An inaugural walk to celebrate and highlight St. Columbanus’ close association with Myshall and the Mount Leinster area will be held this Friday and Saturday, July 13th & 14th. Spearheaded by the Columban Fathers in Dalgan Park, County Meath and Myshall Muintir na Tire, the walk will follow in the footsteps of Saint Columbanus, widely recognised as Ireland’s first great European saint whose birthplace is traced to the Mount Leinster area, with Myshall being the closest adjacent village.

The weekend walk is the culmination of a significant amount of research and work which has taken place over the past two years, to identify and plot his original route from Myshall to Northern Ireland. The 440km walk, now known as the Columban Way or Turas Columbanus, traces the original route he took during the 5th and early 6th century from his home parish of Myshall in the foothills of the Blackstairs Mountains to begin religious studies in Fermanagh and Bangor, County Down, where he founded a famous monastery. At the age of 48 Columbanus travelled to Europe founding monasteries along the way in France, Germany and Austria, before eventually settling in Bobbio, Italy where he was laid to rest in 615 AD.

The 1400th anniversary of his passing in 2015, renewed efforts to recognise his enormous legacy in Ireland and Europe, with interested parties planning to plot his original walking route from Myshall to Europe. This inaugural walk traces a route from Bunclody to the Nine Stones (arriving at 2 p.m.) and onwards to Myshall on Friday, July 13thculminating with the opening of the paths project at Tobar Bhride at 5.30 p.m. that evening. Completed under the Town and Village programme, the pathway links the Adelaide Memorial Church to the Catholic Church of Exaltation. On Saturday morning walkers will depart on stage 3 of the journey from Myshall Community Centre at 10 a.m. to reach Bagenalstown at 12 noon and thereafter along the Barrow towpath to Carlow. A talk on St. Columbanus and his legacy and relevance to every day life will take place in the Chapel, St. Patrick’s/ Carlow College at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening, delivered by Fr. Sean McDonagh, a noted expert on St. Columbanus.

Registration for the walk is free of charge and anybody seeking further information can contact Patsy McLean on 087-6736311.For more information on the walk, registration times and map details visit www.carlowtourism.com/columbanway

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