Spring is Sprung …

Night OrienteeringNight, Night, Night-O
The night orienteering season is over for another year. A busy schedule of “Dublin by Night” events taking in old and new areas, and easy and difficult ones, ran from early December to mid-February, providing a fuller fixtures list than the normal day-orienteering one in Leinster. A cancellation of the Kerry Orienteers event in Killarney took one night-O out of the equation. The Northern Ireland Night Championships was on last weekend and soon the clocks will go forward, depriving us of those precious hours of darkness beloved of night orienteers.
I enjoy night orienteering: keeping track of where you are is more difficult and more important than in the daytime as mistakes are easier to make and more costly to correct at night. Some other orienteers obviously agree, but not too many: the turnout for most of the DBN events was in the 40’s. Is night-O too specialised? Too challenging?  Too difficult to get to? At the wrong time of year?
The numbers attending orienteering events can be very disappointing: Fingal’s Spring Cup event last Sunday at Rossmore, Co. Monaghan, attracted only 60 runners. An obvious difficulty here is that there is no nucleus of orienteers in the area to bring the numbers up, bus it must be demotivating for clubs, particularly for the mappers, planners, organisers and controllers who make the events happen, if their efforts go unrewarded.
It’s not about money (or not just about money): we all like to feel appreciated, but we’d all like the clubs and the sport to be financially viable. Bigger numbers at events mean more money for the clubs and for the sport. With that money the clubs can pay for mapping, they can subsidise juniors to go abroad to events and to training, they can invest in the sport. Without that income we are on a downslope, with falling participation, fewer people seeing the need to join clubs to ensure the future of the sport and an increasingly older age profile in the clubs.
Are there too many clubs? Do we need to bring the orienteering to the people and not the people to the orienteering? Is it time to reinvent the sport, taking it away from the woolly-hat in the forest image to make it an exciting sprint in a park?
Look at mountain running: the recent race on Three Rock attracted about 300 runners. Look at the Park Runs which regularly attract hundreds of runners. Look at the mountain-bike races on some of our orienteering areas, attracting good numbers at many times the cost of an orienteering entry.
Buy a mountain bike and the same day you’re experiencing the thrills and adrenalin of charging downhill through fantastic forests and trails in natural surroundings. Take up orienteering and experience what, exactly? The frustration of getting lost? The slow learning of map features, compass work and pacing? People nowadays want instant gratification and that’s not something which orienteering in its present form can provide. Maybe it’s not something we should aim to provide, but without capturing and retaining new people, we’re going to be in trouble.
Now, where was I? Night-O: if we are to make it attractive to the day-O people, we need to make it  less intimidating: perhaps a mix of parks and urban areas, university campuses and easy forests, graduating to more difficult areas of forest of sand dunes, but a progression. We exclude under 16’s for insurance reasons; to a large extent we exclude people who don’t have a decent headlight (though the price has fallen and the quality has risen dramatically in the past few years); we exclude people who rely on public transport. We need to be inclusive instead.

Anyway, as spring has sprung, we have the various spring series of competitions in full swing, as well as the great Campus Sprint events which raise money for the Juniors. After a confusing start this year, the sprints at Waterford IT, DCU and UCC are culminating in the TCD and NUU (Coleraine) events on March 1st and 16th.

The LegenDerry weekend of March 15-16-17 has a great range of competitions, from the walled city of Derry, to St Columb’s Park in that city, a middle distance race at Binevenagh near Limavady, a sprint at NUU Coleraine and an ultrasprint back in St Columb’s Park again. Details and entries are here.

The Rock of Dunamase

Looking further ahead, the Leinster Championships on April 6th are being staged by CNOC at Dysert, close to the Rock of Dunamase in Co. Laois (definitely worth a visit: read about it here). Just two weeks later, the Jan Kjellstrom O-Festival is in south Wales at Easter. Details of the sprint at Swansea University and the other events in the Brecon Beacons are here.

Another two weeks (May 2-5) and we’ll have the Irish Championships in Co. Wicklow, with the Sprint Championships at the university campus in Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Details are here. Cheaper entry fees apply until 31st March.

Poetry warning: Stop here if you don’t want a blast of whimsical poetry which has nothing whatsoever to do with orienteering …


NOTHING is so beautiful as spring—
  When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
  Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;       
  The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
  The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.
What is all this juice and all this joy?
  A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning     
In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
  Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
  Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

(Gerard Manley Hopkins)
(At least it’s a nice change from Winter, when Dick the Shepherd blows his nail and milk comes frozen home in pail, and so on!).

Orienteering for the weekend of 1/2 March



Sat 1 Mar: Trinity College Dublin Dublin Campus Sprint Series
Sun 2 Mar: Deerpark Wood Cork Family Day
Sun 2 Mar: Clarabeg Wicklow Leinster Spring Cup


Trinity Sprint Event

The penultimate event in Irish Colleges Campus Sprint Series will take place next Saturday 1st March


Please pre-enter at the link below, even if you are unsure whether or not you’ll make it on the day:

Assembly, start, and finish are all in the same place as last year, at the The Pavilion Bar.
Google Maps here.

Course distances:
Long: 2.1 km
Short: 1.1 km
These distances are straight-line, not optimum route.
A small warm-up map will be available beforehand. For the sake of fair play we advise that you remain within this area before your run. We recommend that people enter the university campus through the south-east entrance, Lincoln Gate, as this is the closest entrance to the assembly.
Mapping is to ISSOM standards and is 1:4000 scale Participants should make sure that they are aware of differences between ISOM and ISSOM beforehand as there will be no legend on the map. A helpful guide is available here.
As Trinity College is a popular tourist destination and a work environment we advise caution to beware of tourists and traffic during the race. Additionally, crossing forbidden areas (e.g. olive green, thick black lines) will result in disqualification as determined by ISSOM standards. Any area outside the campus is considered out of bounds. The edge of the campus is quite clear on the ground and the map does not extend beyond its boundaries. 

There is no official parking for the event. There are several multi-storey car parks in the area as well as some on-street parking. Both Luas lines bring you within walking distance, as will any bus routes which pass through the city centre.


Clarabeg, Co. Wicklow

Preliminary Course distances are as follows:

  • Brown 8.5km
  • Blue 6.2km
  • Green 5.3km
  • Light green 3.7km
  • Orange 2.5km
  • Yellow 2.0km

We would greatly appreciate it if everyone can pre-enter because we are currently unsure of numbers for maps, and it makes things a lot easier for us on the day. It is important that Intervarsity runners pre-enter so we can give them start times


The event will be sign posted from Laragh.

Prices are: Child €5, Adult €8, Family €20, Intervarsity runner: €10.

Courses will close at 2:30pm sharp. If you think the course will take you a while, please start early.


Deerpark Wood, Cork

DEERPAK WOOD, Mogeely, (1 km north of Castlemartyr Village)
Parking on the road east of Mogeely Village (about 0.5 km from the village) National Grid Reference W 973 762
Cork Spring league (Round 1) & Family Day
Electronic punching for Red to Brown courses (hire of SI card eur 1)
Controls out from 8.30 am to 10.30 am
Start Times from 10.30 am to 1 pm.
Courses Close at 2 pm
BROWN COURSE (hardest)            10.5.0 km, 355 m, 28 c
BLUE COURSE                                 7.8 km, 260 m, 27 c
GREEN COURSE                              6.1 km, 160 m, 25 c
RED COURSE                                   5.5 km, 125 m, 22 c
ORANGE COURSE                           5.0 km, 070 m, 17 c
YELLOW COURSE (easiest)             4.0 km, 040 m, 07 c





College Campus Sprint Series Continues


The College Campus Sprint Series which is also a fundraiser for the Junior Squad continues this Saturday in Trinity College with revised start times of 2pm – 4pm. The other event in the series is at University of Ulsters Coleraine Campus on the 16th of March as part of the Legenderry weekend with starts from 3:30pm to 4:30pm.

World Trail Orienteering Championships 2014, Italy

Ireland has entered a team into the 2014 World Trail Orienteering Championships, being run alongside the FootO version in northern Italy in early July.  Would anyone wishing to be considered for selection please send their TrailO CV to Alan Gartside (atgartside (at) yahoo.co.uk).  This should cover performance in, as well as controlling and planning of, elite TrailO events (World, European, National Championships and JK).  The latter are relevant because they require as much, if not more, control site analysis as is used in competition.   Note that those selected are expected to find their own funding.



Orienteering for this Sunday, 23rd February.

Sligo, Cork and Monaghan are the venues for Orienteering this Sunday. All events have courses suitable for Beginners.


(click to get more details)
County Event Type
Sun 23 Feb: Fota House & Gardens Cork ‘Come-and-try-it’ Event
Sun 23 Feb: Shippool Woods Cork Family Day
Sun 23 Feb: Rossmore Forest Park Monaghan Leinster Spring Cup
Sun 23 Feb: Kilronan Castle Sligo ‘Come-and-try-it’ Event


Kilronan Castle, Co. Sligo

Change of location. Oakport flooded so Kilronan Castle this Sunday instead.
Hope to see you there! We also changed the time of the event to be Sunday at 10:30.

Rossmore Forest Park, Co. Monaghan

Fingal Orienteers host the second event of the Leinster Spring Series in Rossmore Forest Park, Monaghan, Co. Monaghan on Sunday 23rd of February 2014. Pre-entry available on our club website @ http://fingal.orienteering.ie/

For the social media heads you can check in to the event on BookFace here or Google+ here
On the day of the event please give your name to the volunteers manning the registration tent, pay your fee and enjoy your run!!!!!

Starts from 11.00 until 13.00, registration in the forest car park.

Course lengths are as follows;

Brown 9 K 180 M Climb
Blue 7.3 K 170 M Climb
Green 5.2 K 150 M Climb
Light Green 3.5 K 90 M Climb
Orange 2.4 K 40 M Climb
Yellow 1.4 K 20 M Climb

Transit and parking info: Car park has a €5 “per car” fee which we cannot avoid paying. Recommend orienteers either car pool from Dublin or at least car pool from the car park at the Monaghan Retail Park 50 yards beyond the junction off the Clones Road & R189.

SHIPPOOL WOOD, near Innishannon House Hotel

Parking in the wood, entrance is 3.0 km on the Kinsale side of the Hotel (after Shippool Castle and the two bad bends)
National Grid Reference W 568 542

Cork Winter Brass Monkey league (Round 9) & Family Day

Electronic punching for Red to Brown courses (hire of SI card eur 1)
Controls out from 8.30 am to 10.30 am
Start Times from 10.30 am to 1 pm.
Courses Close at 2 pm

BROWN COURSE (hardest)             7.0 km, 335 m, 27 c (2 maps)

BLUE COURSE                                5.0 km, 275 m, 29 c
GREEN COURSE                              4.2 km, 225 m, 25 c
RED COURSE                                  3.4 km, 175 m, 26 c
ORANGE COURSE                           2.7 km, 130 m, 21 c
YELLOW COURSE (easiest)             2.0 km, 070 m, 15

Fota House and Gardens Sunday February 23rd

Join us for some orienteering fun at Fota House and Gardens on Sunday February 23rd.

We’ll have a wayfarer’s course (suitable for beginners and family groups) that you can set off on at any time 11.00-12.30. For the more competitive and/or adventurous there will be a group start ‘score’ event which will set off at 12.00pm sharp – please come early register and warm up. The ‘score’ format means that you must get as many controls as possible within the allowed time. The group start will have everyone zig-zagging in all directions across the beautiful (and, thankfully, flat) gardens at Fota.

All proceeds from this fun event will be going to the Jack and Jill Foundation.

Following the event the Cork Orienteering Club AGM will take place in Guilders pub, Carrigtwohill. We would encourage all members to attend.

Events this Weekend 15/16 Feb

Night O event in Knockreer Estate, Kerry is cancelled.

(click on the link below for a map to  the event)
County Organising Club
Saturday15 Feb University College Cork Cork Irish Colleges Campus Sprint Series UCC Orienteers
Saturday15 Feb Knockreer Estate Kerry Night-Orienteering KerryO
Saturday15 Feb Three Rock Wood Dublin Night Orienteering Three Rock
Sunday16 Feb Upper Torc – Muckross Kerry Munster League KerryO
Sunday16 Feb Myross Wood House Retreat Centre & Grounds Cork Family Day Bishopstown
Sunday16 Feb Djouce Woods Wicklow ‘Come-and-try-it’ Event Setanta

Cork and Kerry Orienteering

This Saturday there will be orienteering on the University College Cork main campus in Cork city. If you haven’t done urban orienteering before, why not come along and try it out? There will be two courses, a Short course (~1.5km) for beginners and a longer course (~3.2km) for the more experienced. Registration and parking will be from 12.00pm-2.00pm from the Western Gateway Building on Western Road (that’s the old dog track for the Corkonians reading this). This event is a fundraiser for the Irish Junior Squad so come along and support some of our up and coming athletes. Check out the event Facebook page for directions and more details:https://www.facebook.com/UCC.Orienteering?ref=hl#!/events/601665193245708/

On Sunday morning there will be a Munster League event at Upper Torc, also organised by Kerry-O (https://www.orienteering.ie/fixture/full?id=764). The Munster League events have six courses on offer to suit all levels of ability, all in the beautiful surroundings of Muckross Forest.

Muckross forest, Killarney courses are as follows:
Yellow   2.5km 8c
Orange  3.0km 14c
Light Green 4.1km 200m 19c
Green 4.9km 225m 20c
Blue  7.2km 250m 21c
Brown  8.3km 300m 27c
Due to storm damage and trees blocking roads, car park and registration area may have to be changed. More updates tomorrow

National Grid Reference W 203 368
Cork Winter Brass Monkey league (Round 8) & Family Day
Electronic punching for Red to Brown courses (hire of SI card eur 1)

Controls out from 8.30 am to 10.30 am

Start Times from 10.30 am to 1 pm.
Courses Close at 2 pm 
BROWN COURSE (hardest)             7.1 km, 250 m, 27 c
BLUE COURSE                                  6.3 km, 200 m, 25 c
GREEN COURSE                              4.5 km, 150 m, 21 c
RED COURSE                                    3.1 km, 100 m, 15 c
ORANGE COURSE                            2.7 km, 060 m, 14 c
YELLOW COURSE (easiest)             2.4 km, 050 m, 13 c

Djouce Woods, Co. Wicklow

Organiser: Fergus Byrne

Planner: Eileen Walsh


Long – 5.0km 190m Climb

Medium – 4.2km 145m Climb

Short – 2.3km 65m Climb

For details of the area and directions please see the following link http://www.setantaorienteers.org/map/djouce-woods

Start times are between 11am-1pm and courses close at 3pm.

Prices are as follows
Adults – €7 IOA Members €8 non-IOA members
Students/ OAP’S – €5 IOA members €6 non- members

Family – €20 IOA members €22 non-IOA members
SI hire €2

Senior Squad Training, February 8 & 9th – Report


The weekend started with training on Scarr/Kanturk. Map was 1:15000 but ended up being a bit different. So meant a bit of extra distance and an extra challenge in reading the map. The course was well planned and it allowed an opportunity to practice a number of techniques. The weather started out dry and windy, but turned a bit during the session with rain and hail arriving!


140208 Scarr.Part 1140208 Scarr.Part 2

After refuelling most of the Squad attended the Night-O in Hollywood.

Then today we attended the DUO event on the Vale of Clara map.

I must express my thanks to all who helped organise this weekend. In particular to Niamh, Hugh and Ruairi for planning the training and putting out controls for Saturday morning. I’d also like to thank CNOC for the use of their maps and for donating the proceeds of the Night event in Hollywood to the Senior Squad. Also i’d like to mention Ruth Lynham and Don Short for providing accommodation for the weekend plus a lot more. Thanks to the control collectors on Saturday too who had to brave very challenging conditions.


Darren Burke

Director of High Performance Orienteering

Irish Orienteering Association

Sligo, Wicklow and Cork for Orienteering this Weekend


Date Location
(click on name below for map to locations)
County Event Type Organising Club
9th February, Saturday Leamlara Castle Woods Cork Family Day Bishopstown
9th February, Saturday Vale of Clara Nature Reserve Wicklow Leinster Spring Cup Dublin University
9th February, Saturday Lough Key Forest Park Roscommon  ‘Come-and-try-it’ SligO


 Vale of Clara Nature Reserve

The event will be sign posted from Laragh. Please follow these signs as the other possible route from Laragh crosses a very narrow bridge.

All the usual courses will be offered.
Course Lengths:
Brown         8.0km
Blue            5.7km
Green          4.6km
Light Green  3.4km
Orange        2.9km
Yellow         2.4km

The Brown course will be available at 1:10000 and 1:15000.
1:15000 only available if you pre-enter.
There is a possibilty a Black course being added (1:15000 only), but pre-enter the Brown 1:15000 anyway and ask on the day.

There is significant climb on most courses; this will be updated soon.

The start and finish will both be 300-400m from the entrance to the car park in opposite directions, they will not be adjacent to each other.


Please use pre-entry as it makes the organisers’ job much easier on the day.

The pre-entry form is now open here:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1LtdEver3MYlTH1YcWfnGgmr3rXEAVIRAuLQb1iDM2SY/viewform17th person to pre-enter will get a free biscuit.

The form will be taken down on Saturday evening.

The area is mostly runnable forest with a reasonable track network. Most of the forest is sloping, either gently or steeply.
Previous map here:
The Vale of Clara is a nature reserve, so we request that you leave no rubbish in the forest. This includes organic waste such as apple cores, orange/banana peels, tea bags etc.
Please respect this so that we can maintain a good relationship with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Parking will be on a forest road to the north of the forest.
Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/jmc1A

The event will be sign posted from Laragh. Please follow these signs as the other possible route from Laragh crosses a very narrow bridge.

All the usual courses will be offered.
Course Lengths:
Brown         8.0km
Blue            5.7km
Green          4.6km
Light Green  3.4km
Orange        2.9km
Yellow         2.4km

The Brown course will be available at 1:10000 and 1:15000.
1:15000 only available if you pre-enter.
There is a possibilty a Black course being added (1:15000 only), but pre-enter the Brown 1:15000 anyway and ask on the day.

There is significant climb on most courses; this will be updated soon.

The start and finish will both be 300-400m from the entrance to the car park in opposite directions, they will not be adjacent to each other.

Planner: Conor Short
Controller: Ruth LynamWe have made a request to the rain gods to calm down a bit for Sunday, but they can be somewhat temperamental. The area is quite sheltered, so even if the weather is bad it should ok in the forest.Thanks to Coillte and NPWS for permission for use of the forest, and to AJAX for the use of their map and SI equipment.

LEAMLARA CASTLE WOODS, Leamlara, Carrigtwohill

National Grid Reference W 819793
Signposted from Jack Spratt’s Pub in the centre of Carrigtwohill Village (from here travel northwards over the railway bridge and then a sharp right and all the way towards Leamlara Village, passing the Tattan Ring View Bar on the way).
Park just before the village, outside Brookfield Nursing Home
Cork Winter Brass Monkey league (Round 7) & Family Day
Electronic punching for Red to Brown courses (hire of SI card eur 1)
Controls out from 8.30 am to 10.30 am
Start Times from 10.30 am to 1 pm.
Courses Close at 2 pm
BROWN COURSE (hardest)             10.7 km, 230 m, 30 c
BLUE COURSE                                  9.0 km, 180 m, 29 c
GREEN COURSE                              6.8 km, 150 m, 24 c
RED COURSE                                    5.3 km, 100 m, 20 c
ORANGE COURSE                           3.0 km, 080 m, 16 c
YELLOW COURSE (easiest)             1.2 km, 050 m, 06 c

EYOC and JWOC 2014 Selection Policy

The selection policies for JWOC and EYOC 2014 have been released.

Thank you to Ruth Lynam for putting this together, with help from Mike Long.

If you have any queries or questions, please e-mail mike.long@ucd.ie or rlynam@outlook.com

JWOC 2014 IOA Junior Selection Policy

EYOC 2014 IOA Junior Selection Policy

Outline IOA Squads for EYOC and JWOC 2014

Orienteering in Ireland
  • Orienteering Ireland
    Irish Sport HQ
    D15 DY62
  • fixtures@orienteering.ie
  • info@orienteering.ie