Walking the MacGiollaphadraig Way this Bank Holiday
South Laois Tourism invite you to the MacGiollaphadraig Way (17k linear walk). With starting points in Durrow South Laois and Gathabawn North Kilkenny. Organised walks will be held October Bank Holiday Monday from Mackeys Bar Gathabawn. 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 delightful 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 now 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 legend has it Cormac MacGiollaphadraig was slain by Cromwell’s men. Many old derelict dwellings are dotted throughout the landscape here; reminders of another time.
You are now on the concluding stages of the walk as you pass through the beautiful Ballygowney valley while Coolcashin Graveyard is on your left as you approach the picturesque village of Gathabawn nestled between the hills. This area is also home to the famous racehorse Limestone Lad.
Walkers can also join the MacGiollaphadraig Way from Cullahill Village by following the markers to the steps close to the Trailhead.
For more information contact – 0874168549 or 0872395357.
The Binnianea Loop Walk is another walk in South Laois you can try: