We begin our 5.3Km Slí walk at the carpark beside the memorial hall in Athea. Turn right onto the Glin approach Road. In 1875, the local landowner, Captain Harkness gave the site for this road.
As soon as you leave the Village, on the left is Synan’s Gate. Continuing on down the road, you come to Fairy Street cross on your right. In 1859, a road was built from the cross to Fairy Street with a branch to the Blessed Well and the old Templeathea graveyard, which is said to date back to the 14th Century.
Here lies the ruin of Athea’s first Church, built sometime around 900 AD. As we continue down the Hill Road into the village we pass High Park House on the right, where John Colbert, the economist was born. Almost directly across the road on the left, is the Mass Rock, where Mass was celebrated during penal times.
Coming into the Village, we pass the Giant’s Garden on the right. The story of the Athea Giant comes from Celtic mythology, as it was told he carried his mother on his back to bury her in the graveyard.
However it is said that the different parts of her body were wideley scattered in the town land and where each part fell derived its name i.e. Drommadda (where her back fell) Lurriga (where her shin bones fell) and so forth.
Local sculptor Jim Flavin made the monument showing the footprints of the giant and bones of his mother in bronze. On the same grounds as the garden is the Con Colbert Memorial Hall, built to commerate the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
In 1974, the president of Ireland, Erskine Childers, offically opened the centre. You have now arrived back in Athea, feeling proud for having completed all 5.3 Km!
Recommended as a daytime walk.
Slí na Sláinte stands for 'path to health'. Developed by the Irish Heart Foundation, it's the new outgoing way to make walking for leisure and good health even more enjoyable.
Already, it's capturing the attention of the young and old, not only in Ireland but in Europe and other parts of the world too! And no wonder, because it's a fun healthy way for the average adult to accumulate the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity, on most, preferably all days of the week.
Marked by bright colourful signposts which are not numbered and are situated at 1 km intervals, you'll find Slí na Sláinte walk routes all over Ireland.
Simply follow the Km signs, set your pace to suit your enjoyment and you'll quickly feel better and get fitter. You will also experience a great sense of achievement.
Athea, County Limerick