The meeting point for walks is on the South Mall opposite the Imperial Hotel at 8.45am. We carpool from there and leave at 9.00am sharp. Walkers can sign up in person in Counihan’s Pub from 9.00pm on the Wednesday before the Sunday walk or alternatively online at: https://www.corkbackpackers.ie/
Slievenamon (Irish: Sliabh na mBan, “mountain of the women”) is a mountain which is situated northwest of Carrick on Suir and northeast of Clonmel in County Tipperary, Ireland. It stands at 721 m (2,365 ft). Sitting at the western end of a range of low hills, Slievenamon is a striking conical mass, offering a dramatic view from the top over the counties of Tipperary, Kilkenny and Waterford. Much of its lower slopes is wooded. A low hill attached to Slievenamon, known as Carrigmaclea (a.k.a. Carraigmoclear), was the site of a battle during the Irish Rebellion of 1798.
Irish mythology comes to our aid in explaining the origin of the mountain’s name. According to the tale, many young women sought after Fionn mac Cumhaill, but he said that he could have only one partner. His partner would be whichever woman won a footrace to the top of the mountain. Fionn stood on the cairn atop the mountain and gave a signal to start the race. The winner was Gráinne.
There are two prehistoric cairns on Slievenamon. One is at the very top, and the other is on a lower summit to the northeast known as Sheegouna. (from Irish: Sí Ghamhnaí, meaning “fairy mound of the heifers”).
The song Slievenamon, written in the mid 19th century by revolutionary and poet Charles Kickham, is a well-known patriotic and romantic song about an exile who longs to see “our flag unrolled and my true love to unfold / in the valley near Slievenamon”. Tipperary people regard it is as the unofficial “county anthem” of Co. Tipperary, and regularly sing it by at sporting events.
The Comeraghs is a mountain range located in county Waterford, running between Clonmel in the north to Dungarvan in the south. In addition Mahon Falls, Crotty’s Lake and Coumshingaun are some of the best areas for hiking in the range.
The Comeraghs are well covered in the Ordnance Survey of Ireland’s Discovery Series No.75 Map (Second Edition). “Best Irish Walks” (Edited by Joss Lynam and published by Gill and Macmillan) describes a number of good walking routes. Another excellent book but unfortunately out of print is the 2nd edition of “A Guide to the Comeragh Mountains” by Declan McGrath. It deals comprehensively with how the Comeraghs evolved. It also outlines what lives in them, how we use them and why we should cherish and protect them.
Probably the most popular area of the Comeraghs is Coum Mahon, better known as the “Mahon Falls”. The valley does indeed have a very impressive waterfall surrounded by striking cliffs. There is easy access from the main Waterford to Cork road and it boasts a large car park. Consequently it is a very popular destination for day trippers and tourists alike. During the summer and at weekends it is usually very busy. The walk up the left hand side of the valley onto Comeragh Mountain (668m) itself is a hard slog. However the views from the top out to Dungarvan bay and the whole Waterford coast make it well worth it.