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Kate Lavender Duncan on a trip through Baker's Rift, Pollnagollom, Clare

Cavers to descend on the Burren

THE 29th annual Irish caving symposium (SUICRO 2013) takes place this October Bank Holiday weekend in Hotel Doolin, attracting more than 100 cavers from around Ireland and the UK.

The event, organised by the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation (ICRO) and the Speleological Union of Ireland (SUI), will include activities, lectures, demonstrations, trade stands, workshops and DVDs and, for the first time, is open to the public.

As well as attending lectures, members of the public can try out caving with qualified guides in some of the Burren’s most beautiful caves and visit ICRO’s rescue store located in Doolin. First-time explorers will be provided with the necessary equipment and will be guided by fully qualified cave leaders.

The symposium offers an opportunity to learn about the subterranean world in Ireland and abroad, meet avid cavers and learn about the challenges faced by cave rescuers.

“We decided that we would love to open up the store this year to those interested in learning about cave rescue and what ICRO does and we are looking forward to meeting people,” said John Kavanagh, first aid officer with ICRO.

Taking place on Saturday and Sunday, the event will show the award-winning documentary No Place On Earth, as well as feature international expedition updates, a presentation on cave photography and videography and caving news from Clare and Fermanagh.

Members of the public are invited to attend the evening talks on both days from 7pm until 10.30pm.
“Caving is a relatively low-profile sport in Ireland but Irish cavers have been very prominent on the world stage in caving terms in the last decade.

“A number have reached the bottom of the deepest cave in the world at over two kilometres during this time and various expeditions have been dispatched to the jungles of Papua New Guinea, the mountains of China and the islands of Panama to search for undiscovered cave systems,” said John Duncan, chairperson of SUI.

More information on the SUICRO Symposium is available on Facebook or www.caving.ie. The ICRO store open day, located beside the Doolin Community Centre, takes place on Saturday from 1pm to 4pm.

Anyone interested in partaking in the SUI try-caving event can contact Gaelan Elliffe by email on lookforexploration@gmail.com.

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