On a clear Autumn afternoon, Laois PPN held a Memorial Walk in remembrance of the late great Mick Dowling.
Mick, who passed away in 2019, was a proud Laois man and a champion of the Slieve Bloom mountains.
The Memorial Walk which took place on Sunday October 17 and was lead by Mick’s great-nephew Shane Dowling.
The Memorial Walk started at the Ridge of Capard. Along the way, Shane shared stories from Mick’s rich life and knowledge and love of the Slieve Bloom that Mick had passed onto Shane.
Shane lead the group across the Ridge of Cappard with it’s spectular views over Laois and the surrounding counties, across the boardwalk, and down into “the Cones” where at one time eight families lived in the Lost Village.
The last family to move out were the Clears and their family home is marked with a plaque to them.
Shane told the story how Mick as a youth had stopped there for tea coming back from Rosenallis Mart as he crossed back over the mountains and spent the night at Clear’s sleeping under the stars with his dog as there was no room in the house.
Maureen Culleton of Maureen Culleton Dance treated attendees to a dance in honour of Mick who was a great lover of dance and ceile.
The walk meandered down into the wooded valley past the old mill and back to the carpark.
Dan Bergin, Laois PPN Resource Worker said: “It was fantastic to honour the memory of the late great Mick Dowling today.
“Thanks to Shane Dowling for leading the walk. The Dowling family and friends were delighted to listen to Shane and share stories of Mick and his many passions – the Slieve Bloom, flaura and fauna, history and heritage, dancing and hurling.”
Attendees were treated to tea and sweet treats supplied by Fiona Cuddy after the Memorial Walk and prize winning apple tart from Margaret Dowling.
Photographer Michael Scully captured some great pictures from the walk.