Athea Slí na Sláinte

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Memorial Hall, Athea, Limerick,

The Athea Slí route is 5.3Km walk beginning at the carpark beside the memorial hall in Athea.

Begin your 5.3 Km Slí route beginning at the carpark beside the memorial hall in Athea. Turn right onto the Glin approach Road. In 1875, the local landowner, Captain Harkness gave the site for this road. As soon as you leave the Village, on the left is Synan’s Gate.

Continuing on down the road, you come to Fairy Street cross on your right. In 1859, a road was built from the cross to Fairy Street with a branch to the Blessed Well and the old Templeathea graveyard, which is said to date back to the 14th Century. Here lies the ruin of Athea’s first Church, built sometime around 900 AD.

As you continue down the Hill Road into the village pass High Park House on the right, where John Colbert, the economist was born. Almost directly across the road on the left, is the Mass Rock, where Mass was celebrated during penal times. Coming into the Village, you pass along the Giant’s Garden on the right. The story of the Athea Giant comes from Celtic mythology, as it was told he carried his mother on his back to bury her in the graveyard. However it is said that the different parts of her body were wideley scattered in the town land and where each part fell derived its name i.e. Drommadda (where her back fell) Lurriga (where her shin bones fell) and so forth.

Local sculptor Jim Flavin made the monument showing the footprints of the giant and bones of his mother in bronze. On the same grounds as the garden is the Con Colbert Memorial Hall, built to commerate the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising. In 1974, the president of Ireland, Erskine Childers, offically opened the centre.

You have now arrived back in Athea, feeling proud for having completed all 5.3 Km! Recommended as a daytime walk.