Walkers from all over Ireland and beyond attended the 24th Ballyhoura International Walking festival this May Bank Holiday Weekend, with exceptional turnouts at all of the walks held across the 4 days. This year the highlights included a very successful singles walk on the Keale River, the Galty Mountain Charity Climb & the family walk at the nature trail at the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Park, not to mention the Ballyhoura Mountain Marathon which was the “best yet” according to organizer Tom Blackburn. Ballyhoura Country was bathed in sunshine on Sunday & Monday putting a spotlight on the stunning countryside in the company of great guides from the Ballyhoura Bears walking club and the wonderful community tour guides across East Limerick & North Cork.
The Festival featured a packed programme of walks for all abilities, from the marathon on the Saturday morning, to the singles walk on Saturday afternoon with men answering the call to almost an even ratio of men to women! And of course the guided walks on heritage, archaeology, history, flora and fauna right across the Ballyhoura area led by community guides.
Chairperson, Ben O Sullivan of Ballyhoura Failte acknowledged the support and assistance of Ballyhoura Beo, the Ballyhoura Bears Walking Club, the voluntary guides in communities for organising the community walks, all volunteers who helped on the weekend and to our generous sponsors and funders who included SuperValu in Kilmallock and 8 Degrees Brewing in Mitchelstown.
Mike Noonan of Ballyhoura Beo who was one the main organizers of this years festival was “delighted with the overall good weather, the level of interest in all of the 18 walks and the fun and enjoyment of all participants. This year we wanted to try and add new elements to the festival like yoga, mindfulness, charity climb and of course the singles walks and we aim to be bigger and better for 2018”