21st and 22nd October 2017

This year we are heading to deep into the sacred landscape of the south Irish Midlands, to Offaly and Laois. As an overall tenet for the field trip we will be exploring both heritage and holistic aspects of the hydrogeology of the area. On Saturday we will be based in north Offaly and on Sunday in Laois.

The detailed itinerary is as follows…

Saturday 21st October
7.45 Leave Beggars Bush
9.30 Clonmacnoise
Introduction to the field trip, and the area around Clonmacnoise. The ‘Pilgrim Path’ on the impressive esker there, and Damien Doherty from the GW-3D Project of Geological Survey Ireland will discuss delineation of the sand and gravel aquifer around the locality.
10.15 Creevagh (a short walk south from Clonmacnoise)
John Feehan (retired, formerly UCD Environmental Institute) will talk about on mushroom rocks and their distribution and characteristics, as well as buried karst in the Midlands, glacial lakes and bogs, the hydrogeology of the locality, and much more.
12.15 Leave Clonmcanoise for Ballycumber
12.45 Lunch in Gussies, Ballycumber
13.30 or as soon as possible thereafter, leave Ballycumber
13.45 Clara Bog, main section including the boardwalk
Two stops led by Ray Flynn of Queens University, Belfast, on the historical hydrogeological studies on the bog. We will travel by bus between stops. We will also stop at another locality with Paul Johnston of Trinity College, Dublin, where Paul will discuss greenhouse gas emissions and other recently-induced novel research into the bog. John Cody from the Raised Bog Restoration Project will also talk there on their work, which has just recently begun also.
16.15 Leave Clara for Molloys, on the Tullamore to Clara Road
16.45 Molloy Demonstration Facility
John Brennan of Molloy Precast will discuss and take us around on their wastewater treatment system demonstration facility. Laurence Gill of Trinity College Dublin will discuss the general principles of wastewater treatment at one-off house sites, and hydrogeological aspects of this.
17.45 Leave Tullamore for Maldron Hotel, Portlaoise
18.30 Maldron Hotel Portlaoise

Sunday 22nd October
8.50 Leave Maldron Hotel for Durrow
9.30 Cullahill GWS pumphouse, between Durrow and Cullahill
Jimmy Walsh, the scheme caretaker, will introduce us to the scheme and its history, as well as the beginnings of a complex hydrogeological story.
10.00 Back on bus, head to the scheme’s spring source
10.15 Toberboe Springs
Roisin Dowd Smith of the National Federation of Group Water Schemes and Catherine Coxon of Trinity College Dublin will discuss issues with nitrate at the source, and recent detailed research into this.
11.00 Back on bus, head up to the top of the spring catchment
11.20 The perfect ZOC / SPZ viewpoint, at Ballykealy
Roisin, Catherine, Jimmy will lead a Group Discussion on nitrates, groundwater catchments, management, conceptual models, agriculture, etc.
12.00 Back on bus, head for Junction 14 where at
12.30 Junction 14 Mayfield
We have lunch and then head off home …

We are basing ourselves in the Maldron Hotel in Portlaoise (www.maldronhotelportlaoise.com) where we have been offered an IAH fieldtrip rate of (€67.50 pps for double or twin rooms / €115 single for B & B and dinner). If not opting for the dinner, B and B rates for the night are €50 double or twin / €100 single. Contact Emer at 057 8695900 to reserve.

**Please note you are responsible for booking of your own accommodation. The hotel is holding rooms for us until the 7th October only**. At this stage spaces are limited so book soon!

Other accommodation (including hostels) is available nearby.

There will be a bus leaving from Dublin in the morning taking us around the sites. Please note that due to limited space for cars at many of the stops over the weekend, we would ask those travelling from other parts of the country to join us at meeting points at Clonmacnoise and in Durrow on the Saturday and Sunday mornings, respectively, to travel around the stops by bus. We will return to these meeting points at the end of the field stops each day.

The charge to attendees is €50 for those taking the bus from Dublin and availing of lunch on the Saturday. The charge for those joining us at Clonmacnoise and availing of lunch on the Saturday will be €20. You can bring a packed lunch for the Sunday or get lunch at Junction 14. For unwaged members, there will be no charge for bus or lunch on Saturday.

Please contact the fieldtrip secretary (details below) for more information.

SPACES ON THE BUS ARE NOW LIMITED so if you are considering attending this year’s fieldtrip can you please notify the fieldtrip secretary Robbie Meehan (fieldtrip@iah-ireland.org) as soon as possible indicating if you:
(1) Are attending?
(2) Wish to travel on bus from Dublin or join us in the Midlands?
(3) Wish to stay in group hotel?
(4) Wish to attend group evening meal?

We look forward to fun and learning on 21st and 22nd October.

Kind regards,

Robbie Meeehan
Field Trip Secretary
International Association of Hydrogeologists (Irish Group)