Has an access road changed the source of the River Liffey?

By The Helpful Engineer / On / In Technical & Discussion

Liffey BridgeThe source of the river Liffey is in the Wicklow Mountains, 14 km west of the Irish Sea. But rather than take the direct route to the sea it instead follows a circular, and longer route, of approx. 135 km, to join the sea at Dublin City.

Maps and books place the source of the River Liffey as a peat bog close to the Sally Gap. While, historically, this may have been the correct source of the river, the access road to the Kippure telecommunications mast may have changed the situation. Either side of this access road are drainage ditches, which intercept water flows from small streams within the peat bog. The upper part of the drainage channel then discharges to a tributary of the River Liffey, lengthening it. As all these tributaries occur in a peat bog with no tree cover they are easily followed on Google Earth, and measured.

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