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.

 

With thanks to Elizabeth O’Connell for the photographs.

Lough Hyne and Cape Clear

 

“I know a lake where the cool waves break,

And softly fall on the silver sand –

And no steps intrude on that solitude

And no voice, save mine, disturbs the strand”

 Such is the description given by Fitzjames O’Brien of the beautiful Lough Hyne which was the first port of call for the RTAI group, who enjoyed a wonderful two days of walking and talking in stunning West Cork.  While the weather was inclement on the 7th of May for our first walk, it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm or enjoyment of anyone.  This was a looped walk which headed from Lough Hyne to Barlogue Beach and back again and took 1.5 hours.    For those who stayed overnight in Baltimore, a wonderful meal was had in The Waterfront Bar with all looking forward to our trip to Cape Clear on the Wednesday.

Fortunately, the weather proved friendly as 38 explorers headed out of Baltimore Harbour to one of Carbery’s  100 isles.  We were greeted by Diarmuid O Drisceoil who lead the group on an historical guided tour of the island which lasted for 4 hours.  History is often described as the extraordinary stories of ordinary people;  this perfectly described the tour given by Diarmuid as he took us through the history of the island as lived by ordinary people especially members of his own family who originated from the island.

On leaving Cape Clear and heading back into Baltimore Harbour, all were agreed that the trip was most enjoyable and informative and that the arrangements made by Clare Shelley facilitated a wonderful few days.

Thanks to Seán McCarthy for this recount of a wonderful visit to Lough Hyne and Cape Clear.  Thanks to all who sent photos of the trip. 

Féilire Bealtaine

Seo thíos na gníomhaí atá beartaithe ag RTAI Chorcaí do mhí Bealtaine:

  • Wednesday. 1st. Camera group outing to Ballyannon Woods.
  • Friday. 3rd. Social Coffee Morning. Clayton Silversprings Hotel. 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday & Wednesday. 7th & 8th. Hillwalking. Lough Ine and Cape Clear.
  • Sunday to Wednesday. 12th – 15th. Trip to Tralee.
  • Thursday. 16th. Amble. Lissarda.
  • Thursday. 30th. Camera Group meeting.

Visit to Camden Fort Meagher

On Tuesday, 11th September 2018, forty four RTAI members & friends enjoyed a thoroughly memorable visit to Camden Fort Meagher.

The fort is situated on 45 acres, 65% of which is underground.  Camden Fort Meagher was occupied by British Forces until 11/7/1938 when it was handed over to the Irish Defence Forces. In 1989 it was handed over to Cork County Council and for over 2 decades it remained closed and fell into disrepair.  Members of Crosshaven community formed a “Rescue Camden” group and, as a result of trojan work, the fort opened to the public in September 2010.  Extensive restoration works are ongoing.

As we experienced for ourselves, Camden Fort Meagher’s location is spectacular.  Situated at the mouth of Cork Harbour it overlooks, for example, Roches Point Lighthouse, Fort Carlisle/Davis, Spike Island and Fort Mitchel, Whitegate Oil Refinery, the Great Island of Cobh and St. Coleman’s Cathedral.  

Some of the highlights of our visit included:

The magazine, with vaulted ceiling, which stored munitions and gunpowderIMG_0148 (Medium)

The hand-cut granite spiral stairway which offered soldiers rapid access to the adjacent magazine2018-09-15 13.19.12

The majestic Monterey Cypress planted by British soldiers prior to their departure to fight in the Crimean War (1853)

IMG_0163 (Medium)

The exhibition rooms, packed with memorabilia and information

 

 

 

 

The knowledge and enthusiasm of our four amazing guides/volunteers which was truly inspiring.

 

 

 

We retreated to the tea rooms where we were treated royally.  To cap it all, the sun shone and we enjoyed tea/coffee and dessert on the outdoor decking while enjoying panoramic views of Cork Harbour.

 

 

 

What a day!

Míle buíochas to the RTAI for subsidising the day’s outing. Thanks to James Doolan and Elizabeth O’Connell for the selection of photos. And special thanks to Seán McCarthy for his help on the day.   P.C.

Meán Fómhair 2018

Cuirimid fáilte roimh na baill nua, agus fáilte ar ais roimh ár gcairde go léir ag an tráth seo den bhliain. Seo hiad na himeachtaí a bheidh againn i mí Mheán Fómhair:

4th & 5th Tues/Wed, Amble and Hillwalk in Glenbeigh.

4th Tues, Drama group resumes.

6th Thurs, Camera group planning meeting. SMA, 2 p.m.

7th Fri, Coffee morning, Clayton Silversprings Hotel, 11 a.m.

10th Mon, Choir practice resumes.t

 11th Tues, Guided tour of Fort Camden, 11 a.m.

12th Wed, Camera group outing to Ballycotton.

13th Thurs, Amble in Castlemartyr Woods. 11.30 a.m.

21st Friday, Line dancing resumes.

27th Thurs, Camera group meeting, SMA, 2 p.m.

For more information on any of the ongoing activities; choir, drama, photography, please ask any committee member, or email rtaicorkblog@gmail.com.

To have your name added to the email list for notifications of hillwalking, please email rtaicorkblog@gmail.com

Notification of coffee mornings and individual events will be sent by text message. If you wish to amend your preferences for text messages please contact any committee member, or email rtaicorkblog@gmail.com