Dublin Mountains Festival 2024 kicks off

James

View over Lough Tay, Wicklow Mountains geograph 5029923, tags: dublin - CC BY-SA

The Dublin Mountains, a treasured natural gem nestled in the heart of Ireland, have just unveiled a captivating new initiative – the Dublin Mountains Festival, or Féile na Sléibhe. This festival is a celebration of the region’s rich landscape, history, and outdoor allure, designed to bring families, adventure seekers, and locals together in a harmonious embrace of nature.

What should people expect?

One of the festival’s highlights is a series of free, multidisciplinary hikes that will take place throughout the month:

– Monuments, Geology & Ecology’ on May 6 th

– ‘Archeoastronomy, Nature & Sky’ on May 10 th

– ‘5000 years of life and farming in the Dublin Uplands’ on May 23rd.

The festival’s lineup also features esteemed professionals from the fields of ecology, geology, and farming, who will converge at the Lexicon library in Dun Laoghaire on May 2nd for a riveting discussion titled ‘Our Amazing Mountains.’

Adding to the intellectual feast, Irish writer and documentary maker Manchán Magan will present his captivating talk, ‘Listen to the Land Speak,’ at Tallaght Library on May 9th, offering a unique perspective on the connection between land and culture. Both events will be thoughtfully interpreted using Irish Sign Language (ISL), ensuring inclusivity for all attendees.

Aligning with the DMP’s strategic aims of protecting the resource, promoting its benefits, fostering successful partnerships, and providing recreational opportunities, the Dublin Mountains Festival – Féile na Sléibhe is committed to promoting sustainable and responsible behaviour in the Dublin Mountains.

Participants will be encouraged to follow the Leave No Trace Ireland principles, ensuring the preservation of this natural wonder for generations to come.

The festival’s diverse offerings extend beyond hikes and talks, catering to a wide range of interests and age groups.

Mountain biking enthusiasts can look forward to exhilarating events during National Bike Week at the GAP, Glencullen, and in collaboration with biking.ie at Ticknock. Mental health walks and guided tours with the DMP’s dedicated volunteer rangers will provide opportunities for mindful exploration and connection with nature.

For those seeking a more hands-on experience, a series of training opportunities focused on hill walking and Leave No Trace Ireland principles will be on offer. The DMP has also partnered with Forest Kids to host an event specifically designed for neurodiverse children, ensuring an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.

Immersive exhibitions will celebrate the mountains’ beauty and cultural significance. ‘The Infinite and the Infinitesimal,’ a visual exploration of tiny mosses and ancient archaeology, will be on display at the DLR Lexicon and Tallaght Library, inviting visitors to marvel at the intricate details that often go unnoticed.

One of the festival’s most anticipated events is the ‘Féile na Sléibhe’ in Fernhill Park & Gardens on May 25th, promising an exhilarating and unforgettable celebration of the Dublin Mountains’ splendour.

The launch of Féile na Sléibhe has been met with resounding enthusiasm from local authorities and stakeholders.

Cathaoirleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Councillor Denis O’Callaghan, expressed his delight at the collaboration of various entities, including the council’s Sports Partnership, Active Cities Teams, Heritage Officer, and Tourism team, in creating this remarkable event.

Mayor of South Dublin County Council, Councillor Alan Edge, said:

The Dublin Mountains Festival is lovely opportunity to celebrate our love for the mountains. With a diverse range of activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Well done to the Dublin Mountains Partnership and their partner organisations for this fantastic month-long celebration!

Councillor Alan Edge

Furthermore, Coillte’s ESG Director, Sakinah Brennan, commended the positive impact of outdoor activities on individuals and communities, and expressed her excitement at being part of the Dublin Mountains’ rich history and natural beauty.

She added:

We are delighted to be involved with the Dublin Mountains Partnership and the launch of this festival. As operators of over 250 outdoor forest recreational areas across Ireland, we know the positive impact outdoor activity has on individuals and communities, and to develop a month-long programme of events is very exciting.

Sakinah Brennan

The Dublin Mountains region is steeped in a rich and diverse history, and bringing that to life for visitors across the series of walks, hikes, orienteering and library events throughout May is something we at Coillte are delighted to support.

Sakinah Brennan

Chair of the Dublin Mountains Partnership, Suzanne Furlong from South Dublin County Council, also acknowledged the outstanding beauty of the Dublin Mountains and the amazing natural resource on their doorstep. She expressed:

The Dublin Mountains region is steeped in a rich and diverse history, and bringing that to life for visitors across the series of walks, hikes, orienteering and library events throughout May is something we at Coillte are delighted to support.

Suzanne Furlong

The festival’s launch coincided with the opening of a new permanent orienteering course in Tibradden Wood, in collaboration with Three Rock Orienteers and Active Cities Dublin. Children from Edmondstown National School and Scoil Thaobh na Coillte were the first to experience this exciting new resource.

The Dublin Mountains Partnership has worked tirelessly with a multitude of organizations, including:

DLR Sports Partnership, Active South Dublin, Coillte, NPWS, UCD Earth Sciences, UCD Archaeology, UCD’s Mountain Research Group, TU Dublin, LAWPro, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, South Dublin County Council, Dublin City Council, local landowners, Mountaineering Ireland, Mountain Meitheal Dublin Wicklow and more to bring this inaugural festival to life.

The official launch of Féile na Nasc’ took place in Tibradden Wood on Wednesday, 1st May 2024.

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