IAT Visit to Ireland
On Saturday, June 6, IATNL Chairperson Paul Wylezol, Treasurer Kevin Noseworthy, and IAT Maine's Earl Raymond left Belfast, Northern Ireland and after a 2-3 hour train ride arrived in Dublin, the capital of the Irish Republic.
Sunday morning after meeting Geological Survey of Ireland Director Peadar McArdle the delegation joined an enthusiastic group of hikers, trail builders, and tourism writers on a trek into the Dublin Mountains, including a walk along a short section of the Wicklow Way. Bill Murphy of Mountain Meitheal (a conservation group) discussed the various conservation techniques, including drainage and boardwalks, used to develop the newest sections of trail.
Monday morning the IAT delegation attended a meeting hosted by Peadar and the Geological Survey of Ireland to discuss the feasibility and desireability of extending the IAT into Ireland. Garth Earls of the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland travelled to Dublin to attend the meeting to discuss possible linkage with Northern Ireland. The meeting was also attended by representatives of various tourism, development and trail organizations, as well as the Ireland Newfoundland Business Partnership. There was a good discussion ending in the scheduling of a July 1 meeting in Belfast to explore IAT Ireland - Northern Ireland trail routing options.
After the meeting Paul and Kevin took advantage of the opportunity to take a walking tour of historic Dublin, before leaving for Wales the following morning. Overall it was a great visit to Ireland and Northern Ireland, including great hikes, beautiful scenery and promising meetings to establish two more new chapters of the IAT.