The sun beamed on the walkers as they ascended Thur Mountain recently to ‘Celebrate Thur’ as if in total agreement with the proceedings.
By Nuala McNulty
Thirty three of the walkers on the long hike approached from Blackmountain on the West side of Thur taking in Cullentragh Lake and were afforded stunning views of Lough McNean upper and lower. The walkers on the short walk numbered 59 and they approached from the East side, they were treated to stories about the mountain and its uses and customs in the past by Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher locals.
Views over Munakill Lake and Ballinabehy mountain range were a real feast for the eyes. Looking over Boleybrack towards Dowra participants heard about the conservation of the Red Grouse which is endangered but now thriving in this area due to the measures taken to protect the habitat. There was clear evidence of the
Grouse on Thur on the day also.
Both groups met on the summit Big Thur, the hill walking boots and wellies were no deterrent to the dancers and, with the fabulous music, the dancing took off in a flash. Cold fingers didn’t affect the notes from the fiddle, concertina, mandolin and guitar players either.
Local historians told the group of the tradition of the people of Cornmore who used to climb the mountain in June for a day of singing and dancing. On the descent from the mountain, walkers followed the path for a time, taken by our ancestors as they carried the dead to Kilmakerrill cemetery. There was a poignant moment as walkers pondered the fact that many were too weak to carry the corpses and they had to be buried on the mountain and the steps then became more sacred.
The skylark gave the musical accompaniment on the journey down. The status of Natural Heritage Area bestowed on Thur is a reminder of the significance of the flora and fauna and the delicate habitat it sustains. The 37 walkers who took the history walk in Glenfarne Demesne heard the story of the Tottenham estate and Glenfarne Hall while enjoying views of Lough MacNean and the sculpture trail.
Tea, biccies history and more music awaited the walkers on their return to the Rainbow Ballroom of Romance. The exhibition of showband memorabilia on view was a real treat. Well done to all involved on a fantastic community celebration.