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Up to 150 take in Sliabh Aughty Hills as part of Grey Lake Ramblers Walking Festival

The ever-enthusiastic members of the Grey Lake Ramblers celebrated the club’s 20th anniversary with a festival of walks in the Sliabh Aughty hills recently.

The Ramblers are a hiking club based in Loughrea with membership drawn primarily from the wider East Galway area. The Club is a member of Mountaineering Ireland and the Galway Sports Partnership.

Up to 150 people including guests from other walking clubs and the general public took part in the six festival walks.

In addition to celebrating the Club’s anniversary, the Ramblers were keen to raise awareness of the Sliabh Aughtys as a major walking area right on our doorstep in East Galway and to promote hill walking among the wider public for physical and mental wellbeing.

The first three walks last week covered trails in Woodford, Kylebrack and Kylebrack West and moved across to Sonnach, Cloughan and Keelderry (Peterswell) for the final three.

Walkers also had the opportunity to call into local businesses for refreshments in each of the areas where they walked.

The historic library in Loughrea was the setting for the launch of the festival on Wednesday evening of June 12.

Key speakers included community archaeologist Dr Christy Cunniffe, who shared his knowledge of and passion for the history of the people, places and events in the Sliabh Aughtys.

Ann Fahy, a founding member of the Ramblers, brought members and guess through the Club’s formation in the early 2000s to the present day.

And Gerard McInerney wrapped up the event with some key nuggets on the work of the Ramblers to bring walkers safely up and down the Hills throughout the year.

An extensive exhibition of maps of walking trails and photos was on display in the Library.

Pictured: The Grey Lake Ramblers stepping it out in the Sliabh Aughtys.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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