Wolves for the Woods

Council Project

The Gaelic Woodland Project and Wolf Academy joined forces in a 30+ hours hiking challenge to raise funds for a new Irish woodland.

The Wolf Academy, founded by brothers Daryl and Cormac Noonan, organised a challenge of extreme endurance to raise awareness about the state of Ireland’s woodlands, as well as to raise funds for the Gaelic Woodland Project, a registered charity that is working to create a community-powered new native woodland in Ireland. The Noonan brothers were joined by Eoghain Connaughton (founder of GWP) and a small team of warriors and supporting fairies to walk the full length of the Wicklow Way (almost 130 kms.) with only a few stops for rest along the way.

This epic hike took place on December 4th, starting at 6 AM in Clonegal, Co. Carlow, and ended in the afteroon ofDecember 5th in Marlay Park, Co. Dublin.

There was 4 checkpoints along the route for a brief rest, where the Fairy Council of Ireland provided meals, a fire beacon and other kinds of moral, physical and emotional support.

Trembling with the cold but burning with purpose, the lads managed to reach Marlay Park and complete this feat of endurance.

During the walk, €2,500 were raised out of the €5,000 fundraising aim. Donations are still coming in, so please feel free to contribute:

Out of the Darkness

Council Project



This is a personal view of indigenous Irish spirituality by Lar Dooley, taken from the viewpoint of over 50 years of individual exploration of our ancient Irish indigenous culture; putting together the story of what drove them to create so many hilltop cairns which dot the landscape of Sliabh na Caillaigh, also known as Loughcrew in County Meath, Ireland.

With contributions from different artists and photographers, as well as his own painted art and powerful poetry, Lar Dooley takes us on a life-affirming journey into the mystery, meaning and modern interpretations of the Boyne Valley neolithic monuments. With a strong focus on the rise of the Sacred Feminine and the ancestral figure of An Cailleach as a guide, “Out of the Darkness” is a wonderful peek into what could be lying hidden in the origins of the human love for this island.

Download a FREE Digital Preview

(includes Prologue, Introduction and Chapter 1)

Where to buy it?

The book can be purchased at Loughcrew Megalithic Centre, Oldcastle, Co. Meath,
where you can get it either from the shop or the author himself.
It can also be found at Maguire’s, Hill of Tara.

Meet the Author and Contributors

Lar Dooley was born in Dublin, and has spent much of his time in and around the hills of Loughcrew. As a resident part of the Loughcrew Megalithic Centre, Lar offers a weekly tour up the Hill where he shares its history, mythology, and his own views on indigenous Irish spirituality.

The book contains photographs and original art pieces by the brilliant talents of: Jane Brideson, Jim Fitzpatrick, Gavin Sodo, Courtney Davies, Séamus Draoigall, Michael Vance, Seamus Fegan, Margaret McKenna, Sean Fitzgerald, Anthony Murphy and Patrick Conway.

Súil an Craic

Council Project

{Update 2021: The experience was successfully completed between Lughnasadh and Samhain 2020. For more information and photos, please join the Facebook Group}

Súil an Craic is the second iteration of an independently organised, multi-layered journey of exploration and re-discovery of the land, which seeks to open up routes for long-term pilgrimages through our ancient culture and richly varied landscape.

From his birthplace in Tory Island, down to the final resting place of his foster mother in Loughcrew, we are following the legends and deeds of Lugh Lamhfada, the champion of light who brought about change and freedom to the Tuatha Dé Dannan by defeating the Fomorians; dark beings whose greed and disregard for the Land herself knew no limits.

In association with the All is Well initiative, our route involves restoration and cleaning of ancient holy wells along the way, allowing Water to lead our path and remind communities of the importance of water care.

We’ll visit meaningful ancient sites, seeking to boost interest in lore and heritage, engaging with local communities to encourage indigenous tourism, fostering awareness about the state of our ecology, providing opportunities for guest experts to share their knowledge along the way… and ah, sure, have some craic while we’re at it.

Vision

General overview of our pilgrimage route.
(by Séan Fitzgerald)

The walk has a variety of aspects, layers and intentions.

Participants are invited to join under their own self-motivation and commitment to adhering to our standard of safety, behavior and intention. Though we will be walking under the principles of kindness, unity and tribe; we expect all Walkers to be self-sufficient in as many aspects as possible, including camping gear and equipment, transport, etc.

In the aftermath of the Covid-19 lockdown, we ask that all walkers to adhere to safety guidelines and social distancing practices.

Intentions and Goals

  • Pilgrimage route: Once upon a time, Ireland was an island to be walked. While the country is still full of interesting walking routes, we seek to open up a path under the stories of the ancient Irish champion Lugh Lamhfada, offering an experience of connection to the ancient legends which permeate the landscape.
  • Care of Holy Wells: As we walk down, we’ll engage in holy well tracking and cleaning techniques, highlighting the importance and awareness of water care among locals.
  • Education: We’re hoping to be joined at times by experts in different areas, from foraging and wild cooking to forestry and outdoor living; offering an ongoing learning experience.
  • Culture & Heritage: Our route will bring us to some of the most important ancient sites on this side of Ireland, where we seek to honor the efforts of our ancestors and the gifts they left behind in stone and soil. We’ll seek out local lore and storytellers in an attempt to find new layers, aspects and connections between these wondrous monuments.
  • Indigenous Tourism: Samewise, we’ll make use of social media tools to highlight and boost hidden gems along the island, in an effort to bring awareness and provide support for local communities; who have so much to offer but are oftentimes neglected by the popular tourism routes.
  • Tribe Behavior and Integrity: We are committed to walk in a way our Ancestors would be proud of; walking as respectful guests along the land and showing truth and grace in word and deed. We intend to leave no trace but positive impact, and manage our group dynamic as horizontally and openly as possible. We hope this to be a learning experience of communal living and respectful interactions with the Land.

Credit: John Sheridan
“We recognise role that the local heritage such as music and folklore retained a Celtic artistic signature of natural vitality, intricacy, “abhorrence of a straight line” and mysticism that is leading to important national cultural revival
This existentially free spirit in our culture is something uniquely attractive to the outsider and it is represented in numerous personal-regenerative initiatives with multi-faceted potential to build on the considerable global platform of awareness established by the heroes of our cultural revival and its ongoing vitality.
-Dr. Myles Sweeny