Mount Hillary Hill walk February 13th, 2020.

The February Hill walk of the RTAI took place at Mt. Hillary in Banteer North Cork, and twenty nine hearty souls participated. Mt Hillary is known locally as ‘Cnoc an Iolar’, the Hill of the Eagle, although there have been no sightings of the golden eagle here in the last century. Mt. Hillary is part of the Boggeragh Mountains which lie between the River Lee and the Blackwater.

As there is limited parking at the trailhead most walkers met at The Wild Goose Restaurant between Dromahane and Mallow and carpooled from there.

The walk was ably led by Norah Farrissey. We set off from the carpark at the entrance to forestry in Knightfield on the northern slopes of Mt. Hillary at about 11.15 am and we followed the red arrows. This looped walk ascends gently through forestry roads and woodland trails. Swathes of spruce, pine and fir trees surrounded us as well as open ground with gorse and boggy terrain. We frequently had to pick our way around watery pools deposited by the rains of the night before in particular. Indeed, we were blessed with the mostly dry day and occasional glimpses of sunshine.

The summit is 391m or 1,283 ft high. We picnicked, finding slabs of concrete here and there to rest on, among the four telecommunications masts at the top. Oh, the peace and the freedom of it all to be out in the wide open spaces enjoying spectacular views over the surrounding countryside. In the plains below us the River Blackwater could be seen meandering its way through Duhallow. Farther away we glimpsed the mountains of Kerry, Tipperary and Limerick. Ancient and mystic names like the Mullaghareirk, Galtee and Derrynasaggart as well as the hills and countryside of Ballyhoura.

After a short rest we began our descent enjoying good company in the peace of the countryside. We reached the car park at around half past two and then set off for a spot of lunch at the Wild Goose, famished after the 10k hike.

Thanks to Kathleen Flynn for the report

Visit to Collins Barracks Museum

On Friday January 10th 40 Cork RTAI members met in Collins Barrack’s Museum Cork for a guided tour.
What a hidden gem of a museum and even more so its curator Sge Denis McGarry. It charts the history of the Irish Defence Forces  from their inception in 1922 to the present day.
But it’s the context in which this sits and the establishment of the Barracks, then Victoria Barracks in the 1800s, the role of Michael Collins, Tomás Kent, Éamonn DeValera, Cumann na mBan et al that made this visit such a valuable learning experience. Artefacts, letters, original photos, uniforms and weaponry are clearly displayed and ably explained by Sge McGarry in a factually accurate, nonpartisan way.
The 1 1/2 hour visit passed so quickly and we were coincidentally overlooking the main Barracks square (largest in Europe) when the Irish flag lowering ceremony took place.
Many expressed an interest in a return visit.
Opening hours: Tues-Thurs 10.00-13.00, Fri 10.00-13.00 and 14.00-15.30. Adm free, just ring the door bell.

Christmas Lunch at Hayfield

The annual Christmas Lunch was held at Hayfield Manor on December 13th. The choir entertained us in spectacular style on the beautiful staircase in the hotel lobby while all present enjoyed a seasonal glass of mulled wine. This was followed by a very tasty lunch in The Orchids Restaurant. All present enjoyed the festive mood and ambience.

Charity Coffee Morning 2019

The annual Charity Coffee Morning was held on December 6th in the Clayton/Silversprings Hotel. The event was very well supported by  members who donated generous gifts. The raffle created a great buzz. Indeed there was something for almost  “everyone in the audience” as they say. A total of €1,810 was raised and this year the chosen charities were Marymount Hospice and Focus Ireland. The amount was topped up from RTAI funds so each organisation received €1,000. Great credit is due to Pádraig O Conaill for his superb organisation of this event.