Five Orienteering Events this Weekend, 26/27th April 2014

There are five orienteering events this weekend, two in Kilkenny, and one each in Roscommon, Dublin and Kerry. Beginners are welcome at all events.


Date Venue
(click link below for location map)
County Organising Club
(click below for more info)
Saturday, 26th April Castlecomer Park Kilkenny WatO
Sunday, 27th April Kilkenny Castle Kilkenny WatO
Sunday, 27th April Malahide Castle Demesne Dublin Fingal OC
Sunday, 27th April Strokestown House & Park Roscommon SligO
Sunday, 27th April Rossbeigh Sand Dunes Kerry KerryO
Sunday, 27th April Rochestown Woods Cork BOC

Kilkenny Craic Weekend

Join us for a weekend of orienteering in County Kilkenny. Both days or just one, you chose. Both days have courses suitable for beginners. On Saturday 26th April, the venue is Castlecomer Discovery Park with the usual range of blue to yellow courses

More Details


Strokestown House, Roscommon

more details


ROCHESTOWN WOODS, Rochestown, Cork City

Park in Upper Belmont Estate at the top of Clarke’s Hill
National Grid Reference W 725 686
Cork Spring 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) 8.1 km, 430 m, 23 c
BLUE COURSE 6.9 km, 380 m, 20 c
GREEN COURSE 6.3 km, 300 m, 23 c
RED COURSE 5.1 km, 200 m, 18 c
ORANGE COURSE 4.0 km, 125 m, 12 c
YELLOW COURSE (easiest) 3.0 km, 075 m, 08 c

Malahide Castle, Dublin

Registration will be in the car park on the left just inside the main gate. There will be two events on the day, a ‘family’ relay event. Teams of three from the same family can compete against each other. However other teams apart from family teams can also run. The relay first leg runners will start at about 12.00, so come earlier to register your team.

In addition to the relay there will also be a normal orienteering event with three courses available, long, medium, and short. Starts for these courses will be from 11.00 until around 1.00 PM. All are welcome to take part. The short course will be very suitable for beginners.

The Amayzing Mays won the relay event last year in Newbridge House. Who will challenge them this year? The Shorts, O’Boyles, O’Cléirighs, Longs, Walley/Kearns, McCavanaghs, McCulloughs, O’Connell/Morans, or Quinns? Unlike last year the legs will be long, medium, and short, with a twist on the long leg. The Malahide map has also been updated for the event with some previous out of bounds area now open.

There will be prizes for the best team and best family team.


EOC Relay and Summary

The European Orienteering Championships 2014 finished today with the relay at Marateca. Ireland had a men’s team of Josh, Nick and Conor.  Conor and Josh both comment that the terrain was really fast. Preliminary results show the team in 37th place. Victory went to Sweden, 4 seconds ahead of Czech Republic. Switzerland won the women’s title. Preliminary results:

The highlight of the team’s week was undoubtedly Nick’s 28th place in the long distance final, as he edges closer and closer to a top 25 place. All results and GPS tracking can be found on the EOC 2014 homepage:

A number of the senior squad are looking forward to the JK in Wales this coming weekend, while Nick is competing for IFK Lidingö at the relay race Kolmårdskavlen in Sweden. After that, the Irish Championships in Wicklow (2-5th May) and WOC selection races in Italy (31st May-2nd June) are two big weekends for the senior team. Onwards and upwards!

JK 2014 website:

Kolmårdskavlen 2014 website:

Irish Championships website:

WOC selection races (at ‘3 days of Trenches’) website:


10 Elements of Orienteering now live.


You can view the 10 elements of Orienteering at the following link:

Nick 28th in EOC Long Final



Nicolas Simonin today finished in 28th place in the European Orienteering Championships. Congratulations Nick.

The results of the race are available here. The course, 20.3 km of it, had to be replanned overnight after the original was accidentally put on the EOC website yesterday evening!


EOC finishes tomorrow with the relay. Our Men’s team will be Nicolas Simonin, Conor Short & Josh O’Sullivan-Hourihan. Links to the live results, GPS, tv pictures and radio can be found here.


In the 1st stage of the Pre-O at the ETOC yesterday, Declan McGrellis was 45th.



EOC 2014 – Middle & Long Finals

The qualification races for EOC 2014 started last Thursday with the Middle, the long was on Friday and the Sprint was on Saturday morning.

Sadly none of our competitors in the Middle Distance, men or women, made the top 17 in the heats which is required to make the finals, or so we thought. Following numerous protests the organisers decided to void the mens results, so all men will now run the Middle Final tomorrow (Monday).

This event starts at 10am (Irish Time) and can be followed online from the EOC website. There will be GPS tracking for the top runners with live results, radio, and tv pictures being streamed online.


In the long distance qualification, Nicolas Simonin finished in an excellent 9th place in his heat which qualifies him for Tuesday’s final. The race can be followed live by various means at this link, including GPS tracking from TracTrac, EOC website


In the sprint qualification on Saturday morning the Irish missed out on the final in what were very competitive races. All results can be found using the link given already.


At the ETOC 2014 qualification for the Temp-O started this morning, with start times put back due to fog. The results will be available at the ETOC Live Centre.


EOC competition will finish on Wednesday with the relay.




Only one province for Orienteering this Sunday, but 2 events in Cork and Kerry.

Crohane Lake, Kerry and Curragh Wood, Midleton, Cork are the two events on this weekend. Many people are heading for the JK in Wales.

(click for Map to event)
(click below for more details)
Sunday, 13th April Crohane Lake Kerry Munster League Cork
Sunday, 13th April Curragh Wood Cork Family Day Bishopstown

Crohane Lake, Kerry

Cork Orienteering Club are delighted to invite you to take part in the Munster League #4 event at Crohane Lake, next Sunday April 13th. This area was used for the 1998 World Cup Qualification Races and more recently at last years Shamrock O-Ringen. It is typical West Cork/Kerry open mountain with intricate contour detail providing a fantastic opportunity to practice on this type of terrain for the upcoming Irish Championships.  The courses will be solely in the open terrain.

Brown, 8.6km, 19c, 330m climb
Blue, 6.9km, 17c, 280m climb
Green, 5.8km, 14c, 220m climb
Light Green, 4.5km, 12c, 190m climb
Orange, 2.7km, 11c, 130m climb
Yellow, 2.2km, 10c, 80m climb
Registration and download will be in the parking area. Loose control descriptions will be provided at registration and they will also be on the map.
Registration will open from 10.45, with starts from 11am to 12.30pm
Start & finish are adjacent and the start is approx 250m from registration.
Courses Close at 2:30pm, controls will be collected at this time.
Map scale 1:10000, contour interval 5m, SPORTIdent punching.
Please let us know by w/e if you’re bringing a group.
Travel along the N22 (Cork-Killarney road) and take the turn-off for Kenmare at Poulgorm bridge (5km from Glenflesk, or 20km from Ballyvourney). Continue 6km along this road (R569) and turn right on to the forest road at the Ros An Croo Na Loo acr park (bend), follow direction signs along forest road to park on one side of this forest road.
Prices: Senior €7; Student, over-65 €5; Junior €4; Family €16;  Groups by request.

CURRAGH WOOD, Midleton (On Midleton / Lisgoold road)


National Grid Reference W 859 765

A lot of new Mountain Bike trails (not on map)
Cork Spring league (Round 6) & 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)              9.0 km, 470 m, 17 c 
BLUE COURSE                                7.1 km, 375 m, 19 c
GREEN COURSE                              5.8 km, 350 m, 15 c
RED COURSE                                  5.5 km, 340 m, 15 c
ORANGE COURSE                           4.5 km, 235 m, 11 c
YELLOW COURSE (easiest)             3.0 km, 200 m, 10 c



European Orienteering Championships 2014


The European Orienteering Championships start this week. Ireland has teams entered in both the Orienteering (EOC) and Trail-O (ETOC) competitions. The first foot orienteering qualification races on Thursday, and the Pre-O qualification starts later in the week.


EOC 2014 ETOC 2014
Olivia Baxter Wilbert Hollinger
Regina Kelly Stephen Gilmore
Niamh O’Boyle Declan McGrellis
Seamus O’Boyle  
Conor Short  
Ruairi Short  
Hugh Cashell  
Josh O’Sullivan Hourihan  
Nicolas Simonin  


Information on how to keep up to date with results, include GPS tracking, and any other Live services being offered will be available on the event website,


If you want to know when any of the events are on then the programme for EOC is as follows:


10th April

10:00 –  Middle distance qualification (Meco North)

11th April

10:00 –  Long distance qualification (Meco South)

12th April

10:00 –  Sprint qualification (Sesimbra East)

13th April

14:00 –  Sprint final B (Palmela)

16:30 –  Sprint final A Women (Finalists will have to check in latest at 14:00 at Palmela Primary School) (Palmela)

17:45 –  Sprint final A Men (Finalists will have to check in latest at 14:00 at Palmela Primary School) (Palmela)

14th April

10:00 –  Middle distance final (Marateca)

15th April

09:00 –  Long distance final (Marateca)

16th April

09:00 –  Relay (Marateca)


And the ETOC programme is as follows:

13th April

09:00 –  TempO qualification (Palmela Village)

14th April

09:00 –  PreO stage 1 (Vale de Barris)

15th April

09:00 –  PreO stage 2 (Vale de Barris)

16th April

09:00 –  TempO final (Palmela Village)



Good Luck to both teams.



Darren Burke

Director of High Performance Orienteering

Irish Orienteering Association

Full Steam Ahead

The high point of the year, the Irish Championships, is approaching and promises to be a great weekend’s orienteering, with a major contrast between the intricacy of the Maynooth University campus for the Sprint on Friday, to the open mountainside, peat hags, moraines and glacial deposits of the following three days around Turlough Hill and the Wicklow Gap.Before that, though, we’re in high gear for the Leinster Championships, the European Championships and the JK at Easter.

The Leinsters saw a respectable turnout coming to the midlands for CNOC’s event on April 6th, travelling from all four provinces. Carrigmeal forest, spread over several distinct limestone hills near Portlaoise, is a largely runnable deciduous forest with crags and quarries, along the lines of Mullaghmeen in Co. Westmeath. Like Mullaghmeen, the forest has some interesting history: Mullaghmeen is the largest planted beech forest in the country, while the forest at Carrigmeal was planted as part of the Marshall Plan to get Europe back on its feet economically, in the years after the Second World War, according to the farmer whose field we used for parking.

Leinster Champions Colm Moran (3ROC) and Maeve O’Grady (CNOC) weren’t concerned with the history but with the present: Colm finished more than 2 minutes clear of second-placed Corkman-turned-Kerryman Darren Burke, with the Short Brothers, Ruairi and Conor, next. (No sign of Harland, however). On the Women’s course, Welsh visitor Katie Reynolds finished fastest on the day but wasn’t eligible to take the Leinster title.

The early heavy showers passed, affecting only the first starters and the unfortunate officials, but a mild, dry day followed for most of the runners. A JK-style parking field, tea and cakes provided by the Junior Squad, and a convivial assembly area made for a great atmosphere on the day.

The area is presided over by the majestic Rock of Dunamase, first settled in the 9th century, whose image featured on the prizes, but for many the steep and muddy hills of Carrigmeal had provided enough running up and down for the day. Maybe next time …

Results and Routegadget are here.

Up the Walls in Derry

Start of the Derry sprint

The city of Derry, Derry/Londonderry, or Stroke City provided a great weekend’s sport around  St Patrick’s Day. Masterminded by NWOC’s Allan Bogle, the “Legenderry” weekend featured a largely-downhill middle distance race at Binevenagh, under the dramatic cliffs overlooking Lough Foyle on Saturday afternoon, then an Irish victory over France in Rugby that evening, followed by three sprint races on Sunday and a further sprint on Monday.

Binevenagh has been used for Irish Championships and Home Internationals but this event mostly used a south-eastwards extension, avoiding the cliffs but bringing us into some dark coniferous forest where optically-challenged orienteers were advised to bring a torch to read their maps! Darren Burke took first place on the Men’s course, with Eoin McCullough second; Niamh O’Boyle won the Women’s race with her up and coming younger sister, Caoimhe, second.

The Peace Bridge

Sunday’s first sprint race started just outside Derry’s walls, with competitors walking across the Foyle on the sinuous Peace Bridge to start close to the Guildhall. Start times were early, to avoid tourists and a food fair in the city, and Philip Baxter’s courses brought everyone up and town through the walls and around the hilly city. We should have anticipated some deviousness on the planner’s part, but the most talked-about leg was one which brought us from on top of the walls, back outside to a cave-like control and back inside the city again. The walls are the most unique feature of the city and it was inevitable that they would be a major factor in the race. A super event, on Allan Bogle’s map, and well worth the journey. Eoin McCullough outsprinted the field to finish 7 seconds ahead of Darren Burke, reversing Saturday’s result, with Niamh O’Boyle taking the Women’s race from second-placed Ros Hussey.

Post-mortem time

Back across the bridge then to the second sprint, in St Columb’s Park and the newly renovated Ebrington Square, a former military barracks (in use since the siege of Derry in 1689) now being swords-into-ploughshared to a public space. More St Patrick’s Day festivity here, but the orienteers sprinted around the Park and the Square first. Not the same degree of challenge as the walled city, but a chance to run hard and finish on a running track, while keeping something in reserve for the third sprint of the day, at Coleraine in the afternoon. Darren again finished first with Josh O’Sullivan Hourihan second and Eoin third; winner Niamh again kept Ros and third-placed Olivia Baxter at bay on the Women’s course.

How would you do 4-5-6?

The lure of the food fair proved too strong, so back over the bridge again to feast on goat burgers (I kid you not).

Prizewinners at Coleraine

The 1960’s University of Ulster campus, outside Coleraine, was the venue for this last event of the day and of the Campus Sprint series, a fundraiser for the Irish Juniors to help their travel and training plans. Susan Lambe planned and a good turnout of seniors and juniors ran. The area had been used for an Irish Sprint Championships in 2010, so we had an idea what to expect. We didn’t revisit the underground control that was used at IOC, but it was a good gallop to finish off the day. Josh had his moment of glory here, finishing ahead of Kevin O’Boyle and Darren; while Kevin’s sister Niamh was again the fastest lady, Caoimhe second and Róisín Long third.
You can find all the results from the weekend here.

St Patrick’s Day itself saw the final event of the weekend, an ultrasprint style event again in St Columb’s Park, featuring a shamrock-shaped specially constructed maze which runners entered at different stages in their courses. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stay for that and I haven’t heard any reports except that it was great fun, though quite labour-intensive as the planner, Stephen Gilmore, had to construct the maze himself using a large number of stakes. Darren Burke was the fastest on the Shamrock Sprint, fittingly, as his club, Cork Orienteers, were the initiators of the Shamrock O-Ringen, the three-day event which started on St Patrick’s weekend in 1989, later moving to the warmer weather of June.

Curiously, at the other end of the country, another St Patrick’s Day event, at the opposite end of the distance scale, was taking place. Bishopstown Orienteers from Cork were running a long distance orienteering course and navigation challenge in the Galtees, to mark their 20th anniversary. The event was based on an idea from Poland, an extreme orienteering event at Gezno, and was promoted by one of their members from Poland. Just up the road at Glengarra, Cork Orienteers were running a Munster League event on Sunday 16th. A busy weekend, all in all.

What’s coming up? 
Well, a small group of orienteers are heading this week to the European Championships at Palmela in Portugal, while Trail-O specialists from LVO Wilbert Hollinger, Declan McGrellis and Stephen Gilmore are representing Ireland at the European Trail-O Championships there before returning home via JK2014 in South Wales at Easter.

The JK has topped 3000 runners this year, lured by the hope of reasonable weather with a late Easter, and the complex limestone moorland in the Brecon Beacons National Park which hosts three of the four races. The fourth event, the Sprint on Good Friday, is at Swansea University. Entry has closed but you can follow the fortunes of the runners here.

Two weeks after the JK we have the Irish Championships, this year featuring four races, starting with a sprint (12-15 minute winning time) on a new map of a new area, the University campus at Maynooth, mapped by Jonathan and Laurence Quinn. Start times are from around 6 pm. Planner Laurence has a lot of experience of sprint maps and courses and the event promises to be a cracker.
Saturday’s Middle Distance race, run by Setanta, is at Camaderry, just west of Glendalough, and Sunday’s Classic distance race just a little further west again, around Lough Firrib (that difficult-to-find little pond on the Lug Walk). Monday’s Relays are on the west side of the Wicklow Gap, at Glenreemore. You can get a flavour for some of the terrain of nearby areas on Routegadget: Fair Mountain; Glashaboy Brook. See all the IOC details here.


The formality of an LOC meeting …

Leinster Lives! Representatives of the Leinster clubs met at the Leinster Championships to bring the dormant Leinster Orienteering Council back to life. Putting together a full fixtures list for the next year was number one on the agenda, with discussion also on the IOA plans for provincial development officers, training schemes for juniors and novice orienteers, and how to attract people to the sport. The 2014-15 League will be a single league rather than two halves; the league events will alternate with local non-league/”come-and-try-it” events, there are plans for a mountain bike O-league, and the two student clubs will each run a League event … all very positive developments.
Brockagh Spectre: a difficult decision will have to be faced on May 11th, whether to take in the final Leinster League event at Brockagh, near Glendalough, or go to see the Giro d’Italia bike race on its way from Armagh to Dublin. It’s due in Dublin at 4 pm so an early start at Brockagh should do it …

From the archives
20 years ago: in Spring 1994, the list of Irish O-clubs included Athlone RTC Orienteers, Eastern Command Orienteers, Former UCCO, Kevin Street Orienteers, Lee Orienteers, Phoenix Navigators, Southern Orienteers, Thomond Orienteers, UCG Orienteers …where are they now? … Ultrasport were selling VJ O-shoes for £33.99 and £39.99 (O-shoes must be proportionately cheaper now?) … Casio 30-memory stopwatches were all the rage in the times before SportIdent. A new one was soon to go on the market at about £75 … Munster runners were being encouraged to travel to Galway for the Interprovincial Championships in March, which they had won for the past two years … Pat Healy was preparing the map and courses for the second Lowe Alpine Mountain Challenge in the Comeraghs in May … John Lyons (UCDO), Deirdre Ryan (GRTCO) and John Feehan (UCCO) were elected officers of the Irish Orienteering Students Association … LVO and 3ROC announced a jpint two-day event at Slieve Martin and Carlingford, spanning Carlingford Lough and a Welsh team was expected to travel for the “Celtic Cup” Ireland v Wales challenge. Entries were £6 per day for seniors … “Walking World” magazine was launched by the publishers of “Irish Runner” … there would be a Lakeland 5-Day in August 1994, just as there will be in early August this year … a standard entry form for pre-entry events was being introduced … GEN ran the Leinster Championships at Glencree in March … WATO were to run the Munster Championships at Mahon Falls in April and the Irish Championships would be at the Burren on the Cavan/Fermanagh border in May … 31 people finished at the 3ROC night-O in Dublin’s Phoenix Park in February … Annual membership of clubs cost about £8 for adults … 3ROC ran “Not the JK” on Easter Monday, but the TIO report misprinted it as “Waster Monday” … The Irish Orienteer Trophy inter-club competition was still going strong, with WATO, CorkO, BVOC and LeeO battling it out in Munster; LVO taking on FermO and NWOC in the North; 3ROC v GEN v AJAX and SET v FIB v CNOC in Leinster. the National Final would be in September and the winners were expected to represent Ireland at the CompassSport Cup in Scotland in October … Justin May had just won 4 Trailquest MTBO events out of 4 in the series in the UK … The Irish Junior Panel consisted of more than 120 orienteers including such household names as M13’s Allan Bogle and Ger Butler, W13’s Aislinn Austin, Susan Bell, W15 Toni O’Donovan, M15 Shane Lynch, M19 Marcus Pinker and M17 Shane O’Neill (who has just won M35 at the Leinster Champs … the 3-Day Shamrock O-Ringen moved to Inchigeela in July …

Orienteering events this Sunday..6th April

Dysert, near Portlaoise is the venue for the Leinster Orienteering Championships this Sunday. There are two courses for those who turn up on the day. Bishopstown Orienteering Club are holding an event at Spike Island in Cork Harbour . Newcomers are welcome to both of these events. The event which Sligo Orienteering Club planned for April 6th is now on April 13th.

   Link to Location Map  County  Type of Event Link to Further Details
Sunday, 6th April Spike Island Cork Family Day Bishopstown
Sunday, 6th April Dysert Laois Leinster Championships Curragh-Naas
Sunday, 6th April Newpark House Sligo ‘Come-and-try-it’ Event SligO

SPIKE ISLAND, Cork Harbour

National Grid Reference W 800 650
Ferry from Kennedy Pier in Cobh (€5 pp payable to ferry operator)
Free parking in Cobh on Sundays
Cork Spring league (Round 5) & 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)              6.3 km, 205 m, 30 c
BLUE COURSE                                5.8 km, 180 m, 30 c
GREEN COURSE                              4.8 km, 160 m, 26 c
RED COURSE                                  4.4 km, 150 m, 28 c
ORANGE COURSE                           3.8 km, 070 m, 23 c
YELLOW COURSE (easiest)             3.1 km, 050 m, 19 c

Dysert, Co. Laois

There are two courses available for those who turn up on the day, a Long and a Short course.
Long Course:            3.5km      180m
Short Course:           1.8km        50m
Dysart is best accessed from the M7 Dublin – Cork/Limerick motorway. Take Exit 16 and follow the signs for N80 Carlow. 500m from the exit turn left. signposted N80 Carlow. 2 km along this road at the roundabout turn left, still following signs for N80 Carlow.
2.7 km along this road the parking field is on the right.  Time from the motorway exit about 5 minutes.
Parking is in a field, accessed through the back entrance to James Deegan’s farmouse, just off the N80 the main Portlaoise  to Carlow Road. As this is a busy road please take care  while crossing and use centre lane road markings.
Orienteering in Ireland
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