Episode 4

Singer and songwriter Eleanor McEvoy undertook two walks in North County Cork. Her first walk saw her tackle a 15 km stretch of the Avondhu-Blackwater Way, from Ballyhooly to the town of Fermoy which is a mix of open road and woodland walks. Before Eleanor embarked on her walk she met her guide, local mountain leader, Maureen O’Brien who told her about the history and buildings of the village of Ballyhooly. 

They started their walk, crossing the Ballyhooly bridge and walked through a forest which is parallel to The Blackwater River. Along the way there were many things to see and discuss as Maureen knew these routes well. Eleanor bid Maureen goodbye and continued on to Knockannig, which is one of the highest points on the route where she admired the view. Local volunteer, Christy Roche, undertakes routine maintenance on the whole trail at Glenabo Woods accompanied Eleanor the rest of the journey to Fermoy following the course of the river into the town.

Eleanor’s second walk took her to Doneraile Park, which was home to the St. Leger family. It is now in State ownership and is open to the public. Eleanor followed a path called the “Long Walk” around the outskirts of the estate. Accompanying her was Park Foreman Michael O’Sullivan who looks after the grounds day to day. At 5.3 kilometres, the Long Walk is the longest of the three walks and takes about an hour. All the walks in the park are suitable for all ages and take in the many features of the estate. 

Doneraile Park has seen many changes over its 800 year history and Hugh Carrigan the OPW superintendent for the demesne has a keen interest in the demesne from the many varieties of trees and plants found in there to the history of the St. Leger family who lived there. 

Eleanor ended her journey with a treat as she was given special permission to take a look inside Doneraile Court and got to see the spectacular views of the Park from the fine Georgian house which is the centrepiece of the estate.

  1. Killavullen Loop
  2. Donkey Sanctuary Trail
  3. Castleblagh Woodland Trail
  4. Corrin Wood
  5. Claragh Loop (Millstreet)

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