Armagh’s Irish language hillwalking group, Siúil, have already got the year off to a great start with recent walks in the Mourne mountain range and in County Leitrim. A large crowd of Irish speakers climbed Sliabh Crúb or Slieve Croob near Dromara in County Down in early January. While the conditions were far from ideal and the views were restricted by the fog, all those present enjoyed a good and healthy day out and the opportunity to practice some Irish. Slieve Croob is the location of the source of the River Lagan and is reputed to be the burial location of twelve kings. Similar to Carrickatuke, the mountain is linked to the old tradition of Blaeberry Sunday and local people climb Clieve Croob on the first Sunday of August, carrying a stone with them, which is placed at the top of the mountain to help bury the twelve kings. The venue in Leitrim was the spectacular Eagle’s Rock situated above the Glenade Valley just outside Manorhamilton. Eagle’s Rock sits just below Truskmore mountain, which is the highest peak in counties Leitrim and Sligo.
The group will be holding their next walk on Slieve Foy in Carlingford, County Louth on Saturday 21 February. The walk will commence at 11.00am from the carpark at the Tourist Information Centre in the town. Slieve Foy is the highest peak in the Cooley mountain range, and the highest peak in County Louth, and it is the setting of the renowned saga Táin Bó Cúailnge or the Cattle Raid of Cooley, in which Cú Chulainn fought the army of Queen Médb to retain the brown bull. If you are interested in taking part in the walk on Slieve Foy or future walks, contact Seán firstname.lastname@example.org or 028 3751 5229. The hillwalking group is an ideal way to keep yourself in shape and to help improve your spoken Irish at the same time. Everyone is welcome to attend, both fluent speakers and learners alike.