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The Knockmealdowns – Hillwalk (OSI Map No. 74)

February 11, 2018 @ 8:45 am - 4:30 pm

The Knockmealdowns in Winter

The Knockmealdowns

Join us hiking in The Knockmealdowns, an area of outstanding natural beauty. We are planning three levels of hillwalks this Sunday (“D” Walk, “C” Walk and “B” Walk) with each hillwalk taking different routes. New Walkers are always welcome to join us for a trial hillwalk before deciding to join the club.

Sign Up

Walkers can sign up for the hillwalkin person in Counihans, Pembroke St, Cork from 9.00pm on the Wednesday before the Sunday walk or alternatively  online at:https://www.corkbackpackers.ie/

Meeting Point

The meeting point for the hillwalk is on the South Mall opposite the Imperial Hotel at 8.45am. We carpool from there and leave at 9.00am sharp.

Walking Gear

Due to the variability of the weather please check out recommended walking gear here: Walking Gear

Knockmealdown Mountains

The Knockmealdown Mountains (Irish: Sléibhte Chnoc Mhaoldomhnaigh) is a mountain range situated on the border of counties Tipperary and Waterford, running east and west between the two counties. A 25 km long east – west aligned range they lie between the River Tar to the north and the beautiful Blackwater River to the south. There are at least 15 distinct summits in the range. The highest peak of the range being Knockmealdown (794m) and lies in County Waterford. In addition on the western side of the summit, there is a high pass through which runs the old mail coach road from Lismore to Clogheen. 


Knockmealdown has two interpretations of the Irish origins of its name, either Cnoc Mhaoldomhnaigh: “Muldowneys’ Hill” or Cnoc Maol Donn: “bald brown hill”

Liam Lynch

Liam Lynch (Irish: Liam Ó Loingsigh; 9 November 1893 – 10 April 1923) was an officer in the Irish Republican Army during the Irish War of Independence and also the commanding general of the Irish Republican Army during the Irish Civil War. 

On 10 April 1923 an Irish army unit approached Lynch’s secret headquarters in the Knockmealdown Mountains. Liam was carrying important papers that he knew must not fall into enemy hands, so he and his six comrades began a strategic retreat. In the ensuing shoot out Lynch received a fatal bullet wound and died later that evening.

On 7 April 1935, 12 years later, the anti-Treaty Government of Éamon de Valera erected a 60-foot-high (18 m) round tower monument on the spot where Lynch was thought to have fallen, on Knockmealdown Mountain.

Liam Lynch Memorial

This striking fifty-foot tower by Denis Doyle of Clonmel takes the form of the Irish round tower. This is a freestanding bell tower associated with monastic settlements. Often thought to have provided protection for monks and their valuables from Viking raids, its connotations of strength and resilience would have made it a fitting motif for a monument for Liam Lynch, a leading figure in the War of Independence and Chief-of-Staff of the Anti-Treaty forces in the Civil War.

The monument marks the spot where Lynch received his fatal wounds. The sculptor Albert Power prepared plaster casts of Irish wolfhounds with the intention of casting them in bronze. Due to lack of funds these were never cast and the plaster casts were used for the unveiling in 1935. The bronze wolfhounds, erected 1996, are the work of sculptor Pauline O’Connell. The wolfhound is a motif, which is featured in the myth of Cú Chulainn. The use of iconic imagery is evidence of the growing confidence in Irish culture in the Irish Free State.


The Grubb monument is a few hundred metres from the Vee Gap. The tombstone marks the grave of Samuel Grubb who had lived and owned property in the Golden Vale. Legend tells us he wished to be buried in sight of his paradise. He gave orders to be buried on the very top of the hills but six strong bearers could go no further. He would see no better on top!


The Knockmealdowns in Winter

The Knockmealdowns in Winter

These mountains developed about 300 million years ago in what geologists refer to as the Devonian period.  The movement in the earth’s crust caused tremendous lateral crushing to occur. These pressures forced the crust to crumble into folds. Additionally, subsequent erosion of the higher folds has in general shaped the mountains as we know them. The extent of the erosion depends on the hardness of the rock at the top of the fold so that in some places the upwards folds correspondents with ridges of high relief and in other places they have been worn down completely to form valleys and lowlands. 
The high mountains of Waterford consist of old red sandstone (ORS). They overlook the coastal plains and the beautiful Blackwater valley. The Comeragh and Monavullagh mountains also consist of (ORS).

Here hundreds of metres of purple gritts and brownish conglomerates and shales were form a gigantic arch. The eastern end of the arch has gradually eroded down to reveal a rolling plateau of Silurian rocks. This is known as the plateau of Rathgormack – a fertile tract of land in contrast to the heathery hills of sandstone.


February 11, 2018
8:45 am - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


Pat Sheehan