Northern Lights over Ireland’s South Coast

Seeing the northern lights or Aurora Borealis is a bucket list item for many people, with several planning expensive trips to Scandinavia to see this exciting light display. Three of the most popular places to see the Aurora Borealis are Tromso, Norway, Lapland, Sweden and Reykjavik Iceland. However, residents of Irish Coastal towns and cities including Wicklow, Galway, Cork and Waterford were treated to a fantastic light display on the night of November 5th as the Aurora Borealis lit up the skies along the Irish Coast.

Usually occurring in polar regions, the phenomenon is a result of solar wind interaction with particles from the earth’s magnetic field creating an extraordinary light display. These bright bands of colour dominated the skies of Waterford on the night of Sunday, November 5th prompting many residents to take to social media to post photographs of the light show from various locations across the county. 

The light displays were particularly visible throughout Waterford including, Passage East, Dunmore East, The Copper Coast and Mount Congreve Gardens in Kilmeaden. The lights ranging in colour from blue, green, purple and red danced across the skies leaving viewers in awe.

The most common times to see Aurora Borealis in Ireland are between the months of October and April, when geomagnetic energy reaches above 4 and they are most commonly visible between 9 pm and 2 am, however it is a rarity to see them as clearly as they appeared on November 5th. This phenomenon has had many myths and legends associated with it and gained the title ‘Merry Dancers’ in Scotland, reflecting some myths about the lights representing spirits, angels or fallen warriors. 

Irish folklore suggests that over the centuries the Aurora Borealis has been visible in Ireland as some accounts propose that people would go in search of matter that fell from the sky after the Aurora Borealis appeared, this matter was said to be a cure for a burn. 

Whatever school of thought you associate with there is no doubt that this incredible light display is a must-see and is just one more reason to pack your bags and visit Waterford!


Image Credits: Mount Congreve Gardens

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