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A Day On The Hills With Oireachtas Members

MulkearLIFE’s Project Manager, Ruairí Ó Conchúir, was delighted to have the opportunity to spend a day out on the Galtees, overlooking the Mulkear Catchment, as part of the annual Oireachtas Hill Walk yesterday (17th June 2012). The event, which was hosted by Mountaineering Ireland with the support of local hill walking clubs, was a wonderful success and was held on a exceptionally fine day. Given the extremely poor wet weather over the past three weeks the Oireachtas members were blessed to get a near perfect dry day.

Members of the Oireachtas prepare for their Annual Hill Walk

While not a work day for the TDs, Seanators and Oireachtas staff members, the event offered an excellent opportunity to unwind on one of Ireland’s most magnificent mountains – Galtee Mor – reaching just over 3,000 feet.

Minister Deenihan sets the pace up Sliabh Chlois na Binne (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)

The day itself was perfect for hill walking with the weather obliging and offering stunning views not only across the entire Mulkear catchment covering Tipperary (North & South) and Limerick counties but also across at least 8 other counties; Cork, Kerry, Clare, Galway, Offaly, Laois, Kilkenny and Waterford.

Taking a break at the Galtee Wall (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)

Ruairí Ó Conchúir, who was there is a personal capacity, was especially delighted to have the opportunity to brief Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaelteacht on the progress achieved to date by MulkearLIFE. Minister Deenihan’s department, through the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), is a very significant co-financer of MulkearLIFE. The overall financial contribution of NPWS to the work of MulkearLIFE is €160,000, spread over the duration of the project.

Author Jimmy Barry points out the Mulkear catchment (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)

The Minister was given an informal briefing on the ongoing work being undertaken by Inland Fisheries Ireland, the Office of Public Works and Limerick County Council to restore the Lower Shannon Special Area of Conservation (Mulkear catchment) for Atlantic Salmon, Sea Lamprey and Otter. The Minister expressed his delight as to the progress achieved by MulkearLIFE to date.

Oireachtas party reach the summit of Galtee Mor (Image: Ruairí Ó Conchúir)

But the day on the hills was not about work but more about enjoying the mountains and keeping up with the blistering pace set by the former PE teacher and five times All Ireland Senior Football medal winner, Minister Deenihan. After over five hours on the hills the TDs, Senators and Oireachtas staff members returned safely to the Aherlow House Hotel. A great day was had by all.

Minister Deenihan, after the walk, with MulkearLIFE’s Project Manager, Ruairí Ó Conchúir (Image: Jimmy Barry)

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Mulkear LIFE, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Ashbourne Business Park, Dock Road, Limerick, Ireland
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