Some of the members of Belturbet Walking and Heritage Group taking a break last Saturday at Turbet Island.

Walking and talking!

Belturbet Walkers and Heritage Group is on the go for 22 years now. It was first established by the late Canon P.J. Corrigan and the late Bridie Fay Kennedy.

The group has produced a comprehensive booklet, ‘A Walkers Guide to Belturbet’, and features six town and country walks.

Ann McDonald told the Celt that there are details on three different walks within the town environs and the other three country walks feature Putiaghan, Staghall Church to Killinaher and the Quivvy County Lane walk.

Of course, COVID-19 also hit their group activities and they had 35 members on board when lockdown began.

“We are really looking forward to getting back walking on our various routes when the lockdown is eased. We are also hoping that people who started walking during the Covid pandemic will come along and join our club,” urged Ann.

She revealed it was traditional for the members to head off for the entire May Bank Holiday weekend to some location in Ireland and the transport is provided by Kevin Fay Buses.

In relation to the Heritage aspect of the club, Clare McGlade told the Celt that it gives an opportunity to travel to places like the Patrick Kavanagh Centre at Inniskeen and Farmleigh House. “The heritage aspect makes our club more interesting to a wider circle of people,” she explained.

Long-standing member Ann McDonald always arranges for guides to be available during the visits to such places. “I find it very relaxing and educational. We can go to places like sunny Spain, yet we don’t really know our own country,” surmised Clare.

“We have write-ups of all the places we went over the past 22 years and lots of interesting pictures and videos. We have a full archive of our activities and it would be lovely to share it with other groups,” suggested Ann.

“We are affiliated with Mountaineering Ireland and they facilitate us with insurance and guidance, particularly during the Pandemic,” added Clare.

Member Paddy O’Reilly, who will be 83 on his next birthday, really enjoys the walks. “One thing that happened during the pandemic is that people went out walking and may not have been familiar with the different trees or able to identify the different birds. It is now an opportunity to get people out and make them more aware of nature,” he said.

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