I like Corrannabinnia very much. Let’s make that clear from the start.
At 714 m and the second highest point of the Nephin Beg range, Corrannabinnia is surely one of the highest peaks in Ireland not to be named in OSI Discovery series maps. Strangely, lower points on this mountain massif, such as Glennamong, Bengorm and Claggan Mountain are all named, while the high point goes unacknowledged. Part of the reason for that is perhaps that Corrannabinnia isn’t, in fact, its name at all.
A strange little place in the middle of nowhere, Mám Éan can be reached from three different directions. I chose to ascend from Maam (not to be confused with Maam Cross). To be honest, the word ‘ascend’ is inappropriate here, as the destination stands at a mere 260 m altitude.
“What do you think of it yourself?”, says I.
Sitting enjoying a pint of the black stuff in McDonnell’s pub in Béal an Mhuirthead (Belmullet, Co. Mayo), we were chatting about the sheer scale of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Belderg, or Belderrig, is a tiny village on the bogs of the north Mayo coast, known for the wonderful arachaeological work done in uncovering prehistoric field systems, most famously at Céide Fields. I go walking up there, loving the landscape between bog, cliffs and ocean blue.
Heritage Week 2013 runs from August 17th to 25th. I’d like to draw your attention to just two events that are happening here in Mayo.
Old Irish Goat Society (OIGS)
On Friday evening the 23rd, there will be a talk in Mulranny Park Hotel on the origin of Ireland’s Native Goat. This event relates to a transnational collaboration of several institutions across the UK and Ireland, including the Smurfit Genetic Institute in Trinity College, who have done ground-breaking work in the study of this animal.
Ireland’s western province, Connacht, holds an especially intriguing place in the national self-perception. Far from the seat of power and the more densely populated Leinster, Connacht is a little-understood part of our country.
The Sheeffry Hills may not come to mind when planning a day’s hillwalking in the West of Ireland. Yet they should certainly be considered.
With their high point of 772 m at Barrclashcame towards the western end of the plateau, the Sheeffrys offer a very pleasant day’s hiking that is not terribly strenuous, yet reaches a very respectable altitude. Mayo’s third highest mountain (see my post on Mayo’s highest mountains) and higher than any point in Galway, Barrclashcame should not be ignored.
As we left the stump of the once impressive round tower behind and began our gentle climb towards Teampall Bheanáin above, we came upon several little groups of the gorgeous Spring Gentian.
A flower of the Burren, its Aran Island outposts and a few sites in north Galway and south Mayo, the Spring Gentian truly is one of the most beautiful of Ireland’s native wildflowers. Its particular hue of blue attracts the eye very quickly, as it lies low in the grass among the pinks, purples, whites and yellows of the Orchids, Daisies, Bird’s Foot Trefoils and Sea Thrift.