October Bank Holiday Monday 26th 2015 sees the staging of the popular (17km linear walk) on the MacGiollaPhadraig Way (Fitzpatrick Way) from Gathabawn Co. Kilkenny to Durrow Co. Laois. The name MacGiollaPhadraig [Irish for Fitzpatrick] is strongly associated with this particular area as nearby Cullahill Castle built in 1425 was the stronghold and residance of Brian MacGiollapdraig first Lord Baron of upper Ossary. To this day many of the MacGiollapadraig clan still reside along this delightfull walking route.
This estimated 3.5 to 4hour cross country walk brings you on sections of public road, forestry road, private lane and farmland. Starting from Mackeys Bar at 12.00noon the walk takes you out the Cullahill Mountain Road leaving Coolcashin Graveyard on your right. Following the direction signs you turn right into Ballygowney Lane from where you take a left over the walking stile to enter private farmland and the beautiful Ballygowney valley as you make your way to Cullahill Mountain where intended walkers can join at the trail head. This particular location boasts spectacular views leading to the Commeragh, Galtee, Slieve Bloom and Blackstairs Mountains also at this point a monument bush stands to commemorate the spot whare ledgend has it Cormac MacGiollapadraig was slain by Cromwells men.This area also holds memories of another time with many old derelict dwellings dotted throughout. RTE”s John Murray accompanied by Nationwide and over 2,000 followers held one of his popular walks here on Cullahill Mountain on Sunday 14th April 2013.
As you leave Cullahill Mountain you will encounter a steady downhill section thet offers beautiful scenery leading you to the forestry road at Ballykealy
You are now on the concluding stages of the walk as you pass along the Ballagh Hill before re-entering the public road where a steep downhill section brings you to the picturesque village of Durrow.
Registration @ 11.30am. 5euro which includes you in the October raffle.
Bus available throughout the day to assist walkers.
At the conclusion of the walk refreshments will be served in Dec’s Bar Durrow. This is an outstanding opportunity for all walkers and walking groups to come along and enjoy what South Laois and North Kilkenny has to offer. Further information is available from Vincent O’Sullivan (087) 4168549 or Michael G.Phelan (087) 2395357
Tip: Directions from Portlaoise on Google Maps.
Map – Meeting Point in Durrow… (GPS: 52.84294, -7.39317) with Join-In Point near Cullohill… (GPS: 52.79391, -7.47926)