The Nire Valley Walking Festival based in the heart of the Comeragh Mountains, Waterford, Ireland.

Walking the Dead – Following an old Funeral Road in the Comeragh Mountains.

Funerals are no fun, it's a serious business. A few generations ago going to a funeral in the Nire or anywhere in the Comeragh Mountains was a commitment of at least one day or more. The Nire did not have a church until 1862 and the graveyard did not come into common use until 1926, thus up to the late 1920s the natives from the Nire were buried in Rathgormack, six miles away across the Comeragh Mountain and across the mountain is the way they went. The funeral path went from the Nire to Rathgormack passing through the Gap along the route called Bóithrín na Sochraide (The funeral road).  It is by no means unique but it is still traveled by walkers today. In a mid 18th century the road was engineered as part of famine relief works (this was a famine that occurred before the great famine of 1845) and parts of the engineering are still visible today especially as you approach the Gap on the Nire side.

 

The coffin was “shouldered” carried on long poles and along the way there were places where the coffin was placed on a large boulder and everyone took a rest, one such boulder exists on the Nire side called Cloch an Choirp (The body rock). After a rest the funeral proceeded to the Gap, here some mourners would have headed back to the Nire while others from Rathgormack would have waited to join the cortege. The burial took place in Rathgormack and the poles for carrying the coffin were left in the cemetery. The last funeral went through the gap sometime around 1930, a localised outbreak of influenza in 1926 saw three members of one family die in the space of one week and all three were buried in the grounds of the Nire Churchand from then on more and more locals were buried in the Nire.

The Funeral path today makes an interesting walking route you can choose to walk from the Nire just to the Gap or continue all the way to Rathgormack. Why not head for the Nire this week end and follow the Green Arrows that will bring you along the way from the Nire Car-park to the Gap.

If you walk the route, please check the weather before you go, bring rain-gear  water and a mobile phone and walking boots. Enjoy the Nire.

 
 
 
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Superb Walking, Great Talking & Traditional Nire Valley Hospitality     Website by: Déise Design
Nire Valley Walking Festival
Superb Walking, Great Talking & Traditional Nire Valley Hospitality

Michael Wall 086 7702544 | Mary Wall 052 6136134 | Ann Kelly 052 6136939