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Drumkeeragh Forest

Coordinates: 54°21′06″N 5°56′45″W / 54.351599°N 5.9458209°W / 54.351599; -5.9458209
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Drumkeeragh Forest
Map showing the location of Drumkeeragh Forest
Map showing the location of Drumkeeragh Forest
Location of Drumkeeragh Forest
LocationDown, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Coordinates54°21′06″N 5°56′45″W / 54.351599°N 5.9458209°W / 54.351599; -5.9458209
Elevation190 metres (620 ft) to 310 metres (1,020 ft)
Area179.81 hectares (444.3 acres)
Governing bodyForest Service Northern Ireland

Drumkeeragh Forest is a mixed coniferous forest located on the lower slopes of Slieve Croob, near Ballynahinch, Northern Ireland. It is used for commercial felling and is managed by the Forest Service Northern Ireland.[1]

The forest is predominantly made up of sitka spruce but Norway spruce, western red cedar, European larch, Douglas fir, noble fir, and Scots, lodgepole and Corsican pines are also found there. The trees are felled for timber, with cleared sections rotating every 50 years. The high elevation (190 metres (620 ft) to 310 metres (1,020 ft)) and poor soil mean that deciduous trees used to produce timber can not grow in the forest.[1]

In the cleared areas, replanting has been carried out with wildlife conservation and landscaping in mind. Some of the replanted trees have included mountain ash and silver birch, both native broadleaf trees, which has led to a wider variety of birds in these areas.[1]

Connection to crimes[edit]

Drumkeeragh Forest was the scene of the death of Penny McAllister. On 27 March 1991 McAllister had her throat slit by her husband's lover, Susan Christie, while they walked together in the woods. Christie originally claimed that a "wild bearded man" attacked them both but she was later convicted of manslaughter.[2][3][4][5]

On 20 December 2004 Karen McMullan was left at Drumkeeragh forest, along with a burnt out car, after being held hostage for more than 24 hours. The kidnapping was part of the robbery of Northern Bank headquarters in Belfast, where her husband worked.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Drumkeeragh Forest". NI Direct. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  2. ^ "A mistress driven to murder". The Herald Scotland. 18 February 1995. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Woman 'concocted cover-up' after killing". The Independent. 18 September 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Murder case sentence may go to review". The Independent. 22 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Part one: Crime of passion and lies". Belfast Telegraph. 14 November 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Timeline: Northern Bank robbery". BBC. 7 January 2005. Retrieved 30 October 2015.