WALKERS and runners with plans to enjoy fresh air and exercise on Knockfierna Hill over Christmas are being discouraged to do so, because of danger from roaming cattle.
The Knockfierna Heritage Society, which has developed the historic hill over the past three decades as a Famine Memorial Park, issued a warning to potential visitors following an emergency meeting of its members this week.
“Due to the presence of a large number of lifestock currently roaming on the hill and walkways at Commons, Ballingarry, we consider it presently unsafe for visitors,” Pat O’Donovan, chairman of the Heritage Society said. “Regrettably, due to health and safety concerns, we also feel compelled to cancel our 35th Annual New Year’s Day Walk.”
They would, Mr O’Donovan said, issue a further statement in due course. The hill, he added was commonage land.
“It is very disappointing,” he continued, “Knockfierna is a wonderful facility and attracts a lot of visitors.”
Knockfierna has featured widely in various publications and programmes, Mr O’Donovan said, most recently in a repeat of the Simon Reeves in Ireland programme. This year also, he pointed out, the small dedicated group of volunteers in the Knockfierna Heritage Society had undertaken a number of very ambitious projects, including a new parking area and a Famine Memorial Wall.
However, Mr O’Donovan said, it was still possible to visit this Memorial Wall although he advised people not to go beyond the Rambling House.