Active Agers “Shut up and Dance”

Although the forecast was not looking good, 26 eager Active Agers joined us in Ogonelloe last Thursday for our monthly Guided Walk. Surprisingly we experienced only warm and sunny weather throughout the walk and it was so enjoyable to be out.

We started at the Ogonnelloe Hall/Exchange, which is the recently renovated Ballybran School on the main road between Scariff and Killaloe. The building and the facilities are absolutely fantastic and there is huge credit due to the committee and the community who made this happen. There is a fab Community Cafe open here every Saturday from 11am, so if you are passing make sure to pop in for a cuppa.

Before we headed off walking, we did a quick warm up to the song “Shut up and Dance”. We organised this in conjunction with Today FM’s Dare to Care/Be a Dancer for Cancer campaign and all donations from the day will be going to the Irish Cancer Society. We are delighted to have raised €178 on the day! Thanks and well done to everyone who donated. Thanks to Concepta for leading the warm-up.

Although this was a moderate walk of approx. 8km with one or two steep climbs, it was well worth it! We passed through forestry paths parallel to the lake and had to stop to admire the blanket of bluebells. We had fantastic views of Lough Derg to Holy Island,  Mountshannon and to Tipperary on the far shore and Ballyloughnane on the Clare side, and the unexpected beautiful weather greatly added to this.

Thanks to Antoinette for the great photo (above).

On our return to Ogonnelloe Hall/Exchange, we had a well deserved cuppa, scones and biscuits (but nobody was counting calories….)

If you missed this walk, or you would like to walk it again, check out the route details here (Don’t forget to click on the walker at the top)

Our next walk will take place on Thursday 30th May at 11am – see details here!

We hope to see you then!

What a day to hit the trails…….Active Agers head to Tiermaclane!

What a beautiful day it was to hit the trails on our third Guided walk for Active Agers this year.

On Thursday last, 40 eager Active Agers gathered in Tiermaclane (just outside Ennis) to head off on a 7.5 guided looped walk passing Cragbrien, Ballyea and returning to Tiermaclane.
We had a few inclines on the walk but as one walker said “What goes up, must come down” so it wasn’t too challenging for us!
The walk was on quiet local roads passing forestry and a stunning waterfall and we were accompanied by beautiful birdsong all the way. 

Shortly before we reached the finish point, we passed the impressive ruins of the old Woulfe Estate, which has been unoccupied since the 1870’s.

Thanks to one of our new walkers, Nathalie Lauze, for sharing some of her photos.

Making our way back to Carrig’s Costcutter in Tiermaclane, we treated ourselves to tea/coffee and an array of fresh pastries and some of us even sat outside soaking up the sunshine – a real novelty for this time of year!

If you missed this walk, or you would like to walk it again, check out the route details here (Don’t forget to click on the walker at the top)

Our next walk will take place on Thursday 25th April at 11am – see details here.
We hope to see you then!

Sampling the delights of Mountshannon

42 eager walkers headed off from Mountshannon Harbour last Thursday for our second Active Agers walks of 2019 for a 7km looped walk following quiet roads. There were a few hills at the start but the views over Mountshannon, Holy Island and Lough Derg on the way back were worth the climb!

We luckily arrived back to Mountshannon just before the first rain shower of the day.

The newly opened Seasons Restaurant was a welcome stop for hot drinks, home baking and home-made soup. Thanks to Geraldine for welcoming us in to her beautifully decorated restaurant and we wish her the very best for the future.

If you missed this walk, or you would like to walk it again, check out the route details here (Don’t forget to click on the walker at the top)

Our next walk will take place on Thursday 28th March at 11am – see details here. We hope to see you then!

 

Great weather for the first Active Age walk of 2019

We couldn’t have asked for better weather on Thursday last when 45 eager walkers joined us for the first Active Agers walk of 2019.

We left Newmarket-on-Fergus, walked through the town towards Kilnasoolagh and then headed for the remains of the late Bronze Age Hillfort at Mooghaun. From here we continued on our 7km loop back to Newmarket-on-Fergus, where we stopped in the Weavers Inn for a welcome cup of tea and a delicious (but not so healthy) snack.

For anyone who missed this walk, or anyone who fancies doing it again, please see map of the route here.

Don’t forget to join us for our next walk on Thursday 28th February at 11am in Mountshannon. Hope to see you then!

 

Guided Heritage Walk & Mince pies go down a treat!

It looked like it was going to be a wet day, but despite that, 18 eager walkers turned up last Thursday for our 5km Guided Heritage Walk for Active Agers in Tulla, and we actually managed to stay relatively dry!

The walk was guided by Jane Halloran, an accomplished Genealogist and Local Historian, who provided some fascinating information on some of the historical residences and some stories from the townlands we walked through, including Cragg House, Cloondorney More, Cloondroney Lake, Annagh and the Bog Road.

Thanks to Jane for sharing her wealth of knowledge with us.

As always, we finished off the day with a welcome cup of tea, some scones and gorgeous home-made Mince pies which were made especially by one of our walkers Mary Carmel. Whatever calories were burnt off during the walk were certainly put back on by the time we had finished our mini-feast.

We would like to say a big thanks also to Mike Hoey and the Tulla United Soccer Club for the use of their club house on the day. All were in agreement that this was a fantastic facility and great credit is due to the committee/club for their dedication to providing such a great facility here in Tulla.

We will probably take a break for Christmas now but we will be back walking again at the end of January 2019 so get ready to come along and walk off the extra Christmas pounds………..

This Guided Heritage Walk was kindly supported by

A beautiful Autumnal morning in Mooghaun

26 of our Active Age group, along with some new members, joined us in Quin last Thursday for an 11km guided looped walk. Yet again, we had beautiful weather – a clear, crisp morning with the most fantastic autumnal colours.

This walk started at Quin Community Centre and up to Mooghaun Hillfort, which was built at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age around 950 BC. The largest and most spectacular hoard of prehistoric gold in Western Europe was found at Mooghaun Lough 1km north of the hillfort. This demonstrates the enormous power and authority of the hillforts occupants. The Mooghaun gold hoard is now on display in the National Museum of Ireland Dublin – Source: Discover Ireland.

Thanks to Brendan Cooney for providing some great history on the old Dromoland Estate, Mooghaun Hillfort and the Mooghaun gold hoard as we passed by the site where this was found.

After a quick break to admire the scenery in Mooghaun, we started on the 5km walk back to Quin Community Hall where we had some very welcome tea/coffee and scones waiting for us.

Our next Active Agers walk will take place at the end of November in Tulla – details will be confirmed soon!

Kindly supported by: 

 

 

Local history, beautiful scenery, tea and scones; oh and some walking aswell!

We were joined by 25 walkers for another fabulous walk in Whitegate yesterday as part of our Active Age monthly guided walks. We couldn’t have asked for better weather for this 7.5km loop which started at the Half Barrel Bar & Restaurant and took us along quiet roads where we were surrounded by scenery and history.

Local man Tom Holland joined our walk and provided the most fantastic historical knowledge on the route, including;

Williamstown Quay, where, during the Famine many Irish people started out their journey to a new life (and in more recent history, where local men rowed their boats across the water to the dances in Dromineer, Co. Tipperary for a drink and a dance); The maids quarters at the back of the former Williamstown House, where Michael Egan, Brud McMahon, Alfie Rogers and Martin Gildea – the Scariff Martyrs – were captured in November 1920, taken by steamer to Killaloe and shot on the bridge by a force of Auxiliaries.

We also stopped and took time to admire a fairly well preserved Lime Kiln and the beautiful and peaceful Dromaan Harbour.

Returning to Whitegate, we were delighted to take the opportunity to sit and indulge in fresh baked scones and as much tea & coffee as we could drink (all for just €3.50) in the Half Barrel and we would like to say a huge thanks to the management and staff here for facilitating us.

The next Active Agers walk is scheduled for Thursday 25th October at 11am – it will be hard to match the Whitegate walk so we are still trying to decide on  the route for this but we will keep you posted.

 

Active Agers head to Connolly

The sun shone down on Connolly last Thursday as our Active Agers descended on the village to walk the newly developed Cloontabonniv Bog.

The walk started at Carney’s Pub, just outside the village. We would like to say a huge thanks to Julie who opened up especially for us and who provided very welcome cups of tea and coffee and sweet treats on our return.

We were joined on the walk by a large number of committee members from Connolly who have been, and are still, involved in the development of this bog walk to make it an accessible amenity and also to preserve it for future generations. It has certainly been a labour of love for this group over the last number of years.  The stories we heard on route, from people who came to this bog as children, to the history of the bog and the families who worked it, made the morning all the more enjoyable for the walkers. A neighbour on the route even picked plums from the tree in his garden for us, and they were possibly the sweetest I have ever tasted.

With stunning views of Mount Callan, surrounded by forestry, with streams running down the side of the road, we crossed over the start of the Inagh River and a even had a quick stop to watch a baby frog crossing the road – this was certainly a walk in nature. We all agreed that it was a very enjoyable walk.

Well done to all involved in the Cloontabonniv Bog.

 

Great turn out for Tulla Famine Walk (& we didn’t get wet!!!)

Over 60 people joined us in Tulla on Thursday evening last for the Tulla Famine Week. This guided historical walk was jointly organised by Tulla Reaching Out and Clare Walks Ltd. to celebrate Heritage Week 2018. Jane Halloran, Dalcassian Origins, provided the historical information for this Famine Walk.

The walk started outside Tulla Library and provided information on the people and buildings associated with the Great Famine 1845 – 1849 in Tulla.

We heard of Fr. Patrick Sheehy, the Parish Priest of Tulla during the Famine and his Church of Ireland counterpart, Rev. Richard Brew who joined forces and seemed to put aside their religious differences to try and ease the suffering of the people of Tulla.

The route took us passed the site of the former Coffin House on Main Street, where coffins for those who died during and after the Famine were made;    The Soup (or Souper) School, a small Church of Ireland school which at its height, had about 160 Church of Ireland and Catholic pupils in 1846 & 1847.  During the Famine, many children attended the school as by doing so, they were also entitled to a free meal; Tulla Courthouse, which was erected in 1838 and was the main judicial building for the Tulla district for almost 163 years.  During the Famine, cases were heard for those accused of stealing.    However, the Courthouse was also used for the meetings for the Tulla Poor Relief Committee; Tulla Bridewell or Gaol (now Minogue’s Bar) throughout the 1800’s was the building where prisoners were often kept overnight to appear in court the following day and also prisoners who were due to be transported to a new country as punishment for their crime would have been held here overnight.

The final part of the walk brought the group down to the  entrance gates of the former Tulla Workhouse. The Workhouse was completed on 22 February 1850 and started to take in the impoverished people of the area  in 1852. Within several months of opening, it was overcrowded.  These conditions continued to persist for several years. The high stone walls and galvanised gates guard the spot where the workhouse once stood – only one small pillar marking a former entrance and a very eerie tree remain inside the gate today.

On our return to Tulla we were treated to a welcome rest in Minogue’s and an even more welcome cup of tea and biscuits.We would like to thank Minogue’s bar for making their facilities available.

Again, we would like to say a huge thank you to all who joined the Tulla Famine Walk and we are already looking at ideas for future historic walks on the East Clare and the Mid Clare Way walking routes, so make sure to keep an eye on this website or follow us on Facebook.