The Highland Boundary Fault is considered to extend from Stonehaven in Scotland to the major Leek fault of Clare Island in western Ireland. This conspicuous fault of the island has however been erroneously correlated with the Leannan fault of Donegal, a probable branch of the Great Glen Fault. South of the Leek fault Silurian sediments rest unconformably upon a metamorphic basement. This consists of amphi-bolite facies metasediments intruded by basic and ultrabasic rocks that have also undergone amphibolite facies metamorphism. These high grade rocks of uncertain age are considered to be part of a horst which was uplifted within the Moine Dalradian basin of western Ireland during Cambrian times. The horst was probably a southern source of detritus for the Upper Dalradian turbidites now on both sides of the Leek fault. The large uplift to the south which formed this horst conforms with and expands previous ideas on the early history of the Highland Boundary Fault. The age of the Dalradian metamorphism in western Ireland is reconsidered, and it is concluded that the case for a pre-Nitidus Zone age is unsatisfactory and that a mid-Ordovician age is possible.

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