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29 Jun 2022

Go wild in the Comeraghs as festival returns after two-year hiatus

Comeragh Mountains region has long been a mecca for Kilkenny people

KILKENNY

Pictured at the event's launch in the Comeragh Mountains were sisters, Ella Whelan (9) and Robyn Whelan (6)

This year's long-awaited Comeraghs Wild Festival is back from July 7 to 10 after a two year Covid-enforced break.

The festival will be bigger and better than ever, with loads of fabulous, family-focused events and plenty to see and do for lovers of the great outdoors, and all within easy travel distance of Kilkenny. The action-packed programme literally has something for everyone, from thrill seekers, hikers, surfers and yoga enthusiasts through to live music lovers, culture vultures and so much more. 

This year’s Comeraghs Wild Festival has a very strong nature, wildlife and eco theme and there are educational and fun events throughout the unspoilt region for all to enjoy over the four days - and all within about an hour of Kilkenny City.

The majestic Comeragh Mountains region has long been a mecca for Kilkenny people and takes in the stunning Copper Coast and breath-taking Nire Valley, a varied natural terrain that includes parts of the award-winning Waterford Greenway. Each will be alive with the sound of music, laughter, children’s events, hiking, mountain biking, walking activities, eco trails and so much more for the four days as the action-packed Comeraghs Wild Festival captivates.

Renowned TV and radio broadcaster and biologist, Eanna Ni Lamhna, will join local man, Stephen McCarthy of StepsBackThruTime walking tours for an eco walk close to part of the Waterford Greenway in Kilmacthomas on the Saturday. She is no stranger to the Comeraghs and is looking forward to her visit.

“Years ago - when I was young - people were not so aware of the importance of the environment. The value of trees for biodiversity and the importance of insects as pollinators was not widely appreciated. Today, however people really want to be part of nature. In the height of Covid we had to keep within our five kilometres. People got more interested in what they saw and did and became more in tune with nature," said Eanna.

“Today that continues. People are using pesticides less. They are letting parts of their gardens go wild for the butterflies, birds and the bees. They’re growing wildflower meadows and planting trees. Our walk and talk will help foster this interest and give the whole family a greater appreciation of the world around us.

“I’m delighted to see so many eco events on the festival programme. It’s a fabulous, authentic festival that celebrates the natural beauty of the region and I’m looking forward to joining in the fun and going a bit Wild myself,” Eanna quipped.

The rugged, breath-taking terrain offers so many different, natural experiences and it’s great to be back, showcasing all that is special about the Comeragh Mountains region, festival spokesperson, Mary Flynn, said.

“We’re thrilled to confirm that Comeraghs Wild is back from July 7 to 10. We’ve new venues, new events, new attractions and many of our  most popular crowd-pullers are back. This is a fabulous and varied terrain with fantastic natural amenities and it’s only fitting that this year’s festival has a very strong green theme and focuses on appreciating and protecting our wildlife and our countryside.

“Our flagship concert in the mountains features legendary blues, jazz and soul singer, Mary Coughlan, and her live band. This concert has been moved to Crotty’s Lake which is equally idyllic but has better parking, toilet and catering facilities, making the venue far more accessible for all. We’re delighted to confirm that The Backyard Band will be entertaining from 8pm.

“We’ve a full Nire Valley Drop this year, a Hog Roast and live music at Nire/Fourmilewater GAA Club and Eanna Ni Lamhna will be joining Stephen McCarthy for an eco walk and talk from Kilmacthomas Railway  Station. Internationally-renowned Irish wildlife cameraman, filmmaker and television presenter, Colin Stafford-Johnson is also joining us for a talk in Portlaw.

“Also new to this year’s programme are music, singing, dancing and storytelling at The Nook, Gateway Eco Camping Park and a Comeragh Mountain Lamb Feast at Cooney’s Yard. Eddie Lenihan  is back by popular demand at Nell’s, there’s morning yoga and events for children at Crough Wood, surfing at Bonmahon, a Craughan Loop Guided Walk by Muddyboots and outdoor theatre at Curraghmore House and Gardens.”

For more, check out www.comeraghswild.com

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