Marian Finucane

    Saturday, Sunday, 11 - 1pm

    Marian Finucane Saturday 10 October 2015


    Marian Finucane

    Live stimulating mix of news, interviews, reports and discussion.


    Rural Crime - Fergal Keane

    Late Debate presenter Fergal Keane joins Marian to talk about rural crime and his programme from Thurles last Thursday.



    Marian is joined by Tania Banotti, John G. O'Dwyer and Dave Whelan who talk about their favourite walks around Ireland and beyond.


    Walks Mentioned:

    The Gobbins, Islandmacgee. County Antrim (Easy, 2.5 hours to complete)
    As much an experience as a walk it is now Northern Ireland’s newest tourist attraction. Involves a 2km exploration of a sheer cliff Face.
    Suitable for families, but minimum height requirement for kids.

    Mullaghmore Mountain, Co Clare (Moderate Difficulty, takes about 2.5 hours to complete)
    For the Burren at its best on a mountain offering splendid views that is not too demanding from a fitness point of view.

    Coumshingaun, Comeragh Mountains, Co Waterford (Challenging, takes about 4 hours to complete)
    Great half day circuit of the greatest glaciated coum on these islands. Requires reasonably good fitness.

    Inishbofin, Westquarter Loop (Easy, 2.5 hours to complete)
    Lovely island location, firm underfoot conditions, sense of being away from it all and great views back to Connemara.

    Slieve Donard, Mourne Mountains Co Down ( challenging, allow 4 hours to complate)
    The highest mountain in Ulster is a more challenging outing. Offers summit view to the Scottish Mountains, Lake District and Isle of Man.

    The Tochar Pilgrim Path. Co Mayo (Challenging 1-day or moderate 2-day walk)
    Ireland’s oldest Pilgrim route can be completed in 1 tough day or 2 more relaxed days. Leads from Ballintubber abbey to Croagh Patrick.

    St Finbarr’s Pilgrim path, West Cork (Challenging 2-day walk)
    Great 2-day walk following in the footsteps of St Finbarr and ending in Gougane Barra. Hotel and Pod Park packages available.

    Cooley Mountains. Co Louth (Difficulty varies with walk)
    Fantastic views. Rugged terrain. Deep sense of history

    Carrauntoohil Ireland’s Finest Mountain is also the highest (Challenging, allow 7 hours to complete)
    Offers many routes, expansive views on a clear day and a huge sense of achievement but too challenging? Might consider using a guide.

    At this time of year allow plenty of time to finish before nightfall.

    Good boots to protect ankles
    Rucksack with spare clothing and raingear
    Map and Compass
    Mobile Phone
    Energy giving food

    Great walks in the West

    The Great Western Way - which can be done in stages. 66 km linear walking route provides an excellent introduction for walkers to the beautiful and scenic wildernesses of Connemara. Starts in Oughterard and takes in Lough Corrib, some of the Maumturk mountains. Can be windswept and barren but it runs along the old famine road in the fjord and it is beautiful. This can be hard or not depending on how much of the Great Western Way you tackle in any one day. It can be done in bite size pieces.

    Easy – Up Erisbeg Mountain near Roundstone in Connemara, gives you a view of two stunning horseshoe shaped beaches Dogs Bay and Gurteen, two of the finest beaches in Ireland, starred in many a films such as Into the West with Gabriel Byrne. In front is the beach, then the Atlantic ocean and to the rear is Roundstone bog – couldn’t be more of a contrast. This landscape has been written about beautifully by Tim Robinson who lives in the village. Readers may be familiar with his famous map of Connemara.

    Easy – Diamond hill near Clifden. A 7km walk. Easy enough. Starts in the visitor centre at the entrance to the Connemara National Park which has a nice Café. It’s a fully signposted and surfaced track and attracts loads of overseas visitors.

    The Maumturk Challenge organised by Galway University Mountaineering Club . This is a backbreaker of a walk, very tough, starting crack of dawn and can last up to 11 hours. Not for the fainthearted but an epic day out.

    The Joyce Country Challenge in Joyce County a gem of a place but little known, little known area  on the border between Mayo and Galway. 

    Laragh Mines or Vale of Gladassen 

    Description: It’s a lovely quiet flat path alongside a river away from any roads, with a forest on the other side.  A place for an autumnal walk.  The river is a shallow river around 5m wide with stepping stones for the kids to play on if they dare.  Just mind your dogs as there are sheep in the fields on the far side of the river.

    After a couple of Kilometers the path starts to rise up towards the Miners village. Follow the path upwards alongside the river which has started gushing with the incline. The climb is around 100m with lots of boulder to rest on as you go. 

    The surface is now an old boulder pathway or wodden sleepers. You won’t need anything other that walking shoes or runners.

    You have an option to go through the miners village and up to Camaderry Ridge overlooking Glendalough. This path is not for Kids, and you will need walking shoes once you pass the mines.

    Directions - Follow the blue line

    Park in the Glendalough visiors centre and walk to the far side of the Glendalough Hotel .  Go past the round tower and grave yard along the river for a few hundred meters towards Glendalough, until you get to a bend in the road. Take the lane to your right, and follow for a mile.  It’s a lovely quiet flat path alongside the river, with a forest on the other side.  A place for an Autumnal walk.

    You can also walk up through the forest on your left, if you would like a longer walk.  There is a path that leads you into the Glendalough Valley. It’s around 1km along the river.

    Total time: 1 hr 30 minutes or longer depending on what you take on.

    Great Coffee shops on the Green in Laragh. 

    Walk 2 - Circuit Glendalough Lake

    Moderate walk if you go anti clockwise around the lake. Slightly harder going clockwise as you need to follow the trail up the Steps. The clockwise trail is described below.

    Spinc and Glenealo Valley (White Route)

    Grade: Hillwalk

    Distance: 9km

    Time: 3hr

    Climb: 380 m

    This popular walk leads you through some of the most spectacular scenery in Co. Wicklow. (The name Spinc comes from the Irish 'An Spinc' and means 'pointed hill'). The trail ascends steeply up by the Poulanass Waterfall before joining a boardwalk. More than 600 wooden steps lead you to a viewing point overlooking the Upper Lake. The boardwalk skirts the top of the cliffs before descending through blanket bog and heath into the picturesque Glenealo Valley, home to a large herd of deer. A rough track then leads you back down into Glendalough Valley.

    For the easier trail follow the road around the lake with the lake on your left.  If you follow the river leading into the lake uphill for around a km you will eventually find a bridge across the river with a path leading you back up a hill towards the car park.


    There is a good path so runners or walking shoes are fine. Kids can manage this route.  My daughter did it when she was three, but she is a walker. The 18 year old au pair didn’t manage it.

    Walk 3 - Wicklow Way

    Knockree hostel to Crone Wood

    A magical short walk for kids along an enchanted river with old broadleaf trees and a beech on a bend in the river. A perfect autumnal walk. This is a section of the Wicklow Way just outside Enniskerry. So hard to get lost once you find the Hostel.

    Walk is around 5km but there is one short steep climb of around 50m in elevation.

    For the more energetic families you can continue up Maulin. There is a spectacular view of powercourt about half way up the walk. Maulin will take you another two and a half hours.  But the Waterfall view is only half that.


    Path is reasonable and runners or walking shoes is all you need.

    Walk 4

    A spectacular walk from Pier Gates up Fancy. Take the road to Roundwood turning off the N11 at Kilmacanouge.  There is a turning right signposted for the Sally gap 3-4 miles before Roundwood.  At the top of the hill you will see stone gates with a walking entrance on your right.  

    Luggala (Fancy Mountain) via East Gully

    A short challenging hike up a well know Wicklow mountain, taking in some fantastic views of Lough Tay.

    Difficulty: Moderate

    Length: 5.4 miles / 8.7 km

    Duration: 3-4 hours

    Overview: Parking is along the side of the road at the large iron gates just off the R759.

    Cross the road and "squeeze" through the swinging gate, and follow the road down in a large Zig Zag. You will pass several cottages and a large farmhouse before crossing a small wooden Bridge.

    At this point you leave the road and cross a Stile into a green field. Here you turn right and head north directly towards Lough Tay. The ground here is quite rocky and in places boggy so care must be taken. The South East Face of Luggala is is directly in front of you.

    You will cross a small boulder field before the ground begins to rise steeply. Follow the line on Waypoint 5 directly up the Gully. Note there is plenty of loose rock, however the ground is not that steep that they will pick up much speed. About 3 quarters the way up the gully you can veer right of left. We took the right route which ends with some easy scrambling to the ridge above.

    Once on the ridge follow the trail West along the ridge to the summit. Note the ground here is very boggy so care must be taken. Follow a SE bearing off the top and back along a (eroded) trail.

    The trip to see the old village ruins is optional. If you want to avoid this simply keep to the trail which will bring you back to the Stile (Waypoint 2). The village is worth a visit however, and is usually overlooked by walkers.

    Follow a reverse route back up the valley to where you started!


    Don’t let the first part of this walk fool you.  The well paved road turns into muddy path up the Fancy hill.  The path is well worn so you should be able to follow it up easily.  Just watch out on your descent there are several paths off the hill make sure you go back down the one you came up.  Easy as long as it’s a clear day.

    Walk 5 - O'Sullivan Trail - Beara Pensinsula

    Three day monster walk for the Bank Holiday, only for the fit with all the equipment.

    Stay in Castletownbere on the Thursday night, having left your car in Glengarriff, and got the bus to Castletownbere

    Day 1 Dursey Island to Allihies

    Walk the Island with the O’Sullivan tower near the end of the Island. Dramatic granite Cliffs at the end of Dursey Island with Fasnet and Skelling Michael in the distance.

    This leg is well signposted. There is a costal route on road for the 7 inhabitants or there is the mountain path across the ridge of the Island.

    Day 2

    Allihies to Adrigole  A long and arduous day half of it off track and across bog.

    This is a tough long day, over the Miskish mountains.  There is no trail and you may end up a few miles short of Adrigole.

    Adrigole to Glengarriff

    The path between Adrigole and Glengarriff is magnificent and well signposted.  It’s a shorter day with time for your journey home. Another full day.

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