Lenny Antonelli take a ten hour hike through “the very loneliest place in Ireland”
Outsider magazine, Spring 2013
Unlike most things, it started in a pub on Achill in January. “How’s Galway this weather?” one of the locals asked me.
“Ah fairly quiet,” I said. He burst into laughter. If Galway was quiet in the dead of winter, what was Achill?
But the island is still a bustling metropolis compared to some parts of Mayo, he insisted. “Ever been to Carrowteige in north Mayo?” he asked. “It’s sort of like an Alaskan outpost.”
“Or have you heard of that aul’ Bangor Trail? I was camping out there for a few days and had to climb a mountain just to get phone coverage to call my daughter and tell her I was still alive.”
His friend piped up: “Sure what you be doing going out into all that aul’ wilderness?”
Passive House Plus, 21 March 2013
Pressure from sectors of the building materials industry last November forced a delay in the publication of a database detailing the carbon footprint of building materials in Ireland, Passive House Plus can reveal.
Exploring the river banks and mountain passes on the Western Way
Irish Times, 14 March 2013
Mist can play tricks with mountains. Walking on the Western Way on a March morning, cloud had covered the body of Devilsmother mountain but left its summit exposed. Wrapped in cloud, you forget the mountains are there until you see a detached peak far up in the sky, higher than it ever looked before. But more often the opposite occurs: mist rubs out the tops, so you forget where the summits are and imagine you’re walking under the Alps or the Andes.
Irish Times, Saturday March 2, 2013
LENNY ANTONELLI visits a forest park on the shores of the Shannon
The Japanese term shinrin-yoku means “forest bathing”, or immersing yourself in the woods. The country even designates forest bathing sites to promote relaxation and health.
If you can’t make it to Japan, you could try Portumna. The Galway town’s Irish name, Port Omna, means “landing place of the oak”, but its 450 hectare forest park is dominated by mature conifers. We set out from Portumna marina, with no real plan but to see where the park’s maze of trails would take us.
Irish Times, Saturday 9 February 2013
LENNY ANTONELLI walks the Royal Canal on the Meath-Kildare border
The Royal Canal was raised in the shadow of its big brother. In the 1750s the idea of a waterway linking Dublin to the north Shannon was rejected, and instead the more southerly Grand Canal was built.
Irish Times, 5 January, 2013
Lenny Antonelli walks the Dublin Mountains Way, one of Ireland’s newest long-distance trails
I went to Dublin seeking wild landscapes, not really expecting to find any. Living on the west coast I usually don’t travel far for this sort of thing. Going to Dublin to find mountains felt incongruous.
Irish Times, 15 December 2012
LENNY ANTONELLI walks a quiet section of the Grand Canal in Kildare
The Grand Canal Way is a rarity in Ireland: a long-distance walk that’s almost entirely off-road, stretching from Adamstown in west Dublin to Shannon Harbour, Co Offaly.
The section between Hazelhatch and Sallins is a perfect microcosm of it – a half day’s walk between two towns serviced by a railway whose own history is entangled in that of the canal.
Irish Times, 24 November 2012
LENNY ANTONELLI encounters a trout river and deceiving mushrooms
The terrain between the northern end of Lough Corrib and the mountains of Connemara is tough to categorise. It’s a place where flat lakeland meets quartzite peaks, yet it doesn’t belong to either. The region’s folding plateaus are softer and greener than the neighbouring mountains, yet more complex and cryptic, and less walked.
Irish Times, 27 October 2012
GO WALK: LENNY ANTONELLI explores the seascapes of Gleann Cholm Cille
DRIVING IN FROM the bog above, Gleann Cholm Cille appears like a Greenlandic outpost, a scatter of low buildings enclosed by sea and mountain. A web of bog tracks takes you into the hills north of the village – a branch from one leads to an early 19th-century lookout tower, on the 220m cliffs at Glen Head.
Local teacher Thomas McGinley found this height too great to comprehend the sea below. “Both vision and hearing fail . . . at this awful altitude,” he wrote.
Great Blakset (left) ant Inishtooskert (right)
Irish Times, 29 September 2012
LENNY ANTONELLI walks Great Blasket and its lesser-known smaller cousins
OF ALL IRISH islands, Inishnabro offers its rare visitor the grandest entrance. We climb from our ferry into a dinghy and search for a landing spot among the steep rock. Suddenly a sea arch appears, and our boatman steers through it to a hidden cove. We hop out onto the wet rock and up a steep gully to the grassy slopes above.
Inishnabro is one of the Blasket Islands, those last half-drowned scraps of Ireland before the open Atlantic. Much has been written about Great Blasket, home to authors Peig Sayers and Muiris Ó Súilleabháin, which was evacuated in 1953. But little is said of neighbouring islands such as Inishnabro and Inishtooskert.