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10 May 2017

Armagh’s bilingual walking group, Siúil, is preparing to scale new heights at the end of May as they take on their biggest challenge yet, with a visit to Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil in County Kerry. Carrauntoohil stands at 1039 metres and is the central peak in the Macgillycuddy Reek range. The origins of the mountain’s name are dispute with the most common interpretation based on the Irish Corrán Tuathail, meaning either inverted sickle or Tuathal’s sickle, Tuathal being a male first name. Another interpretation is that it comes from the Irish Geárán Tuathail, which would mean Tuathal’s Fang.

Carrauntoohil’s summit is marked by a large metal cross and offers spectacular views in good conditions of the Gaeltacht peninsulas of Iveragh, Beara and Dingle, as well as Skellig Michael and the Blasket Islands, all of which will be familiar to Irish speakers and those interested in Irish language literature. The area is steeped in Irish mythology and it is said that Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the Fianna, his army of warriors, hunted deer with their famous pack of 500 Irish wolf hounds.

The Armagh group will take on the Carrauntoohil challenge on Sunday 28 May, commencing at 11am at the reknowned starting point Cronin’s Yard and following the popular Hag’s Glen and Devil’s Ladder route. A number of members of the group will also be making a visit to Knockboy, the highest point in county Cork, on Saturday 27 May. The group organises hillwalking events once a month, hiking over mountains throughout the north of Ireland, and already this year some of their walks have included Cuilcagh in Fermanagh/Cavan, Trostan near Cushendall and Slieve Foye in County Louth. The walks usually take place on the first Saturday of each month and as well as mountain hikes, have also included enjoyable rambles in the Tyrone, Armagh and Monaghan countryside. If you are interested in taking part in the Carrauntoohill walk or to find out more about the Siúil hillwalking group, contact Seán on sean@cairdeteo.com or 028 3751 5229.