Spooky tale and shaman on Wexford Walking Trails

By David tucker

Published 22/09/2015 | 00:00

Garrett Keogh: spooky story with eclectic instruments.
Garrett Keogh: spooky story with eclectic instruments.

Wexford Walking Trail's second annual festival takes place from Friday, September 25 to Sunday, September 27, with a spooky tale and a shamanic trail among the offerings.

The highlight of this year's festival is the Equinox walk on Oulart Hill, which culminates at 6.30 p.m. on Saturday, September 26 - the autumn equinox - at Tulach a' tSolais, a monument on the hilltop dedicated to 1798. On Friday, Shamanick pactitioner Cait Branigan will lead a guided tour of Gorey.

Other events over the weekend include include a foraging walk on the Kilanerin Trail, led by Mary White, from Blackstairs Eco Trails, followed by a cookery demonstration, a threshing exhibition, bygone house of stories tales in medieval Oulart and the Tara Hill Trail.

Wexford Walking Trails is a network of walking trails throughout the county of Wexford.

It was set up under a Wexford Local Development training programme and is supported by Wexford County Council and other agencies. The idea is that a standard is set for developing trails(following guidelines set down by National Trails Office).

Participants in the two-and-half-year programme, who covered trail development, waymarking, surface maintenance as well as mapping, photography and many other elements, mainly came from the community voluntary sector with a view to adding walking trails as an amenity to their area.

'The idea is that we not alone promote the use of walking trails but show the unique character of each trail and make it an enjoyable experience.

'On the opening evening (on Friday, September 25) before the welcome reception we have organised a guided walk of Gorey by a Shamanic Practitioner, Cait Branigan - this is a first for us, and for Gorey, which although not a member of Wexford Walking Trails, will definitely add something unique to the weekend,' said Catherine MacPartlin, from Wexford Walking Trails.

As part of the Walking Trails Weekend actor and writer Garrett Keogh will present a short talk on Walking and Imagining on Friday at the Ashdown Park Hotel.

Part of it will feature The Ghost Pool, recordings based on local stories and the Kilanerin ledgers handwritten by schoolchildren in 1937/8. He developed The Ghost Pool with the Gap Storytelling Project.

'It's a spooky story set in this landscape,' Keogh says.

'It features eclectic instruments including Tibetan bowls and Kalimbas to add to the eerie effects.'

An Australian travelling Europe will be among the wide range of participants in the Festival.

The Australian tourist, currently in France, picked up news of the Festival on the Wexford Walking Trail Facebook page. See wexfordwalking@gmail.com, on the web at www.wexfordwalkingtrail.ie/festival

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