Expeditions

Welcome to our Expeditions page which features reports, journals, logs and photos compiled by scouts, venturers and leaders on a variety of trips at home and abroad.  Skip down the page to read about other explorers of note >> 

There’s never a time in the year without a group or an individual from the Group heading off somewhere for a few days. It might be an MPC in the Galtees, a week long winter climbing trip to Scotland, a jamboree or even a trekking expedition to Nepal. If they took along a camera and penned a few lines, then we’ll report it here.   A variety of expedition reports can be accessed from this page – we hope you enjoy them and comments are always welcome.

 

3 Waterford Scout County Leaders report back on their 110km St. Patrick’s Weekend walk

This year for the annual St. Patrick’s weekend walk, three long distance hikers from Waterford Scout County took on the Dingle Peninsula in the form of the Dingle Way.

Connaught MPC 2011

In September this year the 7th De La Salle Scout Troop took part in the Connaught MPC in Co. Mayo. The team was Matthew Gaynor, Adam Hayes, Paddy Kelly and Liam O’Connell. It was a wild and windy weekend. Check out the team scribe’s (Matthew) expedition report and photos here.

Crossing the Irish Sea on Tall Ship Eendracht

In July 2011 Seán Ó Gríofa from the 7th De La Salle Scout Troop took part in the first part of the Tall Ships Race from Waterford to Greenock in Western Scotland, just east of Glasgow. He was lucky enough to be selected as part of 50 youth members of Waterford Youth Committee and while he had sailed before, he had never been on a tall ship, let alone been part of such a big crew. The Eendrracht, a Dutch Class A ship that he boarded on Saturday the 2nd of July at 1600, was 59 metres long, so quite a step up from the 5 metre craft he had experience with!

Leinster MPC 2010

The 2010 Leinster MPC took place from the 7th to the 9th May in the northern half of the Wicklow Mountains and teams from both the 3rd and the 7th Scout Troops took part. The 3rd were represented by Ciaran Nugent, Colm Mullally, Ruairi O’hOgartaigh, Bill Carton and ASL Colm Ennis while the 7th had Ross Phelan, Jack Power, Peter Smyth and AML Eoin Kelly. Highlights included a spectacular sunset over Lugnagun and the Blessington lakes on the Friday, the ascent of Mullaghcleevaun and a good dry High Camp.

The Wall 2010

ASL Colm Ennis recounts his experiences on the Mourne Wall Walk in Co. Down. It is described as one of the greatest mountain walks in Ireland and over a rollercoaster of a route with 2800 metres of ascent and descent it takes in the entire 35 kilometres of the Mourne Wall. The Wall was built between 1904 and 1922 by the Belfast Water Commissioners to enclose the 9000 acre water catchment in the Mournes and it passes over fifteen mountains including Ulster’s highest point Slieve Donard. Colm completed the walk in less than favourable conditions with AML Eoin Kelly on July 18th 2010.

The Greater Luioch Horseshoe 2010

If you buy a good walking guidebook to Ireland it will contain lots of the classic horseshoes and mountain walks in Ireland. The routes listed are of course limited to those that the editor and his friends have gotten around to. What then if there are bits of the Irish mountains that these writers have missed. Maybe they never bothered to give all the maps of Kerry, Connemara and Donegal a good examination. There is so much classic walking to do in Kerry for example that it’s easy to miss whole mountain ranges on the Iveragh peninsula. So while walking on the Beara peninsula, three members of the De La Salle Scout Group spot a range of hills they haven’t climbed before. Anxious to explore new ground and with all other maps buried deep in the boot of the car, they decide on a horseshoe of hills in the last quarter of the Iveragh peninsula (it’s not quite at the tip). Thus on a spectacular April day the Greater Luioch Horseshoe was eventually born.

Macgillycuddys Reeks 2009

It had been a while since the 3rd Scouts had been to arguably Ireland’s most dramatic mountain range – the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks in Kerry. But finally Dean Purcell, Bill Carton, Ruairi O’hOgartaigh, Colm Ennis were headed that direction with Eoin Kelly a mountain goat type from the De La Salle Venturers drafted in to assist. The team bivvied at the Coumloughra lake and the next day completed the spectacular Coumloughra Horseshoe which includes Ireland’s three highest summits – Binn Chaorach (1010m), Corran Tuathail (1039m) and Cathair (1001m). Highlights included a spectacular sunset over the Dingle Peninsula, a red dawn and a flawless traverse of the three mountains.

BMC International Climbing Meet 2008

Each year the British Mountaineering Council holds a weeklong International Climbing Meet with summer and winter meets taking place in alternate years. Their aim is to put the best of Scottish winter climbing, North Wales cragging and all of the British climbing ethics and traditions on show. In May 2008 the MCI was represented at the summer meet by Eoin Kennedy from Cork and Colm Ennis from the Rathgormack Climbing Club in Waterford (and also of the 3rd Scouts) who recounts his experiences at the meet here.

Sluacht na Sleibhte 2008

The Sluacht na Sleibhtes are designed to be an extension into the Venturer age range of the mountain programme offered to the scout age range through the Sionnach/MPC and Peak activities. Basically the events are for a team of three Venture Scouts and in January 2008 Cian O’hOgartaigh, Eoin Kelly and Aidan Maguire took part in the first event of 2008 in the spectacular Mourne Mountains in Co. Down. You can check out the excellent photo essay here.

Donegal Sionnach 2007

The 2007 Donegal Sionnach took place from the 12th to the 14th of October in the Blue Stacks in County Donegal. It meant a round trip of about 700 kilometres through sixteen counties for the team from the 3rd De La Salle Scout Troop but it was well worth the effort. The lads joined teams from all over the country for what was an excellent weekend in a range that none of them had visited before. It had a boggy start but eventually the fantastic granite terrain of the Blue Stacks served up a fine mountain weekend.

Waterford Scout County MPC 2007

The 13th Annual County Mountain Pursuit Challenge was based in the Monavullagh (southern) end of the Comeragh Mountains and took place from Friday the 21st to Sunday the 23rd of September 2007. After the fairly nasty weather we had in the Galtees last year, the organisers were confident of fine weather this year and amazingly enough they were not disappointed and were rewarded with one of the few dry weekends of the year. It may have been a little windy on Saturday night but most of the tents managed to stand up to the gale. The event was based at Coum Eag (The Valley of Death) which is under Farbreaga and the route took in Farbreaga itself, the Barnamadra Gap, Seefin, Coumtay and Counfea, before looping back to base camp. Approximately 60 scouts and leaders from across the Waterford Scout County took part and you can read a full account with loads of photos here.

Scotland 2007

Paschal, TC, Sid, Aidan and Colm have seen quite a few mountains together in the past few years. It had been nine months however since they saw a dry one. Would their latest Scottish expedition with the Central Highlands as their destination break the cycle of dismal weather in which they were trapped? The lads based themselves from Crianlarich and to justify their absence from the Saint Patrick’s Day parade, the local big Munro of Ben More was bagged, an impressive section of the West Highland Way was walked and the Queen of the Scottish Mountains – Ben Lui was also climbed. There were challenges a plenty and saints, haggis and a few drams also featured on this expedition which was short but turned out to be a bit of a classic.

Achill Sionnach 2006

Achill is the largest of Ireland’s offshore islands and is no less than 220 miles from Waterford City. Would the epic Halloween road trip be worth it for the team of Cian, Colm and Ciaran from the 3rd with special guest Eoin Kelly from the 7th. Absolutely. The Achill Sionnach 2006 was a classic trip to one of the most spectacular parts of Ireland. As well as camping at the astounding Annagh Strand the lads also took a run up Cruachan which is apparently the highest peak on the western European seaboard and whose north west facing side makes up the highest sea cliff in Europe.

Waterford Scout County MPC 2006

What is a Mountain Pursuit Challenge? Just that – a weekend in pursuit of a challenge in the mountains. For 2006 the organisers the of the Waterford Scout County MPC upped the ante on previous years and went for a full backpacking event. They also ensured that there would be mist, heavy downpours and a good strong wind for the ascent of one of Ireland’s highest mountains – Galtymore. The event took place from the 29th of September to the 1st of October 2006 in the southern side of the Galtee mountains and despite the adverse conditions was a great success. More than 50 scouts and leaders took part and you can read the report on our County MPC 2006 page. We also have a County MPC 2006 Gallery page with a selection of the photos entered into the Altitude sponsored photo competition which was held on the event.

The Cape Wrath Trail 2006

“It’s the sort of long distance route that most keen walkers dream of. A long tough trek through some of the most majestic, remote and stunningly beautiful landscape you could dare imagine”. So says Cameron McNeish in his description of the Cape Wrath Trail. The trail runs for 324 kilometres or so from Fort William to the most north-westerly tip of the Scottish mainland. It is billed as the “hardest long distance backpacking route in the UK”. Just the type of description then that would have brothers, Aidan and Colm Ennis booking cheap flights and lightly packing their bags. They completed the walk from the 1st to the 11th of September in just under ten days and the assessment was “In terms of scale and distance, in the variety of landscapes and geology, in the richness of the countryside, in the highs and lows, there is surely nothing quite like it”. You can read an account of the expedition illustrated with photos here.

Three Ranges, Three Counties, Three Days 2006

The Galtees, the Knockmealdowns and the Comeraghs are all fine mountain ranges and are much loved by members of the De La Salle Scout Group. Just after Christmas 2005 on a hike in the Nire Valley, a group of leaders agreed that a traverse of all three in one weekend would have to be attempted. The long weekend in June was agreed upon as the date and the rest as they say is history. Starting in Kilbeheny at the foothills of the Galtees on the Saturday morning and finishing at Powers the Pot at the end of the Comeraghs on Monday afternoon, the expedition involved one hundred kilometres of road and mountain walking and 4500 metres of ascent through what is surely some of the most beautiful countryside in Ireland. It was a challenging three days but with perfect blue skies and a great support team, the expedition was successfully completed. You can read the full account with loads of photos on our Three Ranges, Three Counties, Three Days page. The big question is – what will be next?

Mournes Ulster MPC 2005

The 2005 Ulster Mountain Pursuit Challenge took place from the 21st to the 23rd of October 2005 in the Mourne Mountains in Co. Down. No less than 10 members of the De La Salle Scout Troop took part with a team from both the 3rd and the 7th Scout Troop making the journey along with St. Pauls also from Waterford. They joined 18 other teams from all over the country for what was an excellent weekend of mountaineering and which featured a superb horseshoe route in excellent conditions across Slievelamagan, Cove Mountain, Slieve Beg and Ulster’s highest mountain, Slieve Donard.

Waterford Scout County MPC 2005

The 2005 Waterford Scout County Mountain Pursuit Challenge took place from the 16th to the 18th of September 2005 in the Comeragh Mountains. It was a hugely successfully event which featured a basecamp at the mysterious Foill an Priosun, dramatic sunsets, full moons and sunrises, encounters with the local mountain rescue team, chases of wild mountain goats and early morning bagpipe wake up calls. You can read the Expedition Report of the event on our County MPC 2005 page while our County MPC 2005 Gallery page also has an outstanding selection of photographs taken by participants in the event from across the county.

Texas 2005

Dallas, Texas played host to a contingent of twelve Irish scouts and three Scoutleaders for the first ever Chief Scout’s exchange to Texas. The exchange took place from the 7th to the 21st of June 2005 and consisted of 12 nights camping on Boy Scouts of America (BSA) campsites as well as home hospitality. The highly successful trip included visits to two very different campsites for a host of activities as well as numerous battles with the native scorpions. Kate Hayes represented the De La Salle Scout Group and you can read the full account with lots of photos here.

The Cuillin Ridge 2005

The Cuillin Ridge on the Island of Skye is the most famous mountaineering expedition in Britain. The traverse across the main summits of the Black Cuillin Mountains involves over 3000 metres of ascent spread along a ten kilometre alpine style route with 11 munro summits and 19 separate peaks in all to be negotiated. This is an account of a traverse of the route by Assistant Scoutleader in the 3rd, Colm Ennis and his brother, Group Mountaineering Consultant, Aidan Ennis on the 7th of June 2005. They bivvied on the first peak the previous evening and after a 4.30am start the next morning, reached the final peak of Sgurr nan Gillean, thirteen and a half hours later. It’s an outstanding expedition and you can read an account with lots of photos here.

Peak 2005

P.E.A.K. – Patrol Expedition Adventure Camp, is a week long personal development course for scouts over 14 years of age. Run during Easter in County Kerry at Cappanalea Outdoor Education Centre, the programme offers participants a chance to take part in a whole range of outdoor activities as well as an opportunity to improve on their backpacking skills such as navigation, route finding, map reading and light weight camping. The week culminates in a two day expedition route which the scouts complete in patrols. Michael Kavanagh from the 7th De La Salle Scout Troop took part in the 2005 event and you can read a full account with lots of photos here.

Scotland 2005

After a few great trips to Scotland, the place begins to play on your mind and it is hard to let more than a year go by without returning to venture up some snow and ice clad Scottish peaks. The elite mountaineering section of our leadership team were back in Spring 2005 for an ascent of The Cobbler, winter climbing on Aonach Dubh and in Stob Coire nan Lochan and a magnificent horseshoe outing in the Grey Corries. There is also an important cautionary tale, so check out the account here.

Maumturks Sionnach 2004

The wild mountains of the Maumturks in Connemara were the venue for the second of the Sionnach Adventures in 2004. Barry Kelly, Michael Kavanagh, Ian Grant and Eoin Kelly from the 7th were dispatched with Colm Ennis to take on the challenge. Our Maumturks Sionnach 2004 page has a stirring account and lots of photos from the event. It’s a tale featuring Slovakian forecourt attendants, Bob Marley and Phil Linnott, world liquid carrying records, lost trekking poles, environmental art and of course the fantastic wet, wild and windy Maumturks.

Pyrenean Haute Route 2004

The Pyrenean Haute Route is a long distance mountaineering route which runs from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and follows the main ridge of the Pyrenees. In September 2004, Colm and Aidan Ennis completed one of its most spectacular sections from Lescun to Gavarnie. The route took them through the dramatic Parc National des Pyrenees Occidentales in France and occasionally across the border into Spain. The Pyrennes are undoubtedly a mountain range with an astounding variety of landscapes, they are bursting with wildlife and definitely contain plenty of challenging mountaineering.

Mont Blanc Massif 2004

Our leadership team are an adventurous lot and a few have been popping up on summits across the globe for many years. This year Paschal Guilfoyle, Ian Sinnott and Colm Ennis of the 3rd accompanied by Group Treasurer, Tom Casey and mountaineering consultant, Aidan Ennis had their sights set on the French and Swiss Alps. This is an account of their five day trip to the Mont Blanc Massif. It included an ascent of the Aiguille du Tour and the Fenetre d’Arpette, plenty of glacier travel and even drinking tea from cereal bowls.

Waterford Scout County Mountain Pursuit Challenge 2004

The 10th Annual County Mountain Pursuit Challenge was held from the 28th to the 30th of May 2004 in the Knockmealdown Mountains in County Waterford. It was an event which had it all – missing lakes and missing tracks, steep tough heathery ascents, very heavy rucksacks, suicidal frogs and world record pasta eating. The event was attended by the 3rd and 7th De La Salle, St. Pauls, Ferrybank, Dunhill, Ballygunner and the Sacred heart. You can read the official account with lots of photos here.

Peak 2004

P.E.A.K. – Patrol Expedition Adventure Camp, is a week long personal development course for scouts over 14 years of age. Run during Easter in County Kerry at Cappanalea Outdoor Education Centre, the programme offers participants a chance to take part in a whole range of outdoor activities as well as an opportunity to improve on their backpacking skills such as navigation, route finding, map reading and light weight camping. The week culminates in a two day expedition route which the scouts complete in patrols. Barry Kelly from the 7th De La Salle Scout Troop took part in the 2004 event and you can read a full account with lots of photos here.

7th De La Salle Scout Troop Reeks Expedition 2004

The 7th De La Salle prides itself as being one of Ireland’s most active scout troops and its leaders and scouts are veterans of many a Regional and National Mountain Pursuit Challenge. Three of its Senior Patrol Leaders decided this year to set up their own challenge in the Macgillycuddy Reeks in Co. Kerry. They of course wanted to climb the three highest peaks in Ireland namely Corran Tuathail (1039m), Binn Chaorach and Cathair by the classic Com Lothoir Horseshoe. This is the account of the trip by Maurice Kavanagh, Brian Walsh and Barry Kelly of the 7th in January 2004.

Arolla 2003

All those day hikes over every square inch of the Comeraghs with the troop, travelling up and down the country to Mountain Pursuit Challenges and forays into rockclimbing on annual camp can eventually lead you to some very interesting places. After years of all of the above and after running across every range in Ireland and quite a few in Scotland, two members of the Group recount here there first trip to the Alps. The trip took place in July 2003 to Arolla in the Western Valais Alps in Switzerland. John Kinsella and Colm Ennis both have reputations for not hanging around when it comes to mountaineering and this trip certainly had some great climbing and some interesting moments.

The Assistant Scoutleaders Scotland Expedition 2002

Billy Collins has his work cut out for him in the 7th Scout Troop whenever his three Assistants abandon him and take off on another mountaineering trip. Kenneth Rouse, Colm Ennis and Paul McSweeney of the 7th were recently joined by John Kinsella of the 3rd for a 10 day winter mountaineering expedition to the mountains of Lochaber and Glencoe in Scotland. The trip took place from the 22nd to the 31st of March 2002 last and featured a long road trip as well as six excellent days of mountaineering and climbing. Highlights include Ken’s icy plunge into a river in the Grey Corries, a good long route on the Ben, an impressive Lochaber Traverse by John and Colm and a great day out on Curved Ridge on the Buachaille.

7th De La Salle Scout Troop Donegal SUAS 2001

They had completed the Waterford and South Kilkenny Regional MPC as well as the National SUAS in the Comeraghs, but there was no stopping the team from the 7th from going on the final SUAS of 2001 in Donegal. SUAS stands for Scout Upland Adventure Series and it is the new name for the MPC’s. 543 miles, the same number of bogholes, mysteriously named lakes, trampolines and staff who were as unusual as ever, made it yet another epic weekend. The team consisted of Maurice Kavanagh, Brian Walsh and Barry Kelly with Colm Ennis along to drive the car. The event was held from the 19th to the 21st of October 2001 in the Derryveagh mountains in deepest wildest Donegal.

Alps/Mont Blanc 2001

What kind of alpine season did you have this year? If it was limited to a half day on Lugnaquilla and a rainy bank holiday weekend in Killarney, then Eric Whelan has written an account of his ascent of Mont Blanc and taken some photos to make you regret not booking those cheap flights to Geneva. As a former member of the 3rd and the De La Salle Venturer Group, Eric is a rovery leader type, who like a growing number of the Group, is now known to wield an ice axe from time to time. The account given here is of the climb to the summit of Mont Blanc (4808m) from basecamp at Col du Midi and was just part of a very successful 3 week trip to the Alps in August 2001. Bewarned though that if the highlight of your mountaineering story archive is how you extricated yourself from a boghole in the Comeraghs, you will now feel obliged to head to the Alps so you can recount an escape from a crevasse instead. You can read the account here and then book cheap flights here.

Gardyloo Gully 2001

Every now and again climbers and mountaineers have a “bit of an epic”. This account of an ascent of Gardyloo Gully on Ben Nevis by Assistant Scoutleader Colm Ennis and John Kinsella describes one such day, when conditions in the gully proved less than ideal. The route was completed during a winter mountaineering expedition to the Glencoe and Lochaber areas of Scotland. Only one of the photos in the account were taken on the same day as the climb. It seems that although the digital camera was along for the ride, the photography had to take a back seat to the climbing for once! The account is called Gardyloo Gully and was written by Colm Ennis.

3rd De La Salle Scout Troop Leinster MPC 2000

The second event on the MPC/Sionnach calendar for 2000 was the Leinster MPC in the Coolies which are to the north of Dundalk. The event was held from the 5th to the 7th of May and the Group was represented by the 3rd Scout Troop. The team consisted of Ian Griffin, Derek Ryan and Patrick Kelly with ASL, Colm Ennis from the 7th along for the fresh air. Thomastown were the only other troop from the Waterford and South Kilkenny Region who braved the long trip up to the Coolies and the official verdict on the mountains which were the site of the famous Tain Bo Cuailgne is that they’re nice but they’ll have to make them a bit higher. The weather was fantastic for the weekend and you can read the full account of the trip and see lots more photos on our Leinster MPC 2000 page.

De La Salle Venturers Scotland Expedition 2000

The De La Salle Venturer Group held a very successful winter mountaineering expedition to the Fortwilliam and Glencoe area of Scotland from the 15th to the 22nd of April 2000. The lads completed three excellent routes in the Ben Nevis area and a further three up in Glencoe. They included an ascent of Ben Nevis by the Carn Mor Dearg Arete, the two Aonachs, six munros in the Mamores, An Buachaille Etive Mor and the peaks surrounding Bidean nam Bian including Stob Coire nan Lochan by Broad Gully. The group consisted of Eric Whelan, John Kinsella, Paul Cunningham, Paul McSweeney and Kenneth Rouse. The expedition was led by Colm Ennis from the 7th Scout troop. Scoutleader Paschal Guilfoyle from the 3rd and Aidan Ennis were also along for the first two days of the expedition. A full report with loads of photos is available on our Scotland 2000 page. Pictured above are Paul McSweeney and John Kinsella at the summit of Aonach Beag (1234m).

De La Salle Scout Troops Munster MPC/Sionnach 2000

The De La Salle Scout Group and its three scout troops has taken part in many of the Mountain Pursuit Challenges since the concept was launched way back in the Mourne mountains in 1991. We were delighted therefore to have been able to send 3 teams to the first ever MPC/Sionnach in the Galtees from the 7th to the 9th of April 2000. The teams consisted of James White, Dylan Lumley, Ray Doyle, Peter Murphy and Colm Ennis from the 7th; Patrick Kelly, Conor Dempsey, Kieran Gleeson, Brian Brazil and Bernard Cunningham from the 3rd (pictured at the end of the MPC on the left); and Derek Ryan, Ian Griffin, Conor Welsh and Tom Casey from the 13th (or were they really from the 3rd with a leader from the 13th? – we may never know). You can read the full report on our Munster MPC/Sionnach page.

De La Salle Scout Group Leadership Team Scotland Weekend 1999

Eighteen leaders from the De La Salle Scout Group, some high Scottish mountains and a load of haggis. The 1999 Leaders weekend was the stuff of legends. Read the full report on our Scotland 1999 page. They are pictured below on the summit of Stob Coire nan Lochan (1115m) on a route that also included an ascent of Bidean nam Bian. Ben Nevis was also conquered over the weekend after which Roddy was made to promise that he would never wear Lycra again.

Aidan Ennis – De La Salle Scoutleader Trekking in India/Nepal

Well we thought he was back for good but when Aidan Ennis who is an Assistant Scoutleader in the 13th Waterford Scout Troop finally arrived back in the Northern Hemisphere in July 1998, he decided he hadn’t quite completed his global travels. They began in September 1996 in Nepal and over the 22 months he was away he travelled through India, Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. But in September 1998 he departed once again for foreign soil (namely India and Nepal).
His first stop was Varanasi, the holy city on the river Ganges, where he met a large group of Calcutta scouts at the Ramnagar Fort where an impromptu campfire was held in the middle of the fort courtyard, much to the amusement of local Indians and tourists. Next was a ride on the famous toy train to Darjeeling, home of the famous tea. From there Aidan headed overland to Nepal for two months non-stop trekking in the Himalaya. In December after resting in Kathmandhu, he flew back to India where he spent two weeks in Rajasthan, visiting forts and palaces, and riding camels over the occasional sand dune!
We have obtained an exclusive copy of Don’t Panic, his account of his second visit to India and Nepal. You can also read details of his Annapurna Expedition to Nepal which took place in October 1995.


Other Explorers of Note

So what is it about Scouting that gives people the urge to occasionally pack it all in and head off around the world on extraordinary and unusual journeys? Maybe it’s the experience of actually finding the campsite on numerous annual camps or navigating to the starting car park of an MPC. Or perhaps they enjoy getting all sorts of weird injections at the Department of Tropical and Highly Infectious Diseases. Whatever it is, this Group like many others, has produced a crop of explorers who like Bilbo Baggins, disappear one day, have an unexpected adventure and reappear sometime later with a hoard of dragons gold (or more commonly a large Visa bill). While they are away they may send back the odd obscure postcard or strangely worded email to warn us of the truckload of slides and photos that we’ll have to endure on their return. However be warned as some of the explorers are never seen again and if they do return they are never quite the same. One way or another their accounts and experiences become a part of the Group history and people are often heard to ask – ‘do you remember what happened to him when he went to….?’

We suspect that John Hennebry, our former Group Chairman and who sadly passed away some time ago, had an aversion to airplanes as he is the only person we know of who travelled all the way to China by train. He was described at the time in Waterford’s local newspapers as a ‘modern day Marco Polo’. He travelled through Poland, Russia and numerous other countries in what surely must have been an incredible test of endurance for John (and for the other people on the train!). Our former Group Treasurer, Brother Virgilius has also astounded us all by travelling the length and breadth of the United States and all after he turned a hundred years of age. Pat Murphy has also seen a few international airports in his time and even attended the World Jamborees in South Korea and South America. Roddy and Gary Sinnott’s trip to Asia and Australia has also been the source of a great many stories, most un-publishable but first of which was how they nearly missed the plane from Dublin.  If any other member of the Group suddenly drops everything and departs for Bolivia, you can be sure to read about it here.

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