Rambling the Seven Heads



On 21st April the Ramblers took to the Seven Heads in iarthar Chorcaí. Here’s a report submitted by Seán Ó Callanáin. Míle buíochas le Seán as an tuairisc, agus le Joe Carroll as na griangrafanna.

A well earned lón beag!


Some ramblers’ walks can have a long planning gestation. Naomh Molaga in the seventh century picked our point of assembly at the site of his monastery in Timoleague.
Keeping with the monastic theme, we adjourned at once under the leadership of Dónal Wooley to “Monks Lane”!!! From there “the wheels of the bus went round and round” until we reached Butlerstown,  where our walking began.

Hearing of how the local children in 1914, had seen the Lusitania sink from the schoolyard, ensured Dónal had our rapt attention from the off. One by one we ticked off the seven headlands, crossing fields newly clad in spring grass, while a short sos on one of the several deserted beaches pointed our minds to summer.


With 37 walkers, we made a happy throng, ambushing the occasional solitary walker who crossed our path. As Ramblers, we were conflicted between enjoying the views and a self-inflicted “threat” that our lunch venue might be shut if we tarried!

There’s a better lunch to come

At Courtmacsherry (with the weather holding dry), the wonderful amenity walk along the old railway line to Tigh Molaga  was taken at a fair clip. Going monastic yet again, we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at “Monks Lane”, a pub and grub spot worthy of many stars.
Ár mbuíochas d’aon, Clare agus Dónal agus don RTAI.

At the Monk’s table!

Tuile ‘snaps’ thíos.

Buíochas le Elizabeth O’ Connell as na griangrafanna seo.

Feelin’ Groovy?

2015-01-22 13.43.59
59th St Bridge Song

The Isaac’s meal and Simon and Garfunkel show are now fully booked. A waiting list will operate. Please check back on your text messages, to get the contact number for Mags McCarthy.

The meal is booked with Isaacs, we should arrive at 5.45 for 6p.m. A 2-course meal with tea or coffee will cost €20.

The Everyman show starts at 8p.m. The price for this show is also €20.

Please bring cash on the evening.

Both events are subsidised by RTAI Cork.


Events for May 2016

Here are the planned activities for May 2016:

May 4th (Wednesday )

Ramblers: Dolman Loop walk

May 6th (Friday)

Social Coffee  Morning. Clayton Silversprings Hotel. 11 a.m.

 May 12th (Thursday)

Amblers Walk Murphy’s Farm, Bishopstown. This is an easy linear walk. Meet at The Model Farm (formerly Tennis Village) 11 a.m.

May 18th (Wednesday) 

Talk by Shane Lehane, Department of Folklore and Ethnology, UCC.

Moulded by our Past; Archaeology, Folklore and History. Oriel House 11 a.m.

May 21st & 22nd

Bishopstown Hill Walking Festival Click here

May 23rd (Monday)

Dinner and Show Earlybird at Isaac’s Restaurant, followed by The Simon and Garfunkel Story, 50th Anniversary Show, at the Everyman Theatre 8p.m. €40 total.

Numbers limited, filling up fast! See text sent 21st April.

Information about the Simon & Garfunkel Story

May 25th (Wednesday)

Ramblers – Nire Valley and Coumdoola Loop

The Committee is looking at summer events, for June, July and August. Further details will be posted on the blog and notified by text message when they are finalised.

Don’t forget! Contact us at rtaicorkblog@gmail.com

There’s more to Blarney than just a Castle

On 14th April 2016 a group of Amblers assembled in Blarney Castle Gardens for a very relaxing and extremely informative guided walk of the grounds. Many people admitted that they hadn’t been inside the gates in decades! As the Teddy Bears’ Picnic song goes: they were sure of a big surprise!

Just inside the gate- a beautiful cherry tree. A sign of delights to come.

Group under cherry tree
Assembled Amblers under the Cherry Tree

This walk was organised by Máiréad Twomey, who arranged for Horticulturist Alan and his assistant Rory to guide us around the gardens. It was very interesting to hear about how certain areas have been reclaimed from the overgrowth and returned to a thriving native woodland. There are about 12 Horticulturists, as well as ground staff and volunteers who  work in the grounds.

The park has all the native species of animals and a wide variety of native birds too.

Blarney ducks
Diving ducks

There are 5 km of walking trails throughout the park, and certain areas are dedicated to particular plant types, e.g the Fern Garden, Belgian Beds (azaleas), Himalayan Walk (eastern plants) and the intriguingly named Poison Garden which contains many plants which are of medicinal value.

blarney fern group
Fern Garden path
Blarney fern steps
Fern Garden steps
Fern Garden Waterfall

As well as the horticultural aspect, we visited areas of the garden that were developed in the 19th Century, such as the Rock Close, the Wishing Steps and the Witches’ Kitchen. And then there was the interesting tale of the Seven Sisters and their two fallen brothers, now commemorated by a stone circle.

Witches' kitchen
At the Witches’ Kitchen
By the Wishing Steps
Ambling along

All agreed that it was a most interesting guided tour, and many people were surprised to discover the beautiful gardens they never knew existed beyond the castle!

Magnificent Magnolia

The azaleas and rhododendrons will be in bloom at the end of April and into May. It would definitely be worth a visit to see the spectacular colours throughout the garden then.

Just click for more information about the Blarney Castle Gardens

After our walk we retired to the Mill restaurant for refreshments, and a long chat!


Cinema Visit and Early Bird Meal

Claude Monet, Water Lilies (Agapanthus), 1915-26

On Tuesday 12th April a group gathered in Curran’s Restaurant, Adelaide St, for a delicious Early Bird meal, before heading across to the Gate Cinema for the Exhibition On Screen.

There were 14 people at the meal, and another 6 attended the cinema only. It was a lovely opportunity to meet like-minded RTAI members, to compare notes and share anecdotes and news!

The screening of Monet to Matisse; Painting the Modern Garden was well attended, and we were lucky to get good seats. The film was educational as well as entertaining. We learned about how the artists designed and planted their gardens with colour combinations in mind. While we already knew a bit about Giverney and Argenteuil, it was interesting to hear about the trend in the 19th Century for the Wild Garden, and to contrast this with Max Liebermann’s Villa garden at Lake Wannsee in Germany, which was planted in a much more formal layout. Liebermann however, also painted in the Impressionist style. These were exciting times in horticulture, with many new plants being developed and also being imported from overseas.

Perhaps an advantage to attending the screening, rather than the exhibition, was the insight we gained into how an exhibition is curated. As well as that of course, we learned so much about the Impressionist period and the lives of the artists featured in the exhibition.

Monet painting in his garden at Argenteuil - Renoir Pierre-Auguste

As well as this well-known Renoir painting of Monet in his garden, we saw the scene that Monet was actually painting, which gave us a 180° view of the neighborhood.

Mhuscail an scannán fonn ionainn dul go Londain chun an teaspáinteas a fheiceáil! 


Lifelong Learning Festival 11th – 17th April 2016

Such a wonderful 8 days ahead!

No excuses for not trying something new this week with the Cork Lifelong Learning  Festival happening throughout Cork City, with fringe events in Midleton, Clonakilty, Cobh, Skibbereen, Beara, Mallow, Carrigaline and Ballincollig.

Activities are too  numerous to mention! Music, dance, crafts, languages, travel, computers, art, history, lichens, DNA, karate, volunteering, photography, psychology, the Alexander Technique, kurling, writing. … Have a look at the website here or  check with your local library for more details of events in your area.