A very successful fourth annual Glen of Aherlow Winter Walking Festival took place last weekend in the Glen.
The festival, organised by the Glen of Aherlow Fáilte Society and the Galtee Walking Club, is now the leading walking festival in Ireland with 700 international, national and local walkers taking in the Galtees and Slievenamuck hills with great enthusiasm.
Based at Aherlow House Hotel, visitors from the UK, Northern Ireland and all parts of the country came in great numbers to stay for the weekend giving all our local accommodation providers a welcome financial boost at this time of year.
Aherlow Failte’s Helen Morrissey was delighted with another successful walking festival. “The amazing weather on Saturday enabled visiting walkers to enjoy the Glen of Aherlow at its best in glorious sunshine that showed off our natural amenities of mountain, hills and lakes from both sides of the valley. Sunday’s weather was more overcast but didn’t dampen the spirits of those out on the hills.”
Danny Bailey, President of the Galtee Walking Club, officially opened the festival on Friday night and local songwriter legend, Nick McCarthy, entertained the visitors in his own inimitable style of music.
On Saturday night the festival dinner was hosted in Aherlow House and the organisers wish to extend a huge thank you to Lattin Comhaltas who provided the after dinner entertainment. Twenty of their young members aged from 7 to 17 played fiddle, accordion, whistles, flutes etc with a most enjoyable selection of music. Thank you also to Brendan O Dwyer from Bansha who got the Club Ceoil session going in the bar later upstairs.
“We’d like to thank the 80 plus volunteers who worked hard all weekend to ensure that the festival ran smoothly,” said Helen. “The Glen of Aherlow Fáilte Society members took care of everyone at the Base, the Galtee Walking Club members led the walks and the Hillwalking Radio provided a wonderful radio communication service over the two days.”
Helen also extended a big thank you to the staff of the Glen of Aherlow Community Employment Scheme and t he Bansha unit of South Tipperary Civil for their help with traffic management. To Noel Browne Bus Hire, for the smooth operation of moving hundreds of walkers to the starting point and the management and staff of Aherlow House Hotel for all their co-operation.
Feedback from visitors for the weekend was good, they appreciate the warm welcome, the smooth running of the Festival and overall a great weekend of walking, good food, entertainment and pleasant company with many promising to come back again in June for the Summer Festival.