Map 3 Lough Doo to Glinsk

The high footbridge over a drain gives you a good view of Lough Loung, and you may see a variety of waterfowl from this viewpoint. Then you enter a series of boreens and lanes which bring you to Glinsk Island. No island, though it must have once been nearly surrounded by bog, this is a fine old deciduous wood, with silver birch as the predominant species. The Way follows an old track through the wood, and with the trees arching above it is, for me personally, one of the most beautiful sections of the Way.

A lane leads to the road at Glinsk village. On your right is Glinsk Castle, a 17th century “castle” (more a fortified house) built by the Burke family. (The Burkes were originally “de Burgo”, one of the leading Norman families in the invasion of Ireland). There was an older castle here, and O’Sullivan Beara had a rough reception from the Burkes as he passed this way. If you have time to spare, a short walk round the Glinsk Heritage Park is worth while. The Way goes through the village and turns right through fields down to boglands near the Suck. These are typical, heather (calluna) covered, with occasional willow and birch with bilberries (vaccinium sp.) in season. Overhead the larks sing, and in the meadows to one side contented cattle munch. You’ll also see banks of machine-worn turf (peat) laid out to dry in snake-like rows. The Way continues through a mixture of pasture and bogland, with here more gorse (ulex) and bog-cotton (eriophorum). Near Ballymoe is a thicket of rhododendron. Introduced in the 19th century from the Himalaya for its beautiful purple flowers, and presenting a wonderful show in late May and early June, it has now become a pest, spreading at the expense of the native flora, and almost impossible to eradicate.

Ballymoe has a long history going back to The Cattle Raid of Cooley, for Queen Meadbh had a fort there. More recently it was the birthplace of Father Flanagan who founded “Boystown” in USA for deprived boys and on Eamonn Ceannt, a signatory of the 1916 Proclamation. The Way takes the pavement through the village heading out the Roscommon Road and eventually turning left down a land heading in direction of the N60 Ballymoe-Castlerea Road.