Network Supports Cross Border Walking Clubs

16 September 2010 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Michael Cronin

Members from four rambling clubs in the Monaghan/ Armagh border region, climbed the cliffs at Slieve League, Donegal, last Saturday.
Paddy Sherry from Knockatallon Ramblers expertly guided the party and the trip was supported by County Monaghan Community Network under the ‘Communities Sharing Project’. This cooperation amongst these groups was fostered at a Network walk held around Mullyash mountain in June. County Monaghan Community Network is funded by the International Fund for Ireland and County Monaghan PEACE III Partnership.
Walkers from Armagh, Clogher Valley, Derrynoose and Knockatallon Ramblers set off by coach from Monaghan at 9am and arrived at Ti Linn, a unique Coffee shop and Craft Gallery at around noon. After a short break, shuttle buses ferried walkers to the car park at the foot of the unique sea cliffs at Slieve League.
The spectacular view from the car park gave a taste of the walk to come. Slieve League at 601 metres, has Ireland’s second highest sea cliffs, after Croaghaun on Achill Island, and are Europe’s sixth-highest. Slieve League reaches almost three times higher than the more well-known Cliffs of Moher, in County Clare.
The gentle incline soon changes as the terrain becomes more rugged. The walkers split into two groups approaching the final ascent with one group opting to take a longer, more circuitous route while others continued up towards the more challenging One Man’s Pass. This narrow arête leading to the summit is not for those without a head for heights, especially on a windy day. The two groups were successfully reunited at a pre-arranged meeting point – one of the many stone Cairns that dots the landscape.
Slieve League is noted for its spectacular array of cliffs descending straight from the summit to the sea. Light rain and mist was blowing in off the Atlantic when the walkers neared the top. There were views of the starting point at Bunglass and Donegal Bay and Sligo from the high vantage point. The group stopped near the top for lunch where the full majesty of the cliffs came into view. The sheer drop from the fairly flat cliff edge down to the Atlantic was breathtaking. The vista constantly changed as the mist rolled in off the cliffs.
The group descended the far side of the cliffs, which lead back to Ti Linn where the coach was parked. The party were welcomed at the Bay View Hotel in Killybegs with a delicious three-course dinner. The dinner was an opportunity to get to know other ramblers from the border clubs. After dinner, a few words by speakers from the respective four clubs were warmly received. Paddy Sherry gave an overview of the Co. Monaghan Community Network’s “Communities Sharing Project”. This Project involves communities from Counties Armagh and Monaghan, with it’s main objective to explore, accept and respect the differences between the communities involved, with the ultimate aim of ‘celebrating’ this difference.
The party thanked Paddy Sherry for his time and effort in organising and leading the trip to Donegal. A speaker from Derrynoose warmly invited all walkers to attend a walk in their area next Sunday. A special thanks was given to James from Collins Coaches who was the driver for the day.

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