The Maharees walking trip

Thanks to Aidan Buckley for a wonderful few days in the Maharees and for the following report

A group in excess of 40 travelled to the Maharees on Tuesday Sept 3rd for two days of walking and exploration.
The Maharees Peninsula is a place of flower rich sandunes, offshore islands and coastal grassland. Having lunched in Harbour House, Fahamore, adjacent to Inis Tuaisceart behind which the Aud ( with Roger Casement aboard) dropped anchor on Holy Thursday 1916, we assembled at Beal Geal, Maharabeg, to commence our beach walk.
We traversed Scairt Beach at first, admiring the views across Tralee Bay to Fenit, Banna Beach and Ballyheigue. This beach is home in Winter time to a significant number of Brent Geese. We then skirted the village of Kilshannig to arrive at the local graveyard where we viewed the ruins of the 7th Century St Seanach’s Church which was a parish church up until the 13th Century. Within the walls can be found a Chi-Rho Cross slab. We then walked across the beach at Port an Cathasaigh. From nearby Scraggane Pier cows were obliged to swim 1 Kilometre to Illauntannig for Summer grazing. Here a small monastery was founded by St Seanach in the 6th Century containing 3 beehive huts, 2 oratories and a Celtic Cross nearly 2 metres in height.
Onward then to walk the beach at Corrlougha which merges with Clocha Dubha Beach. Here there were spectacular views over Atlantic breakers across Brandon Bay to majestic Mt Brandon where in 1868 an estimated 20,000 pilgrims attended mass on the summit celebrated by the then Bishop of Kerry, David Moriarty.
The crews of several Allied aircraft perished on the slopes of Mt Brandon during World War 2. However, the crew of a German aircraft which crashed in August 1940 had a miraculous escape. They subsequently spent the rest of the war in the Curragh Camp where two of the crew would meet their future wives.
The extent of the ongoing coastal erosion was only too apparent as we neared the end of our walk on this more exposed beach. In the distance towards Killiney we could see the spot where the Port Yarrock, a 3 masted barque, floundered in mountainous seas in January 1897 with the loss of its 20 strong crew.
We returned to the car park at Beal Geal across grassy fields close to ponds which are home to the Natterjack Toad, one of only 3 native amphibians.

On Wednesday September 4th we explored the Loch a Duin Valley, guided by Daithi O Conaill who worked as a Principal in the North Monastery Primary School for 15 years, and is now domiciled in Tralee. This valley contains a remarkable number of monuments from the Bronze Age (2000BC- 500 BC). There are 89 stone structures including wedge tombs, standing stones, rock art, Fulach fia, a fortified island and over 12 kilometres of prehistoric pre-bog  field walls. The head of the valley is dominated by a spectacular waterfall with waters from 3 small , mountain-top lakes cascading downward into the valley below.
Bhuaileamar an bothar ansin go teach tabhairne Mullally’s in aice le Ce Bhreanainn, ait a raibh bia den scoth againn roimh filleadh duinn ar an mbaile.

September Events

There’s something special about September, when you’re a retired teacher. Here’s a few ideas for activities you might like to enjoy this month:

3rd and 4th: Tuesday and Wednesday. Hillwalkers trip to Castlegregory. Leader Aidan Buckley.

6th: Friday. Social coffee morning. Clayton Silver Springs Hotel. 11 a.m.

12th: Thursday. Amble in Garnish Island. Details will be announced by text.

12th: Thursday. Camera group planning meeting. SMA centre. 2p.m.

22nd-29th: Trip to Lake Como with the Travel Department

27th – 29th: Friday to Sunday. Flower display, and concert. Cobh cathedral. Organised by RTAI member, Mary O’Brien (AOIFA National Chairperson) See earlier post.

CHOIR. Members have been notified of rehearsal arrangements. New members welcome! Contact Mary Fitzgerald 086 830 1195 as soon as possible.

DRAMA. Rehearsals are ongoing. New members welcome, for all theatrical roles, onstage and backstage. Contact Marian O’Callaghan. 086 407 2037 or rtaicorkblog@gmail.com

💡A bright idea!

Text-a-Parent

Text-a-parent is a service used by schools to send messages to a large group of parents at one time. RTAI Cork has adopted this service for sending text messages to our members. It is a streamlined, cost-effective system.

The beauty of the service for our members is that all RTAI text messages are held in one place – no more scrolling through your text messages to find a message you know came in a week or more ago!

To use the service you need to download the app. It’s free, and it takes less than a minute to install on your iPhone or android phone.

On your iPhone,  download it from the App Store. On your android phone, download it from Playstore.

After that, you need do no more. All future text messages from RTAI Cork, will be delivered to your Text-a-Parent app, and neatly stored in one location on your phone. You will get a notification each time a message arrives, and you can read the message at a time convenient to you.

Download the app today!

 

Summer Scramble at Muskerry G.C.

We are very grateful to Joe Lane for submitting the following report from the recent RTAI Golf Outing:

July 11th dawned as a misty and cold morning and I had some misgivings about going ahead with our planned outing to Muskerry.
I checked the forecast and, being an eternal optimist, I decided to go ahead. There were 21 people down to play and I certainly didn’t want to disappoint them or indeed lose the opportunity to showcase Muskerry to some of my friends from the RTAI.
The afternoon turned out to be sunny and warm and I was glad that I had decided to go ahead.
All 21 people who had planned to come arrived and we met and had scones and coffee while the teams of 3 were sorted according to the handicaps.
The format was Team of Three, Low, Middle and High Handicap playing together. Each person had to contribute a minimum of Three Drives and then the team all played out from there, choosing the best second shot etc until finally holing out.
The scoring was very close and 0.3 of a shot separated 1st and 2nd placed teams: Mary Healy, Bridie O’Brien and Joe Lane just shading it over Marie Power, Kathleen Long and Paschal McSwiney.
Thanks to the generosity of the RTAI and Club Professional Fred Twomey every team received a prize, a token and memento of their day in Muskerry. The feedback was very positive and I think it was a very worthwhile exercise which I hope will become a feature of the RTAI Calendar.

 

And at the 19th…

(Thanks to Bridie O’Brien for the photographs).

Flower Festival not to be missed!

Mary O’Brien (Cobh), Cork RTAI, is national chairperson of AOIFA (Association of Irish Floral Artists). During her tenure as chairperson she is staging a Flower Festival in St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh from 27th to 29th September. The festival entitled “Splendour in Flowers and Stone” will feature exhibits both decorative and interpretative in nature by flower arrangers from all over Ireland.

The festival will be open to the public on Saturday 28th Sept from 11am to 5pm and on Sunday from 1pm to 4.30pm. The festival will open with a preview at which Mr. Adrian Gebruers, cathedral organist and carillonneur, will play the recently restored Telford organ.

The proceeds of the festival will go to Pieta House.

This amazing spectacle of flowers is not to be missed.

aoifa-a5-flyer-proof(1)

 

 

Darragh Loop Walk

When our hillwalk leaders plan a hike, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work to be done beforehand. An early ‘recce’ walk through the terrain, followed by possibly two more, closer to the date to make sure the path is still clear and safe, are just the more obvious preparations. A thorough knowledge of the terrain is often called for, especially when unforeseeable events occur (more of which anon).

Then there is the equally important question of “Where will we have lunch?

Máiréad and Nora hit the spot for that question! Shortly before 10 a.m. we assembled at the Thatch and Thyme in Kildorrery, for the customary cupán tae, and the all-important Rolla . Further evidence of forward planning….- we were invited to order our lunch before we set off. The thoughts of the feast that awaited at the Thatch and Thyme certainly quickened the step of this hiker!

A short drive later, we were at the trail head and up we climbed towards the summit at Castlegale. All that is left of this edifice is a pile of stones and a 360° vista of the surrounding counties: Cork, Limerick and Tipperary. Somebody once left a tin of biscuits with a notebook and pen here, with the invitation to all who passed this way to help themselves, and sign the book. The biscuits are long gone (although it is said that kindly souls who regularly pass have been known to replenish the supply) however, the RTAI signature is now recorded for posterity.

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A short stop, not conducive to delay, as the exposed position forced us to hang on to our hats!

Descending form here, we found ourselves on a sheltered path beside quiet woodland, and then crossing some pasture, where we spotted the most underwhelmingly named “Common spotted orchid”. What a beautiful flower!

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Having descended, the inevitable climb back up loomed ahead. However our work was rewarded with great views and our sos beag.

Downhill all the way now, and thoughts of the Thatch and Thyme spurred us on. All well, until we met the lads from Coillte felling trees across our path! A timely juncture for a song! Our “Trusty Troubadour” led us in the singing of “Cill Cais”.

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And so to Plan B. Máiréad and Nora had no trouble in finding an alternative path through the pine trees, and our feet were indeed glad of the soft carpet of dry pine needles underfoot.

All paths now led to Darragh, and as soon as we reached the car pool we turned towards Kildorrery, where lunch was served al fresco on the well-appointed terrace of the Thatch and Thyme.

Gura míle maith agaibh, a Mháiréid agus Nora as an siúlóid iontach!