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Irish Helicopters assist progress on Slieve Gullion Pathway

September 18, 2012

Work on building a mountain trail from the Slieve Gullion Forest Drive to the summit of Slieve Gullion, received a helping hand last week, with the drafting in of Irish Helicopters to lift one tonne bags of material to the upper parts of the mountain.

With the summer being such a washout, Oliver Hearty and his team took full advantage of the good weather last weekend to make some good progress on the trail.  The helicopters used to get the heavy granite stone to where it is needed, proved an invaluable tool in avoiding intrusion of the very fragile peat and the Heather ecosystem on the mountain side.

The environmentally friendly project is being undertaken by Newry and Mourne District Council through funding received from the European Regional Development Fund, INTERREG IVA Programme through the CASA Project.  It is managed by CASA (Castleblaney/South Armagh) Partnership who secured £1.3million in funding development. Part of this funding is allocated for building a mountain trail to the summit of Slieve Gullion, the home of a 6000 year old passage tomb known as the Cailleagh Berra’s house.

Marian O’Rourke, Project Officer for CASA said, “The Slieve Gullion Pathway is making great strides, with plans to complete by end of 2012. We are delighted that this ‘walkers trail’ will open up a new world to many people…the summit of Slieve Gullion. This is going to allow better access and bring more people to experience the beautiful Slieve Gullion summit where they will enjoy breathtaking views!  Slieve Gullion is becoming a ‘place to visit’ for day trippers, walkers, hikers, local families, young and old.  It is great to see that, whilst the facilities are being put to good use, this progress is also boosting trade in the local economy.”

Darren Rice, Ring of Gullion Officer, said, “It’s great to see the work progressing, especially when we have all been working on it for so long. You can follow the progress of the trail by visiting www.ringofgullion.org or by liking us on Facebook, just search Ring of Gullion AONB.”

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