A fundraising bid is behind on the Rescue Services Walk on the Sheep’s Head peninsula this June 7th
It’s all part of an effort to honour the search and rescue teams which supported local rescue efforts during February’s violent storms.
The A walk, suitable for confident hikers, leads people across the peninsula, passing the ruins of a famine hamlet known locally as the “Crimea”, and abandoned copper mines. The 3 hour 8.4km route then follows the coastline on the north side of the peninsula before bearing back towards Kilcrohane.
The B walk, suitable for all families and general walkers will follow the Caher Loop walk from Alice West Centre at the Black Gate, Kilcrohane. The 2 hour, 5.6 kilometre route leads you past Caher lake, down a ‘stony roadeen’, past a famine graveyard, and on through farmland along the coast to Trá Ruaim. From the beach there, the walkers will loop back to Kilcrohane, where refreshments will be served on the day.
Walkers are asked to register below so that adequate guiding services can be provided. Suitable footwear and clothing suited to changes in the weather should be worn for the event.
Please sign in at the Alice West Centre at the Black Gate, on the road out of Kilcrohane between 10:30 and 11. Walks will start promptly at 11am. For more details, contact: Siobhán Burke 086 303 0991;
‘Bantry Bay can look so still and peaceful on a summer’s day, it’s a wonderful thing to see’, says James O’Mahony, one of the founders of the Sheep’s Head Way walking route. ‘But it’s also a place that’s exposed to the elements. When storms hit, or tragedy strikes, we know we have the back-up of amazing teams of rescue workers who can step in and help us.’
In February 2014, those rescue services were called in to assist in the search for two young men who went missing off the coastline in fierce storms. Throughout the long rescue effort which saw the recovery of one of the men’s bodies, the community and the rescue workers toiled alongside each other. Locals shared their knowledge of the coastline and assisted where they could. Meanwhile, a steady stream of visitors brought food and drink to the Black Gate to sustain the searchers as they carried on with their work in difficult conditions.
Now, in a bid to raise funds for two of the groups committed to providing local search and rescue services, the local community is organising a fundraising walk on June 7th on two Sheep’s Head Way loop routes. While 6 services participated in the rescue efforts, funds will be split between Bantry Inshore Rescue Association which provides emergency lifeboat services to the Bantry Bay area, and the newly-formed West Cork Diving Group which also relies on voluntary donations.
BISRA operates the St. Brendan lifeboat at a cost of about €25,000 per year, and almost all of this money is raised from voluntary contributions.
‘It’s a small gesture really, but we wanted to mark our debt of gratitude to the people who helped us in a tough time,’ says John Tobin of the Sheep’s Head & Bantry Co-op, ‘and to acknowledge their ongoing support.’
‘We’ll lead walkers along the Caher and Cahergal loop walks, and while they take in the stunning landscape now the fine weather is back with us again, they’ll also be marking the debt we owe to people who give their time and skills to make this landscape as safe as it can possibly be for everyone who visits it.’
The Caher and Cahergal Loop Walks are connected to the Sheep’s Head Way walking route which extends in a loop from Bantry out to the lighthouse at the tip of the rugged West Cork peninsula.
Sponsorship and Donations
We ask walkers to seek sponsorship, and donations will also be accepted on the day. If you can’t attend, but would like to donate to the nominated rescue services, please forward donations, marked ‘Rescue Services Walk’ to the Sheep’s Head Way Ltd., Black Gate, Kilcrohane, Bantry, Co. Cork’. It is hoped that the walk will become an annual event to honour the continuing support local rescue services offer to the Sheep’s Head community.