Seanbhóithre na hÉireann

Or the old roads of Ireland. Boreens, the early roads that criss-crossed the island of Ireland.

However to be called a boreen or in Gaelic, bóithrín meaning ‘a little road’, the track should not be wide enough for two cars to pass and always have grass growing up the middle. The Irish name bóithrín, comes in turn from bóthar, originally a track the width of two cows, so bóithrín meant a little cow path. A bóthar was one of the five types of road identified in medieval Irish legal texts, the others were slige (on which two chariots could pass), rót (on which one chariot and two riders could pass), lámraite (a road connecting two major roads) and tógraite (a road leading to a forest or a river).

Boreens are often lined with hedgerows, a valuable ecosystem that allows the free movement birds and animals from one habitat to another, offers nesting sites, song posts, roosting, feeding sites and protective cover from predators on both four legs or wing. Cared for, but not manicured, this boreen with its wind sculptured hawthorn trees and foxgloves, runs along the incredibly beautiful and diverse Copper Coast in County Waterford.

If you’d like to read more about the county, then please take a look here

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