Lough Gur group to celebrate spectacular solstice

Anne O’Donoghue

Reporter:

Anne O’Donoghue

Paul Ryan, Share, Learn, Inspire; Dr Norah Patten, UL communications and outreach manager; Dr Vincent Casey, senior lecturer in physics at UL and Frank Ryan Shannonside Astronomy Club, who developed a set of events and science related projects for Lough Gur. Picture:Keith Wiseman
A SPECIAL celebration will be held at Lough Gur to mark this year’s winter solstice.

A SPECIAL celebration will be held at Lough Gur to mark this year’s winter solstice.

On December 21, the newly formed Lough Gur Science Group, will hold their first event to celebrate the shortest day of the year at the Great Grange Stone Circle.

The event, which is free to attend, will see Shannonside Astronomy Club give a brief talk and a basic introduction to the night sky and fully explain the significance of the winter solstice.

A telescope will be made available to all budding astronomers to view in detail what would have attracted the Stone Age and Bronze Age people to build such a structure over 4,000 years ago.

Although people often gather at sunrise on the winter solstice, the astronomy club have earmarked sunset as particularly important for their presentation.

The inaugural meeting of the Lough Gur Science Group took place on December 8, in the Great Grange Stone Circle.

As the largest stone circle in Ireland it is a megalithic site that is not very well known, according to Lough Gur Science Group.

Kate Harrold, Manager for Lough Gur Development, has invited a number of people to develop a fully engaging set of events and science related projects for Lough Gur.

These people include; Dr Norah Patten, University of Limerick, Paul Ryan from Share Learn Inspire, Dr Vincent Casey Senior lecturer in physics at UL and Frank Ryan from Shannonside Astronomy Club.

A full survey of the Circle carried out by Dr Frank Prendergast, DIT, in May 2014, sparked great interest in the area and led to Lough Gur’s recent accreditation as a Discover Primary, Maths and Science Centre through Science Foundation Ireland.

Outdoor tours dealing with history, archaeology and folklore are already on offer from the lake front heritage centre at Lough Gur.

For further information go to www.loughgur.com or phone 061 385186.