by Kathleen Mullane

“The Mangerton Climb”

Well, when Ray Enright proposed the idea at one of our hall meetings a few weeks back, as a follow-up fund raiser to our scrap collection for the Community Hall – that we would give out sponsorship cards and make a Family Day out of climbing Mangerton Mountain in Killarney, we didn’t think that it would be the great success that it was! – and that a total of ‘90’ would do the climb – men, women and children and of course ‘Becky the dog’! and that the age range would be from 5 and half years (Calum Buckley, son of Karina and Mike of Templeathea) to over 70 years – Patsy Kelly, a relative of Gretta Enright.

Everyone gathered at the hall for an early 8.30am start on Sunday morning last. The 3 buses and cars were on the road for 8.40am and thankfully for a change – no rain. We arrived in Killarney an hour later and parked up at the foot of Mangerton. It was on with the hiking boots, up with the back packs, a bit of sun-lotion on the ‘bald heads’ and the kids and off we went all 90 of us.

The beginning was fairly wet, and some had wet socks and boots before they had started the uphill climb. It was long enough, but once you got into manoeuvring through the rocks and marshy ground you were fine. Everyone went at their own pace – it wasn’t a race- and it was great to see the many young teenagers taking part.

Almost 2 hours to the area known as “The Devil’s Punchbowl” where there was a lovely lake and where we all sat down to eat.  At this altitude it was fairly cold and the kids especially found this.  Another 40 minutes or so afterwards saw many reaching the summit. Then it was the downward trip – what a view – it was unbelievable. The vehicles we had left earlier looked like specs of dust from that height! On reaching the bottom the kids washed their feet and legs in the clear running streams and of course a great “water fight” followed, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. What a great day everyone agreed – a day that involved the “ATHEA COMMUNITY” and we had a laugh and a joke throughput. It’s a day that the kids will remember – away from T.V’s, Nintendo’s, Wii’s etc, – just a fun day. At the moment everyone is asking when will we do it again?!

We sincerely thank everyone who sponsored the climb – a full figure of what was made we will have in the near future.


Happy 60th Birthday wishes go to Mike O’Connor of Markievicz Park this week who celebrated at White’s on Saturday night.

Also to Hannah Scanlon of Dirreen who recently had her 89th Birthday at her home with her family.