Jim Finn leads the walkers in the footsteps of Red Hugh O'Donnell on the Red Hugh-Knockalough walk in Upperchurch.
The twelfth annual Upperchurch Walking Weekend goes ahead this weekend with a wide selection of walks for all levels of fitness and top class entertainment to while away the evening hours.
The event kicks off on Friday evening with two road walks to stretch the sinews. The corresponding walks last year were held in a downpour but still saw over a hundred take part, so hopefully there will be more clement conditions and a larger participation this year.
On Saturday morning the long, gruelling Hills of Upperchurch walk leaves at ten o'clock. This walk is only for the very fit and experienced and should not be attempted by beginners. There are three much easier and shorter walks later in the day starting in Upperchurch and Rosmult. This latter walk along the Birchill Nature Trail passes through an ash plantation which may not exist in future years due to Chalara (ash dieback) infection.
On Sunday a new one-off walk from Borrisoleigh to Upperchurch is eagerly anticipated by many locals, even to whom the route will have some of the characteristics of a mystery tour. Suffice it to say that there will be fields, farm roads, bye-roads and most appealingly of all a few almost forgotten old laneways.
In Hollyford there will be a fairly easy but long walk with excellent views taking in sites of interest along the way, while in Upperchurch the ever popular Eamon an Chnoic walk will be held.
Also in Upperchurch there will be a 5 km Fun Run and walk around the local bog track. And of course the famous Upperchurch stew will be waiting at the end of your exertions on Saturday and Sunday.
Due to recent rain walkers should bring sturdy waterproof footwear, especially on the Borrisoleigh to Upperchurch and Birchill walks. Off the roads and trails there will be set dancing and music in the local pubs. The Culture Night on Saturday has items such as drama, singing, music, short films,a craft demonstration and talks. The Upper Limits Climbing wall will give a demonstration on Saturday afternoon.
Full details and brochure are available on www.upperchurch.ie or phone 086 0518934. The organisers would like to express their sincere gratitude to the local landowners without whose help the event could not take place.
Programme of events
Friday 10th Walks: Upperchurch-Knockane road walk 12 km and Moher-Gortkelly road walk 7 km both start Upperchurch village 7.30 p.m.
Saturday 11th Walks: Hills of Upperchurch walk 18 km, start Upperchurch 10.00 a.m. Birchill Nature Trail walk 8 km, start Rosmult on Thurles-Upperchurch road 12.00 noon. Knockalough-Red Hugh walk, choice of 6 km, 10 km and 12 km, start Upperchurch 12.15 p.m. Slí Éamoin an Chnoic walk 8 km, start Upperchurch 12.30 p.m.
Sunday 12th Walks: Borrisoleigh to Upperchurch walk 12 km, start Shanahan's Topaz Centra, Borrisoleigh 11.00 a.m. Hollyford- Red Hill walk, choice of 14 km or 18 km, start Hollyford village 11.00 a.m. Slí Éamoin an Chnoic walk 8 km, start Upperchurch 12.30 p.m. Fun Run around Bog Track 5 km, start Upperchurch village 2.00 p.m.
Friday: Reception and Official Opening 9.00 p.m. in Upperchurch Hall. Seisiún Mór at Kinane's 10.00 p.m.
Saturday: Climbing Wall demonstration 4.00 p.m. Set Dancing in Oliver Ryan's 4.00 p.m. Culture Night in Pa's Bar 8.00 p.m. Traditional Music in Jim o' the Mill's 10.00 p.m.