The highest cairn on the Lough an Leagh mountain, a painting by the late Jean Smith. Inset: Jean Smith

Moonwalk on the mountain

The annual Moonwalk on Lough and Leagh will resume this Saturday, August 21, after it was cancelled last year due to the pandemic.

The walk will take place at one of the six trails at the Lough an Leagh mountain in the northeast of the county.

“Eight years ago we started a walk in memory of my late wife Jean Smith,” said organiser Philip Smith.

Jean sadly passed away on December 28, 2011, after losing her battle with cancer.Jean was an artist who enjoyed spending time around Lough an Leagh, a natural beauty spot located halfway between Kingscourt and Bailieborough.

Please support this annual 'Moonwalk' on this Saturday August 21st 2021 starting at 8.15pm!

Posted by Kingscourt Stars Gaa onThursday, 19 August 2021

“I’m from Kingscourt and Jean was from Bailieborough,” Philip explained.

The walk usually takes place at night on the weekend of a full moon, when the sun is setting in the west.

“She [Jean] always had a fondness for the sunrise and the sunset,” Philip fondly recalled.

“That’s the reason we called it the moonwalk.”

Philip explained there are three burial cairns on the lough - the highest one features on the moonwalk poster.

“That’s a picture that Jean drew in her time.

“It was just a bit of a brainwave we got,” said Phil, explaining how he came up with the idea with his daughter Niamh, who “follows in her mother’s footsteps” with a love of art.

There is a €10 entrance fee to participate in the walk, the proceeds of which will go to Bailieborough and Kingscourt Cancer Care.

Philip said both organisations were “absolutely” a great help to the family when his wife had cancer.

“The cancer support group, the palliative care and the counselling were extremely good.”

He said donating to the charities is “the way she [Jean] would have wanted it.”

“It’s just to give them a little dig out,” he said, explaining the organisations must be finding it “very difficult” to continue to provide their services through the pandemic.

“It’s something we put together to see if we can help them out in some way because they were very good to us in difficult times.It’s really done in memory of Jean.”

The walk will commence at 8.15pm at the picnic area of Lough an Leagh

“With Covid we just have to keep a two metre distance,” Philip reminded participants, adding this “won’t be a problem” on the walk.


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