Sunday, 17 December 2017

Glenageenty Loop

On Sunday 18/12 the club walk was the Glenageenty loop near Castleisland. This was the walk that was scheduled for last week but was cancelled due to bad weather. We set off at 09.30 and parked up at the trailhead which is off to the right from the Castleisland / Tralee road.
This is a wild isolated part of the country which has been a refuge for many a fugitive down through the centuries. The most famous being the Earl of Deasmond who hid out here after the failed rebellion.He was eventually betrayed by one of his own and was beheaded in 1583 by a Donal o Kelly. His head was sent to Queen Elizabeth 1 as a present and she had it displayed on London Bridge.
The walk is mostly on gravel tracks and forest paths  and criss crosses the Glounageenty river which flows through a deep glenn.It is well laid out with plenty of information boards explaining the history of the area
It was here too that Captain Robert Monteith hid form the British Army and RIC after the failed attempt to land arms at Banna Strand on Good Friday 1916. He was hidden at the cabin of Sean Thaigh Og’s which is situated near the Glounageenty river, the remains of which can be seen on the way. He was more fortunate than the hapless Earl and managed to hang on to his head.
It’s easy to see why it was used as a hiding place because it is so remote and apparently it was much more wooded back in the day. It’s a very much uphill and down walk, and it’s a good work out.
Another man that took refuge here was Stephen Fuller the only survivor of the Ballyseedy Massacre that took place in that sad chapter of our history in 1923. He was hidden here while he recovered from his wounds and went on to become a TD for Kerry.
Lest you think it was all blood and gore there is also an information board about John Lenihan a local man who was the first Irishman to win a world title at mountain running in 1991. He is said to have honed his skills in the Glenageenty woods, and fittingly one of the loop walks bears his name. He holds the record for the fastest time up and down Carrauntoohill. 8.5 MILES up Caher across to Carrauntoohill and back down the same a time of one hour eleven minutes and forty three seconds....
The loop we did was 9.51 klms and it’s safe to say we won’t be attempting the record anytime soon.
On a clear day there the Gap of Dunloe Carrauntoohill and Brandon can be seen, however we had mist and fog. It was a most enjoyable walk. We stopped for refreshments in The Country Market in Castleisland. Defiantly a walk worth repeating.

“I have two doctors a left leg and right one “..........GM Trevelyan

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