Members of the Cuilcagh Ramblers on the summit of Carrauntoohil, the highest point in Ireland standing at 1,038m on one of their recent monthly Sunday treks.

Rambling for a good cause

By Gemma Good

A local hiking group is appealing to people to join them on three peaks in three counties to raise funds for a defibrillator.

The Cuilcagh Ramblers are aiming to take on Sliabh an Iarainn, Benbrack and Cuilcagh on August 28.

The defibrillator will benefit children in neighbouring schools Little Treasures Playgroup in Kinawley and Scoil Mhurie in Swanlinbar.

“They’re getting the money, we’re just organising the event,” said Cuilcagh Rambler’s Secretary Gabriel McHugh.

Gabriel explained there is a defibrillator outside the hall in Swanlinbar, however it does not have the correct pads to fit a child. The pads must be placed on different parts of the body in comparison to an adult.

“You can have the machine but, if you don’t have the right pads, you effectively have nothing,” he explained.

There are several reasons why the group decided to hold the fundraiser. As a father of a child who attended Little Treasure’s, Gabriel said the majority of people involved have children in either of the schools.

Gabriel explained a young girl in Scoil Mhuire collapsed, with ambulances required from Cavan and Enniskillen.

He said this reason is the “shining light” of the fundraising event.

“A thousand euro for a defib would be money well spent,” he said.

“In this day and age it’s a requirement that most football pitches have them so why not have them in the school?” he asked.

The Kinawley man made a call for more defibrillators, with more people trained in their use.

He said this year’s Euro 2020 soccer tournament highlighted the importance of lifesaving equipment, when Danish player Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field.

“It was very topical,” he said.

The group is asking people to “climb three peaks across three counties” with alternative routes to make the fundraiser accessible to all.

People can participate by climbing either one or all of the mountains. Alternatively, they can do the Cuilcagh lowlands walk, which is more “gentle” with “very little elevation”.

This walk is suited to those who are physically unable, have young children or simply “don’t fancy taking on mountains”.

They are asking people to raise a minimum of €30.

“That’s the fee or you can get it by way of sponsorship,” he said, explaining participants will receive sponsorship cards.

The Cuilcagh Ramblers set up their hiking group 18 months ago and wanted to “promote the club” to show they are active in the Cavan/Fermanagh area.

They meet weekly on a Thursday evening and walk through the local amenities including The Marble Arch Caves, Swanlinbar, Cavan Burren Park and Florence Court Park among others.

“It’s walking, everybody can do it,” Gabriel encouraged.

He said the activity is very beneficial for mental health.

“Just get outdoors and go for a walk,” he encouraged.

“It seems an easy thing to do but a lot of people can shy away from it at times.”

The group ventures away Sunday every month, taking on mountains such as Carrauntoohil, Benbulbin and Sliabh an Iarainn.

“On the Sunday walks we go a bit further afield,” he explained.

He said the group is actively looking for new members and encouraged people to come along.

Those interested in participating in the fundraiser or becoming a group member can contact 00447731007797 or 0876812413. The group can also be found on Facebook or can be emailed on

People can make a donation to the cause here