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What is it about walking?

Sep 23, 2015 | Comments Off on What is it about walking?

Concord, Massachusetts, the birth place of Henry David Thoreau, is a very civilised place these days. When I travelled there from Boston, I had to go to the nearby Walden Pond, the place Thoreau made famous and where he lived the simple life in a cabin for two years. His essay, Walking (1862), is one of…

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Brendan Behan, Mayo Football and Jones’ Road

Sep 7, 2015 | Comments Off on Brendan Behan, Mayo Football and Jones’ Road

Some weeks ago, before the most recent heartbreak for the Mayo football team, I reminisced on Jones’ Road, Drumcondra. As I crossed Binn’s Bridge, Brendan Behan was leaning towards me on the metal bench, seemingly watching my every movement. But it was the blackbird perched beside him on the Royal Canal seat that engaged his…

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Saving Summer

Sep 3, 2013 | Comments Off on Saving Summer

Saving Summer I always linger when I reach Querrin crossroads in west Clare to look down on the waters of the Shannon Estuary. It is just a few minutes to the pier from where I can gaze across to Scattery Island and its sturdy round tower. In August, the road between crossroads and pier is…

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Loop Head: My Half Dozen List

May 28, 2013 |

Great to see Loop Head coming out tops in the Irish Times best place to holiday in Ireland competition. I have been visiting there for over a decade and it has grown on me year after year. Just last week I walked at the water’s edge around the light house to the sound of the…

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Guided Around The Great Western Greenway

Feb 14, 2013 | Comments Off on Guided Around The Great Western Greenway

Iris Galloway, in her guide to the The Great Western Greenway – ‘the longest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland’ – expresses the hope that her book will enhance the experience of this unique trail for walkers and cyclists. She succeeds admirably in her aim by welding together history, folklore, rich information on the…

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A Feast of Arts in Achill

Apr 24, 2012 | Comments Off on A Feast of Arts in Achill

Literary readings, three book launches, an illustrated lecture on ‘Women Artists on Achill’ by Catherine Marshall, and a guided walk on the nearby Clare Island, all feature in this year’s Heinrich Böll Memorial Weekend on the May bank-holiday weekend. The book launches include Gisela Holfter’s Heinrich Böll and Ireland, which charts the Nobel Prize winning author’s connections…

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The Great Western Greenway – A Train Route Bookended by Tragedy

Apr 16, 2012 | Comments Off on The Great Western Greenway – A Train Route Bookended by Tragedy

They say it is now ‘the largest off-road walking and cycling trail in Ireland’. The 42km Great Western Greenway stretching from Westport through Newport and Mulranny to Achill Island is proving to be a wonderful draw for walkers and cyclists alike. The trail follows the path of the disused line of the Midland Great Western…

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Walk in Paul Henry’s Achill Footsteps

Mar 1, 2012 | Comments Off on Walk in Paul Henry’s Achill Footsteps

You can walk in the footsteps of the artist Paul Henry, following the shoreline from Dooagh to Keel, as part of the May bank-holiday Achill Walks Festival. There are a half-dozen walks, some on the island, some on the north-west Mayo mainland in Ballycroy National Park and the Nephin mountain range. A century ago Paul…

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Beautiful Burren Beyond Compare – Sarah Poyntz Final Diary

Jan 30, 2011 |

Columnist who gave her readers glimpse of the Burren calls it a day – The Irish Times – Fri, Jan 28, 2011. Sarah Poyntz’s essay gems in The Guardian’s Country Diary have come to an end. Her subject was the Burren, a place where I love to ramble and ruminate. In her final contribution she…

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Human Chain and Butts on Mullaghmore

Sep 6, 2010 |

In the week that Seamus Heaney’s Human Chain was published,  four of us – me, Joan, Deirdre and Mary – wound our way along the blue waymarked path around Mullaghmore in the Burren.  The heat of the day was blunted by a lively breeze and Mary asked us, Did you hear Seamus Heaney on the radio this morning…

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