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16 Oct 2015

The Gobbins 6Thug grúpa siúlóide Gaeilge Ard Mhacha, Siúil, thug siad cuairt ar cheann de na siúlóidí turasóireachta is dramatúla in Éirinn ar na mallaibh nuair a chaith said an lá ag an chosán úrfhorbartha cósta ag na Gobáin gar don Cheann Bhán in Oileán Mhig Aoidh. An chiall atá leis na Gobáin ná ná píosaí talaimh nó cinn tíre atá ag síneadh amach no ag gobadh amach san fharraige.

Osclaíodh an chéad chosán cósta ann sa bhliain 1902 nuair a d’fhéach Berkeley Deane Wise, innealtóir cumasach as Loch Garman a bhí ag obair le Northern Counties Railway Company, nuair a d’fhéach sé lena chur le soláthar turasóireachta an cheantair. Ag síneadh amach thar cósta garbh Aontroma, thóg Wise roinnt cosán thar chinn tíre, thar stacaí agus trí hluaiseanna ar fíorimeall an chósta le sraith droichead agus casán tógtha. Thit an chéadchosán seo i léig thar na blianta agus tréigeadh é ach rinne Comhairle Latharna athnuachan air le droichid úra agus le casáin threisithe, a bhuí le h-airgead ón Eoraip agus ó fhoinsí eile.

Bhain na Gaeil as Ard Mhacha an-sult as na radhairc mhórthaibhseacha de na beannta agus den fharraige agus iad ag trasnú na ndroichead agus na gcosán. Tá an cosán leagtha i roinnt pluaiseanna agus tolláin fosta, rud a chuir le dramatúlacht na siúlóide. Tugann an ceantar tearmann do na mílte éan mara  i rith an tsamhraidh, agus bíonn an t-éan breac, crosáin agussaidhbhéir  ann. Ba sa limistéar fá na beannta seo ar thángthas ar an aon fhionnachtain in Éirinn i dtaca le dineasáir de, chomh maith le h-iontaisí d’ainmhithe réamhstaire na mara. Tá a mianra féin ag an cheantar seo, ar a dtugtar gobbinsite, ar féidir a fheiceáil mar chriostal bán sa charraig ag tús an chosáin.

The Gobbins 2Bhí lá den chéad scoth ag na rannpháirtithe ag siúlóid na nGobán agus d’fhan an ghrian leis an ghrúpa don lá. Tá an grúpa ag súil go mór le dúshlán úr nuair a ghlacfaidh said páirt sa chlár nua aclaíochta Saol, a thabharfas bláisín den tseoltóireacht, den chadhcáil agus den mharcaíocht. Mar chuid den chlár úr, beidh an grúpa ag tógáil a gcurrach féin le cuidiú Chumann Oidhreacht Bhadóireachta Loch nEathach. Le tuilleadh eolais a fháil ar an ghrúpa cnocadóireachta nó ar an chlár aclaíochta, is féidir teagmháil a dhéanamh le hOifigeach Forbartha Gaeilge Cairde Teo Seán Ó Maoilsté ar sean@cairdeteo.com nó 028 3751 5229.

 

Armagh’s bilingual walking group Siúil, which is organised by Irish language community group Cairde Teo, paid a visit to one of Ireland’s most spectacular tourist attractions recently, when they spent the day at the newly refurbished Gobbins Coastal Path near Whitehad in Islandmagee. The Gobbins, which comes from the Irish Na Gobáin, gets its name from the many small headlands that reach out into the sea.
The path was originally opened in 1902 by Berkeley Deane Wise, an accomplished engineer from Wexford, who was working for the Northern Counties Railway Company, who aimed to increase the tourism offering in the area. Stretching along the rugged coastline, Wise constructed a path which crossed numerous headlands, promentaries, sea stacks and caves at the very edge of the coast with a series of bridges and constructed walkways. While the original path fell into disrepair and was subsequently abandoned, Larne Borough Council recently redeveloped the trail and installed new bridges and artificial paths, with assistance from the European Interreg Programme.

The Gobbins 4The Armagh Gaels enjoyed the spectacular views of the cliffs and coastline, as they traversed the series of bridges and paths. The route also took in a number of caves and tunnels, which added to the dramatic walk. The area provides a habitat for thousands of birds during the summer months, including puffins, razorbills and kittiwakes. It is also the site of the only dinosaur-related discovery in Ireland, as well as the site of a number of fossils belonging to prehistoric marine animals. The area has its own unique mineral, known as gobbinsite, which can be seen as a white crystal in the rock at the beginning of the coastal path.

With the weather on their side, the walk proved to be a huge success and was enjoyed by all participants. The walking group are looking forward to a new challenge when they will take part in Cairde Teo’s fitness programme Saol, which will offer taster sessions in sailing, kayaking and horse building. As part of the new programme, the group will also build their own currach, with the help of Lough Neagh Boating Heritage Association. For more information on the hillwalking group or for more information on the fitness programme, you can contact Irish language development Officer Seán Ó Maoilsté sean@cairdeteo.com or 028 3751 5229.