New members are welcome. Please contact Emily (club chair) at 086-6784094 or Mick (club walks` coordinator) at 087-2927077.
Club rules allow 2 walks with the club before making a commitment to
joining. Suggest intending members start with a couple of easy/short
walks to acclimatize. Club rules and guidelines are posted on the site.
Grading of Walks
Grading walks can be very subjective. For our club purposes they are:
Grade A: 5-7 hours – to the plateaux and ridges. Strenuous. May be some scrambling.
Grade B: 3-5 hours – to the coums and lower hills. Rarely above 600 metres.
Grade C: 1-3 hours – on forest paths and back roads. Rarely over 10 km long.
Meeting Points and Times
walks will start at approx 10.30. Meeting time is usually 10.00. Car
pooling is encouraged for environmental reasons. If we meet for car
pooling we will allow for travelling time. Most walks will be
looped/horseshoe walks. Posted on the site using this formula:
Date/Grade/Area/Meeting Point and Time and Leader.
Walk Changes due to weather etc.
with the designated leader - Mick 0872927077 or Irene 0872359598 or
Rens 0860473150 or John 0863398759 or Vernon 0863059830.
Rathgormack is a small village situated in County Waterford in the foothills of the Comeraghs about 10 kilometres south-west of Carrick-on-Suir on the R678. Rathgormack Ramblers Hill Walking Club was founded in 2008. The club provides it`s members with an opportunity to partake in rambling and hill walking, mainly in the Comeraghs and Knockmealdowns. The club particularly urges it`s members to be aware of the need for safety on the hills and of the need to respect the communities and environments of the mountains.
We are a small club with a membership of about 40. We are affiliated to the Mountaineering Council of Ireland. All our members are insured both for personal accident and personal liability insurance. The personal accident cover is limited to very serious injuries and members should have their own more comprehensive cover.
Rules/Guidelines for club members of Rathgormack Ramblers
Rathgormack Ramblers Hill Walking Club is totally committed to the safety of its members and
considers it good practice to operate in accordance with the following guidelines.
2 Club Activities
(A) Club activities are recognised as being those which:
Are published at a club meeting.
Are published on the club website.
Are funded by the club.
Require group transport through the club.
(B) Organisers of Club Activities are bound by the conditions of the Club`s Constitution and Rules.
3 MCI Warning
(A) The Mountaineering Council of Ireland recognises that mountaineering and climbing are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants should be aware of and accept this and be responsible for their own actions.
(B) Each club member is insured under the same insurance as all MCI affiliated clubs. If you require further information please contact the MCI.
4 Grades of Walks
Grading walks can be very subjective. For the purpose of our club walks:
Grade A Walks: 5-6 hours duration and over 12 km in length. Will reach 700 metres in elevation and traverse ridges and mountain tops and may involve some scrambling. A good level of fitness required.
Grade B Walks: 3-4 hours duration and 8-12 km long. Usually on lower hills or to the mountain lakes, rarely reaching over 500 metres. A reasonable level of fitness needed.
Grade C Walks: 1-3 hours duration and less than 10 km long. Usually on forest tracks,minor roads or along river banks with the odd moderate climb.
5 Club Rules/Guidelines
Car pooling is advised.
Respect private property and observe the Country Code.
Park carefully and don`t obstruct laneways, gates, traffic etc.
Members are responsible for their own actions.
Members are advised to select a walk that matches their fitness level.
If you are on medication or suffering from any condition that might affect you on the walk, you must inform the walk leader before the walk starts.
Walkers should bring with them the following essential items:
strong walking boots with good ankle support; gaiters; a hooded waterproof coat with waterproof trousers; plenty warm clothing including gloves and a hat (don`t wear jeans); sufficient liquids and food.
Walkers should consider the following recommended items:
relevant map; compass; whistle; watch; torch; first aid kit; some form of personal I.D. and the name of someone who can be contacted in the event of an accident.
All members must comply with club rules.
All members must sign walk registration form prior to each walk.
All members must follow instructions of leader at all times.
For everyone`s safety the group should stay together for the duration of the walk. A group should travel no faster than the speed of its slowest member.
Accidents should be reported to the leader immediately.
The leader has the right to refuse anyone not adequately equipped.
The leader may extend, curtail or alter the route. He/she sets the pace and walkers are expected to follow at this pace.
If you go ahead of the leader you are no longer considered to be part of the group and you are responsible for your actions and for those who follow you.
Inform the leader if you are feeling tired or if the pace is too fast for you.
Inform the leader if you wish to stop for whatever reason.
Prospective members may participate as guests on two walks.
By signing the Walk Registration Sheet at the beginning of each walk, participants-both members and visitors-agree to abide by these rules.
The Committee of Rathgormack Hill Walking Club asserts that no walk leader can be held responsible for the welfare of individuals who ignore these rules.
Week-Ends Away: Only members and their families and friends may take part in our club weekends away.
As a members of Mountaineering Ireland all members of Rathgormack Ramblers have Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance in Ireland and Britain and within the European Union. This gives protection to members from being sued for negligence.
Members also have some Personal Accident Insurance - 75.000 euro to cover permanent loss of a limb or an eye, permanent loss of hearing in one ear, permanent loss of speech, permanent and total disablement from employment. However, members do not have accident and emergency cover under our MI Insurance. We are advised to get this insurance if travelling on a walking holiday. The MI does organise a Travel and Activity Insurance through the British Mountaineering Council. At the very least members should carry their European Health Insurance Card with them on holiday within the E.U. This entitles you to free emergency and medical care in any public hospital in the E.U.
The word “ropaire” in Irish has come to mean robber but in the late 17th century the term “ropairí” (the verb “ropaim” means I tear) referred to short pike wielding guerrilla fighters who fought on the side of the Jacobites against the Williamites and who continued to harass the forces of the law well into the 18th century. They came to be known as rapparees and loosely they equated to the highwaymen of English tradition of that period. The rapparee was often regarded as a type of social bandit, officially an outlaw but not seen as a criminal by his own community. In fact many rapparees were admired by the Irish peasants. They were seen as brave opponents of the oppressive colonial system. They were often lauded in verse, think of the song “Brennan on the moor”, praising the deeds of Willie Brennan around the Kilworth mountains. They would often show up at fairs and funerals, sometimes sharing their spoils with members of their community. Were they as black, as portrayed by the British, or as white, as portrayed by the Irish? They were probably somewhere in between, some were undoubtedly rebelling against social injustice while others were merely opportunistic criminals.
What about William Crotty? Was he a legendary character or a real life Comeragh rapparee? The evidence of history and tradition overwhelmingly points to the latter. In 1915 a local historian from Tramore, Matthew Butler, visited the Office of Public Records in the Four Courts in Dublin and copied down the court case details of March 1742 just seven years before most of the records were destroyed in the fire of 1922. These notes on Waterford history can be found in the National Library.
Who was Crotty? In their book “Waterford, Heroes, Poets and Villains”, Seán and Sheila Murphy regale the reader with many “tall tales and true” about Crotty. He was born about 1712 in Russellstown, outside Clonmel. Legend has it that he formed his gang of up to thirty men at about eighteen years of age and spent the next twelve robbing and looting. Despite his reputation Crotty was popular with the ordinary people, often turning up at fairs and patterns. Was he a murderer? The weight of evidence would suggest yes. During the court proceedings a couple of witnesses swore that Crotty broke into the house of George Williams of Clonea in February 1742 and shot him dead. It would seem that one of Crotty`s chief lieutenants, David Norris, betrayed him and he was captured in February 1742. After a quick trial he and a number of his gang were hanged on March 17th 1742. Afterwards Crotty`s head was placed on a spike outside Ballybricken Jail.
Crotty Country: There are a number of places in the Comeraghs associated with Crotty. Chief of these is Crotty`s lake. This was reputedly where Crotty hid when the heat was on. Legend has it that he holed up in a cave near the lake. The cave is still there today but it is more of a long narrow crevice with a small hole at the top. It is difficult to believe that anyone could have stayed here for any length of time. High above the lake is “Stolla Chrotaigh”, Crotty`s Stool or Rock. These twin pinnacles of rock were supposedly Crotty`s lookout. It was from here also that Crotty`s wife, Mary, jumped to her death soon after his execution. Local folklore tells us that as Crotty mounted the scaffold he spoke to the crowd in Irish and revealed the location of his booty. One version, according to Seán and Sheila Murphy, states that Crotty announced “there is a bush in Curraheen and a bush in Curlandy and a bush in Ross and in between two of these bushes is located a stone with a horseshoe mark and beneath this stone is the boot of gold”. Has anyone ever found the treasure? Ah there`s a question! In April 2015 the Munster Express carried a story informing people of a "find" comprising of some gold coins and a chalice near Crotty`s Rock by a school group from New Ross. Anyone hear any update on this "find"?
What about “the dark stranger”,as Crotty`s ghost is called? He reputedly haunts the Comeraghs, appearing out of the mist, sometimes around the mountain roads of Crough and Curraheen, sometimes by the shores of the loughs. Has anyone seen him lately? As might be expected, a number of songs and laments have been written about Crotty, one of them by his wife. The first verse of this goes: