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Camino Mhacha walkers enjoy a day of craic as they follow in the footsteps of Cú Chulainn

Having a laugh along the way. CREDIT: LiamMcArdle.com

The number of people taking part in Sunday’s Camino Mhacha from Mullaghbawn to Armagh City quadrupled from last year.

One hundred participants put their best foot forward in the bilingual, 24.5 mile trek.

Among them was Finance Minister Conor Murphy.

The walk through Co Armagh retraces the epic journey of Cú Chulainn, Ulster’s greatest mythological hero.

Aonach Mhacha, the organisation behind Camino Mhacha, is a state-of-the-art Irish language and arts centre which opened in March 2020 at a cost of £2.5m.

As well as those walking, this year’s event attracted three cyclists and one notable runner, Mattie Lennon of Derrynoose, who manages Armagh Camogie county teams at senior and minor levels, and whose time on Saturday morning was an incredible 3.37 hours.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy, right, and Sinn Féin Councillor Barra Ó Muirí, left, were among those who completed the walk. CREDIT: LiamMcArdle.com

It wasn’t all hard work, though. The walkers enjoyed refreshments at McCoy’s Bar in Cullyhanna and Basil Sheils of Tassagh, as well as being able to refuel at various points along the route.

And Lumiere Events were on hand for marshalling duties and to ensure all ran smoothly.

Back at Aonach Mhacha, the walkers were treated to Indian Cuisine from Spice Lounge and entertainment from local musicians.

Each person received a commemorative T-shirt, a book entitle ‘Cú Chulainn, Ulster’s Greatest Hero’ from Gael Linn, and a Camino Mhacha medallion.

Réamonn Ó Ciaráin, walk organiser, said they were delighted with the response to this year’s event.

“We had walkers from all ages and backgrounds. It will no doubt become an annual feature for locals and visitors and grow steadily year upon year,” he said.

“Cú Chulainn, our greatest mythological hero, inspired this walk and we want to work closely with local councils to ensure we can now maximise the Camino concept in Armagh as has happened in other places.”

Thumbs up for the Camino. CREDIT: LiamMcArdle.com

The group has offered to pass on its maps and signage to any other groups wishing to complete the walk.

The aim of the walk is to raise awareness of our shared cultural heritage, the benefits of walking for physical and mental wellbeing and the environment.

It was supported this year by Foras na Gaeilge, Gael Linn, Spar in Keady, Charles Hurst, McCoy’s of Cullyhanna and Basil Sheils of Tassagh.

Attention has already switched to next year’s walk which will take place on the final weekend of July 2022 and will hopefully attract three hundred participants

For more information about Camino Mhacha visit www.caminomhacha.com

 

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