Walkers - enjoy Easter in scenic historic Laois and Kilkenny

Settled easter should make the MacGiollaphadraig Way walk a must for walkers

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

South Laois senery

Cullohill Castle

Dry and settled weather over Easter are sure to make for perfect conditions for an amble across the Laois and Kilkenny countryside.

South Laois Tourism invite you to the MacGiollaphadraig Way (17km linear walk) on Easter Monday. 

The Mac Giolla Phádraig Way is a hiking trail named after the family connecting communities in southwest Laois and Kilkenny, as part of the Slieve Bloom Way.

Starting 12noon Durrow south Laois and concluding Gathabawn, north Kilkenny, the trail brings you on sections of public road, forestry road, private lane and farmland.

Starting at the car park Durrow the walk takes you out the Derry road by the Ballagh Hill , Ballykealy, Cullahill Mountain, Ballygooney and concludes in the village of Gathabawn. 

At the conclusion of the walk refreshments are available in Mackeys Bar.

Registration 11.30am €5 which includes you in the Easter raffle.

Transport available at finish to assist walkers.

The name MacGiollaphadraig (Irish for Fitzpatrick) is strongly associated with this particular area as nearby Cullahill Castle built in 1425 was the stronghold and residence of Brian MacGiollaphadraig first Lord Baron of upper Ossory.

To this day many of the MacGiollaphadraig clan still reside along this delightfull walking route. The trail brings you on sections of public road, forestry road, private lane and farmland.

Starting from the Church car park Durrow the walk takes you out the Derry road where you meet a steep incline taking you onto the Ballagh Hill from where a section of forestry road brings you to Ballykealy.

You will then encounter another steady incline on private lane that offers beautiful scenery as you make your way to Cullahill Mountain. This particular location offers spectacular views leading to the Commeragh, Galtee, Slieve Bloom and Blackstairs Mountains also at this point a monument bush stands to commemorate the spot where ledgend has it Cormac MacGiollaphadraig was slain by Cromwell's men.

Many old derelict dwellings are dotted throughout the landscape here reminders of another time.

RTÉ's John Murray accompanied by Nationwide and over 2,000 followers held one of his popular walks here on Cullahill Mountain on Sunday 14th April 2013.