Shamrocks & Shells

Camino Society Ireland's online magazine

News and Events

Members and Friends Monthly Walk –  Lough Boora Discovery Park – 25th January 2020

Thank you to the large number of walkers who joined us today at Lough Boora Discovery Park, Co. Offaly. The weather was on our side and we were warmly welcomed by the Lough Boora staff. Today’s walk was approximately 12 km.

On Saturday, January the 25th, we made our way to County Offaly and Lough Boora Discovery Park (www.loughboora.com) for our members’ and friends monthly walk. There we were warmly welcomed with tea and fresh country scones, compliments of our hosts, Bord na Mona. Paul Riordan, a society member and veteran of the Camino de Santiago, welcomed us to the park. Paul introduced Tom and Sean who gave a little background to the park and the co-operative efforts of Bord na Mona and the local community in developing the bog as a sculpture park and wildlife sanctuary along with numerous walking and cycling trails.

We began with Sean guiding our 90 walkers through the Park’s wonderful Sculpture Park. Sean was on hand to talk about the various parts of the Park’s history during numerous stages of the walk. We were very lucky with the weather with no rain falling. The walk itself was nice and easy at about 12 kms with the whole event taking us around 3 hours to complete.

The Black Forest
The Offaly Way is located in Lough Boora Parklands
Our Guide Sean talks about the Park’s Mesolithic Site

One of the highlights of the day was arriving at a monument “The Gathering of Stones”, built in 2013. Before construction began on the monument, the public were invited to “bring a stone home” to Lough Boora. Many people brought a stone with them to the Gathering of Stones to be built into the monument. Each stone came with a story and a history. Stones came from all parts of Ireland, the US, and the UK.

Part of the attraction of these walks is meeting new and old friends. A large number of people who attended had walked a Camino previously but it was nice to see people who have yet to take their first steps. And there were many veteran pilgrims on hand to answer questions during the day. Thank you to those who travelled from Dublin, Wicklow, Galway, Donegal and from other parts of Ireland to be with us. We are glad to have shared the experience with you and we hope to see you at our next walk.

A special thanks to Paul, Tom, Sean and all the staff at Lough Boora who made the day what it was!

Camino Society Ireland Monthly Hill Walk – Binnianea Loop, Cullahill, Co Laois – 28th December 2019

Thank you to all who walked with us in Culahill, Co. Laois. The Binnianea Loop or the Cullahill Loop is a few kilometres from the town of Culahill. The morning started with a brief ascent up a rustic staircase, through a pine forest. It wasn’t long before we were rewarded with tremendous views of the Slieve Bloom mountains and of course Culahill Castle. This was the seat of the MacGiollapadriag clan until the 17th century. We were joined by our team of local guides, Susan and Brid who shared interesting nuggets of history while we walked. (Article in Irish Times about the Binnianea Loop)
We look forward to our next walk at the end of January.

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