Pilgrim Passports now being stamped at Gougane Barra

Posted on: 5th August, 2016

Category: Features

Contributor: West Cork People

Above: Walking to Gougane. This group of walkers from Tipperary were on the fourth pilgrim walk under the new Irish Pilgrim Passport. They have now become the first group to receive the Certificate of Completion from Ballintubber Abbey in Co, Mayo. Many others will follow.

Pilgrim Walks from Drimoleague to Gougane Barra have received a fresh impetus with the inclusion of the walk among the Five Medieval Pilgrim Paths of Ireland, which are eligible to receive the ‘’Teastas Oilithreacha’’ or Certificate of Completion from Ballintubber Abbey in Co Mayo. The five walks include St Kevin’s Way to Glendalough; Cnoc na dTobar near Cahirciveen; Cosán na Naomh in Dingle; Tochár Phádraig to Croagh Patrick, and finally St Finbarr’s Pilgrim Way in West Cork. A special passport has been produced with pictures and detailed maps of each walk. The passport will then be stamped at the end of each walk where proof is shown that one has completed it. This proof can vary from ‘selfies’ along the way to evidence from fellow pilgrims, and occasionally it may even  include blisters on the feet! At Gougane Barra, this duty is ably carried out by Neil Lucey of the Gougane Barra Hotel.   

The 37km walk from the Top of the Rock near Drimoleague to Gougane Barra passes through Castledonovan, the Mealagh Valley and Kealkil before it descends majestically into Gougane Barra via the Horseshoe Walk. It traverses the Ilen, Mealagh, Ouvane and Lee river valleys and their associated mountain systems which rise to almost 500 meters. The way is very well marked with the St Finbarr logo on each post. Phone coverage is good, but great care needs to be taken in fog, and it certainly should not be undertaken in poor weather conditions.

This August there are two walks planned: The Community St Finbarr’s Walk on Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7: Contact Michael O’Sullivan on 087 7641420; or the Contemplative St Finbarr’s Pilgrim Walk on Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14: Contact David Ross 086 1735134. All are welcome. A small charge is made for bus returns etc. Further details on www.drimoleaguewalkway.com and www.topoftherock.ie   and from the Gougane Barra Hotel  026 47069.

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

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