A lifetime of local knowledge of the wildlife and heritage in the hills between Newport and Mulranny brings a unique element to the annual Burrishoole Walking Festival. Now in its 27th year, the majority of guides are local farmers, who have been leading visitors, local and international, on the walks each June Bank Holiday weekend since the late 1980s.
They are ready once more to swap their wellies for walking books for the annual three-day event, which takes place from Saturday to Monday, May 31 to June 2, in the heart of Burrishoole, off the Great Western Greenway. The team of guides and the organising committee offer walkers of all levels a superb walking festival, from the welcome to the spectacular views over Clew Bay. It is not all about walking. Along the way you will learn about the local heritage, folklore, customs, flora and fauna.
The walks depart from the old Derrada National School (a piece of local history in itself ) and meet up there again in the evening. An award-winning festival, one of the highlights is the celebration of Mass at the Oghillie Mass Rock on Bank Holiday Monday, which representatives of three separate religions will concelebrate this year. Since its launch in 1987 visitors from all over the world, along with local walking enthusiasts, have attended the festival. Life long friendships have been made and participants always look forward to the get-together in the evenings, where food and entertainment are provided.
This year’s festival opens with registration on Saturday May 31, at Derrada Community Centre at 10.30am. The walks start at 11am. There are two choices of walks - high and low level. Sunday’s registration is again at Derrada Community Centre, at 11am, with two levels of walks again on offer - high and low. Entertainment is in Derrada at 9.30 pm, with the presentation of certificates to all who take part. Monday’s annual Mass at Oghillie Mass Rock will take place at 2pm. The ascent to the Mass rock starts at 12.30pm and there will be refreshments and a raffle afterwards in Derrada. This is a popular celebration with local people and everyone is welcome.
For more information contact chairperson Jackie Rumley on (098 ) 36144 or treasurer Sinead Cuasck on (087 ) 2249679. You can also check out the festival website on burrishoolewalkfest.net or follow it on Facebook.