Canyoning expedition offers white-knuckle rides in Comeraghs Wild festival

Ronan O'Connor of Ardmore Adventures who will lead a canyoning expedition at this year's Comeraghs Wild Festival, which runs in Co Waterford from September 17-20.

The country’s first canyoning expedition through a waterfall is one of the highlights of a festival taking place this month against the backdrop of a stunning mountain range.

The expedition will take place during the Comeraghs Wild Festival which will be held over four days in the mountainous region which straddles the Waterford-Tipperary border and also includes music, drama, dance, and hiking.

The canyoning event is one aspect of the September 17-20 festival which will showcase the Comeraghs’ natural, wild beauty and diversity and culture.

Adventurers will have the chance to abseil down Mahon Falls as part of a white-knuckle experience also involving jumping, scrambling, climbing, and swimming while finding ways to overcome obstacles like boulders and rockslides.

An open-air seated concert in the spectacular 2,500-acre Curraghmore Estate in Portlaw, Co Waterford, is another festival special expected to attracted a big crowd while a Celtic dance workshop will be held in Kilrossanty, along with an Eco Fairy Tales session in Kilmacthomas.

A specially-commissioned drama written by local playwright Martina Collender on Crotty the Highwayman, the 18th-century highwayman who hid in the Comeraghs, will be staged in the open air, 385m above sea level at the atmospheric Coumshingaun Lake. Hardy adventurers are invited to spend the night on the mountain camping out in yurts.

New events for the 2015 festival include a muddy boots hike aimed at testing the mettle of experienced hikers, while culture vultures can feast on poetry reading and storytelling with local talents and visitors, among them Niall de Burca, Thomas McCarthy, James Lenane and Declan Terry. Comeraghs Wild Festival spokesman Richie Walsh said the four-day event would showcase the Comeraghs to the world.

“One of the most significant events of this year’s festival programme is the Mary Black concert on the Saturday night. It is a big venture for the festival and a big financial commitment this year but we hope that, on the strength of this, we will get enough people to support this wonderful event and make it a great success.”


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