25 October 2001 Edition

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Tar Isteach Bog Trotters reach new heights

On Sunday 21 October, 16 walkers set off from Dublin for a trek to the top of Lugnaquilla, the highest mountain in the Wicklow range at 925 metres (3,330 feet). The walkers lucked out with a beautiful, sunny day with cool breezes from the northwest. s

Prior to staring the walk, the group took time to visit the cottage in which Michael Dwyer, Sam McAllister and their fellow rebels took refuge on a snowy night in February 1799. The cottage is in now in the good care of the Hoxey family. The Hoxeys were mainly responsible for the restoration work on the cottage from the 1940s before the State stepped in to lend its assistance. The Hoxeys were quite generous in allowing the group time to wander around the cottage and great thanks is owed to them for their efforts in maintaining this important link to our history.

From the Dwyer cottage, the group made its way to Fenton's Pub, from where they set out to conquer Lugnaquilla. To the summit via Camarahill took three hours, with plenty of rest stops and a lunch break prior to the steepest and final ascent. The group got caught briefly in the fog and the need for having a member trained in mountain navigation skills was never more apparent. Fortunately for the group, our fearless leader, Gay Clery, led us out of the fog, where we were treated to magnificent views of the Wicklow range from above the fog and clouds.

Joining the Bog Trotters were honeymooners from the United States Faron and Kathy McGraw of New Orleans, Louisiana, who were treated to prison and escape stories from some of the ex-POWs on the walk.

The decent, via Fraughan Rock Glen, took another three hours, with delays on very steep and rocky ground but the group was up to the task. Traversing two fast moving streams, some of the Bog Trotters got a good soaking but finished the walk intact if exhausted. In the final few paces we passed a hostel that was originally a home to Kathleen Lynn, Surgeon General for the Citizen Army in 1916. Dr. Lynn donated the building to An Ă“ige and it is now used as a hostel and tourist centre for walkers.

The total distance of Sunday's walk was 14km and took 6 hours to complete. Tired but well satisfied in their accomplishments, the Tar Isteach Bog Trotters are looking forward to the next outing on Sunday 4 November, in support of the Colombia Three, a walk which will be easy in comparison. Anyone interested in joining the Tar Isteach Bog Trotters should contact Gay Clery or Kieran Clifford at Tar Isteach, (01) 8749990.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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