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17 May 2016

CAIRDE Teo are inviting new members to join their popular hillwalking group, Siúil. The group will be travelling to Knockatallon in County Monaghan on Sunday 5 June to walk on Slieve Beagh. According to Irish mythology, the name refers to the mythological figure Bith, who was buried in a cairn on top of the mountain. Although the summit is in fact marked by a cairn, called Doocarn, it is likely that the name’s original meaning is “mountain of birch“. In County Monaghan, the locals typically refer to the Slieve Beagh as the “Bragan Mountains”, taking the name from a townland within the Slieve Beagh area.

The Sliabh Beagh region is an Area of Special Scientific Interest and of a Special Area of Conservation as it is home to a large example of a blanket bog, with a number of unusual species such as cowberry and rare mosses. The area supports a breeding population of red grouse, as well as Eurasian golden plover and hen harrier.

The group has already completed numerous hillwalks this year in the Belfast mountains, on Slieve Foy, Kilbroney Park and in the Fermanagh hills. The walks are led by experienced hillwalker and mountaineer Éamonn Ó Flanagáin and are held monthly. The climb on Slieve Beagh will commence at 11.00am at the Slieve Beagh Hotel. The hike covers the highest point in County Monaghan and the Three County Hollow, where counties Monaghan, Fermanagh and Tyrone meet. The walk on Slieve Beagh is being organised by the Knockatallon Ramblers and the Monaghan branch of Conradh na Gaeilge as part of the Slieve Beagh Irish language festival, which takes place in the Slieve Beagh Hotel and Derrygannon Hall, Roslea over the weekend Friday 3 to Sunday 5 June. For more information on the walk or if you require transport from Armagh, contact CAIRDE Teo on 028 3751 5229 or sean@cairdeteo.com.

As well as the walk on Slieve Beagh, members of the Siúil group will also be taking part in a hillwalk on the Black Mountain in Belfast this Sunday 22 May. The walk will commence at 11am at Newhill Community Centre on the Whiterock Road and is being organised by the Terry Enright Foundation, as part of the Awkward Voices activist weekend in St Mary’s University College, Belfast.