he long and proud tradition of community walking in St. Oliver's parish in Clonmel will continue on Friday evening, June 24 when the 6 kilometres Family Fun Walk takes place.
The annual event started as a fundraiser for the church and the parish centre, both built at a combined cost of €2 million, which are now fully paid for.
Sponsorship collected from the trek will be directed towards the maintenance of the church and parish centre but the emphasis is more on people coming together, according to Jimmy Moloney, one of the organisers.
"It's a community celebration and something that people of all ages can participate in", says Jimmy.
"We hope that as many parishioners as possible, including families, will take part and people from outside St. Oliver's are also welcome", he says.
Although this is the fourth annual walk, the history of community walking in the parish stretches back more than 20 years.
The parish was formed in 1983 and one of the first fundraising walks, in 1995, was led by parish priest Fr. Tom Griffin and followed a route from Dublin to St. Oliver's shrine in Drogheda.
Prior to the opening of the church on December 1 1996 a group of parishioners walked from the cathedral in Waterford to Clonmel that summer with a relic of St. Oliver's.
The parish faithful took to the roads again in 1998 when a group walked 100 miles over five days visiting the graves of the Irish martyrs in Tipperary, Cork and Kerry.
The registration for this year's event takes place at the parish centre from 6pm and the walk begins at 7pm.
It will follow the usual route down Heywood Road and along the Western Road before turning onto the bypass and returning to St. Oliver's.
Refreshments will await the walkers on their return and there will be a free raffle, with a dozen spot prizes up for grabs.
Even if people don't or can't complete the full route they can walk part of the way.
Sponsorship cards are available from Jimmy Moloney and the parish office.