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The authors of 'Our Burren Walks' launched in support of Clarecare from left to right Eddie Joyce, Patrick McGinley and Tim O'Connell

Launch of ‘Our Burren Walks’ Guidebook in support of Clarecare

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FROM the stunning scenery of the Flaggy Shore to the unspoilt splendour of Mullaghmore, these are just some of the locations that are featured in a brand new book showcasing some of the very best walks to be enjoyed in the Burren.

Written by Patrick McGinley, Tim O’Connell and Eddie Joyce, the ‘Our Burren Walks’ Guidebook is being sold in support of Clarecare Family Support Service which provides a range of supports to children and parents in County Clare.

Keen and extensive outdoor walkers and adventurers, Patrick, Tim and Eddie regard many of the walks in the Burren as spectacular as those anywhere in the world and they are pleased to have the opportunity to share some of their interesting Burren experiences with readers of ‘Our Burren Walks’.

Patrick tells us they are hopeful the book will inspire others to get out and explore all the Burren has to offer. He says there are “dozens of reasons” to go out walking referencing the work of Professor Shane O’Mara of Trinity College who said, “The evidence is extensive. It shows that walking enhances every aspect of our being, from our physical health, to our mental health, to our social lives and beyond.”

The ‘Our Burren Walks’ guidebook follows on from a previous publication ‘Our Connemara Walks’. As well as detailing their walking journey in words, the publication also includes a number of impressive photographs taken by Patrick highlighting the beauty of the Burren including some rare flower species.

He explains, “It’s a very simple book describing 12 walks and what we saw when we went out there. When it came to the book we tried to figure out a range of walks so we had something to suit everybody, we have three good walks on hills, three walks suitable for people with buggies or wheelchair users, walks for someone who wants to bring their dog on a leash. There are all kinds.”

Patrick’s own favourite walk featured in this book is in the impressive grounds of Coole Park. “It really is a lovely spot, and the book has some lovely photographs taken there including one very unusual flower, the toothwort. I think it’s the only one that does this, it blossoms underground. Sometimes it will send a little blossom just above ground and if you are very lucky you can get a picture of it, but most people will ever see it so we were very, very lucky.”

Other highlights on the walkers’ travels included a visit to Newquay Church to see the Stations of the Cross created by artist Sean O’Sullivan. “We believe they are probably the 14 finest works of art in the west of Ireland, they are absolutely stunning.”

The authors advise against pulling on your walking boots on wet days in the Burren “because the rocks are too slippery”, however the book also points to plenty of local attractions to keep visitors busy until the rain stops.

This guidebook “is an invitation to take a gentle stroll through the Burren in the convivial company of three walkers who clearly derive great pleasure from this place and its people” according to Dr Brendan Dunford, Manager of the Burren Programme.

The guidebook is sold in support of Clarecare Family Support Service with Patrick saying, “We are delighted to be able to support this valuable service.”

Through the provision of individual and group supports for parents and children, the service aims to enhance parenting, family relationships and communication; improve resilience, safety and wellbeing in all aspects of a child and family’s life. The service is funded by Tusla – Child & Family agency.

The book will be launched on Tuesday, November 22 in Clare County Council Civic Office, Buttermarket building, Drumbiggle, Ennis by Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Councillor Tony O’Brien. Dr Brendan Dunford, Tim O’Connell and Jacinta Swann, manager of the family support services, Clarecare will speak on the night.

‘Our Burren Walks’ is available in a number of outlets including The Ennis Bookshop, The Lahinch Bookshop,The Banner Bookshop in Ennistymon, Spar Lisdoonvarna, Ballyvaughan Service Station, Spar Ballyvaughan, The Tea Rooms in Coole Park Visitor Centre, Mace Lisdoonvarna, The Rock Shop, Garrihy’s Doolin, the Burren Centre, Secret Garden, Kinvara, News & Views in Gort, EuroSpar in Kinvara with more set to be announced in the future. Shops may order ‘Our Burren Walks’ from: [email protected]

If anyone wishes to avail of Clarecare supports they can contact 065-6894200 or visit www.clarecare.ie

About Jessica Quinn

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