By Tom Ryan
One of Ireland’s most experienced hillwalkers and mountain climbers, John Gerard O’Dwyer of the Mid Tipperary Hillwalkers Club in Thurles, County Tipperary, said yesterday that the Irish are in danger of “loving our mountains to death.” “It is great to see so many people on the hills” said John “but unfortunately, hillwalkers seem to have the swarming instincts of bees. We are magnetically attracted to our signature summits and so our highest mountains such as Galtymore, Carrauntuohill, Slieve Donard and Lugnaquilla are now suffering hugely from walker induced erosion.” John is author of the book, ”Tipperary and Waterford” (A Walking Guide)” which was recently launched in the mountain village of Upperchurch.
He went onto say that he hoped the new walking guide to Tipperary and Waterford and the other excellent guidebooks in the series being published the Collins Press would go some way to reducing this environmental damage. “We need spread out more evenly around our mountains and uplands and the highest mountain isn’t always the most scenic” said John.