Over two days, a group of Transition Year students completed a hike of 27km in the Mourne mountains as part of the program to attain their Gaisce award. The Gaisce or 'Presidents Award' is a self-development programme for young people between the ages of 15-25 and has been in existence since 1985. The Awards initially flourished under the patronage of former President Patrick. J Hillary and to date and have been carried by incoming President’s.
The students set off on Friday afternoon from their accomodation in Donard park in Newcastle Co. Down and trekked towards Tollymore park where they were greeted by a beautiful sea of bluebells. Wild deer were encountered as the team passed over the Drinns, rivers were carefully crossed and well deserved cups of tea were poured by Parnells bridge as the kilometers started to add up! A well deserved rest was had that evening in the Greenhills YMCA, but not before a wander down into Newcastle for pizza and treats!
The group set off early on Saturday morning after breakfast, this time setting their sights on a higher goal - the Mourne wall. Trekking upwards through the forest the team encountered spectacular views of the Mourne mountain range. The goal of almost 600m of altitide was achieved over a 4hr trek that spanned 12km.
A fantastic trip was had by all, many thanks to Ms Savage and Mr Loughrran for organising the trip