Galtee Mountains

The Galtee Mountains are spread across the borders of three counties in Munster: Limerick, Tipperary and Cork. The name for this range of mountains was derived from the Irish Slibhte na gCoillte, or ‘Mountains of the forests’. Galtymore is the highest peak in the range, reaching 3,009 ft., and is situated the border between Limerick and Tipperary.

Glacial action during the last Ice-Age helped to form various features of the Galtees. For example, the summits of the Galtees are characterised by scree, a result of constant freeze-thaw action during this period. Also, cirques were formed on the upper slopes that are today the underlying support for corrie lakes including Lough Curra, Lough Bohreen and Lough Muskry.

Heather-dominated heath is the principal habitat type along the Galtee Mountain Range. Blanket bog occurs less frequently and is mainly restricted to the higher areas. The north-facing slopes are of particular importance due to their support of a community of rare alpine plant species. Mountain Rock-cress, Alpine Saw-wort and the Small White Orchid, all of which are listed in the Red Data Book, can be found on the slopes of the Galtees.

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