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CaptainVertigo
2013-11-12 17:47:54
Height of Folly - says O'Toole
FINTAN O'TOOLE WRITES in The Irish Times:
This is about the height of folly – literally and figuratively. Literally, it is the bizarre story of why farmers are wasting public and private money putting fences on the top of mountains, making beautiful places ugly. Figuratively, it is about the way, even in a national crisis, the authorities still have plenty of time for the worst kind of bureaucratic foolishness.
We are blessed on this island with breathtakingly beautiful coastal mountains, landscapes that lift the heart and cleanse the soul. But if you walk across these mountains or even look at them from the road, from the Blue Stacks in Donegal, through the Burren and all the way round to west Cork, you will see an inexplicable but apparently implacable blight. Thousands of feet up, where there is nothing else but bare rock and thin soil and harsh scrub, there are now miles of ugly high tensile wire. Over the past few years, the hills have been alive with the sound of sledge hammers driving in fence posts and horny-handed men stringing barbed wire between them.
Why could this be? I have to admit that when I’ve come across these monstrous constructions in the Burren, I’ve assumed them to be the result of the great Irish land madness: farmers saying “I’m going to stake out my personal territory even if it’s on the top of a windblown hill where, at best, a few sheep may graze.”
But I’ve been wrong. The strange truth is that farmers don’t want to do any of this. They’re being forced to do it by the authorities. Hard as it may be to credit, the State is forcing small hill farmers to use money they can ill afford just to make some of Ireland’s most beautiful places ugly. But this is not even the wackiest aspect of the story, for now the State has decided to use taxpayers’ money to subsidise the erection of these fences.
The problem lies with two of the terms and conditions for the single farm payment that comes from the EU and that forms the basic income of almost all small farmers. They read as follows: “There must be appropriate fencing for the farming enterprise. Appropriate fencing means stockproof fencing that will control the applicant’s animals and also the neighbouring farmer’s animals. In mountain/hill areas this generally means sheep fencing,” and “There must be defined external boundaries except in the case of commonage.”

Sensible proposition
You can see that this starts out as a perfectly sensible proposition: a farm should have properly defined and fenced boundaries. But when the farm is a hill farm that includes high areas of natural wildness and beauty where the only farming activity is the grazing of a few hardy sheep or (in the case of the Burren) cattle, the sensible proposition becomes the height of folly.
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Summit Summary
Currywongaun: Rough and Rocky
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 14 hours ago.
Park off road in a small lay-by at L72134 59157 and ascend the spur in a roughly Easterly direction to the summit. Usually climbed en-route to its larger neighbor Doughraugh.

  
Summit Summary
Doughruagh South Top: Twin of Doughruagh main top
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 14 hours ago.
Located behind Kylemore Abbey, it has been reported that access from the grounds is no longer allowed. It is possible to park in a small lay-by at L77637 58711 and walk approx 30m along the road t...

  
Summit Summary
Doughruagh: Rocky summit with access issues from Kylemore Abbey
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 14 hours ago.
Located behind Kylemore Abbey, it has been reported that access from the grounds is no longer allowed. It is possible to park in a small lay-by at L77637 58711 and walk approx 30m along the road t...

Track
Forbidden Keadeen
CaptainVertigo 2 days ago.
Please DO NOT attempt to gain access to Keadeen from the road by following my route. The owner, who is a very decent ... walk, Len: 7.2km, Climb: 487m, Area: Keadeen Mountain, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland

  
Summit Summary
Raghtin More: The smallest Inishowen Arderin
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 a day ago.
The easiest approach is to park at Urrismenagh viewpoint carpark C317 443 and follow the track to its highest point. From here you can avoid Crockmain and carry on towards Raghtin More to the Nort...

  
Summit Summary
Crockmain: An uninspiring summit with great views
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 a day ago.
The easiest approach is to park at Urrismenagh viewpoint carpark C317 443 and follow the track to its highest point before heading north over heather to the summit. Alternatively from Mamore Gap c...

Track
Meentog South East Top
Onzy 2 days ago.
Route to Meentog SET from west. Parking is in a farmyard (with permission) and a helpful track leads up to around 540m walk, Len: 4.1km, Climb: 336m, Area: Glenbeigh Horseshoe (Ireland)

  
Summit Summary
Knocknanacree: Views to Slieve Mish and the Dingle Peninsula
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 a day ago.
Summit can be approached from the West by parking near Minard Castle V556 992 and following a rough track uphill past a quarry and onto the summit ridge.A shorter steeper approach is possible from...

  
Summit Summary
Teeromoyle Mountain: A summit in the middle of a classic Horseshoe walk
Collaborative entry Last edit by: liz50 a day ago.
This summit is usually accessed whilst walking the Glenbeigh Horseshoe. A shortened version taking in the 4 central 600m summits in the centre of the horseshoe Teeromoyle, Coomacarrea, Mullaghnara...

Forum: General
Irish Times - Post Mortem on Hillwalker
CaptainVertigo 4 days ago.
According to the Irish Times a postmortem examination is to be carried out on the remains of a man found during the search for a hillwalker in Connemara who went missing during a St Patrick’s day ...

  
Summit Comment
Bruse Hill: Bruse
Nekarsulm 2 days ago.
Track up from the quarry is overgrown. I partially walked up a small stream, as it at least cuts its way through the whins. Climbing straight upwards, you will see places where some earlier climbe...

  
Track
Doolieve
caiomhin 5 days ago.
walk, Len: 3.5km, Climb: 48m, Area: Doolieve, South Cork (Ireland) Doolieve


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