marker for further information about that location.
All the summit locations marked on this map have also been listed in height order below.
Listed by height