AN online fundraising campaign is ongoing at the moment in support of further developing the walking trail hub on Oulart Hill.
The GoFundMe campaign was set up by the Oulart Hill Development group which is a long-established volunteer organisation committed to the preservation, maintenance and development of the historic sites around the Hill which is one of the most historically significant sites in County Wexford.
The group’s work is also aimed at enhancing the walking trails centred around the hill and the nearby village, while at the same time keeping the history of the area alive.
Oulart Hill is one of the most popular, historic tourist areas in the county and its links to the fight for Irish freedom and the infamous battle of Oulart Hill are forever etched in the annals of Model County history.
The walking trails are an invaluable local amenity and from an educational and recreational perspective the hill is also a very important local resource.
The development group are hoping to enhance the trails by putting in a more hard-wearing surface so that even in winter, when the walking surface can become quite wet and mucky underfoot, the trails will be widely available for use.
People from throughout the county and beyond regularly visit the hill and one of the key visions of the development group is to develop the trails in a way that enhances the enjoyment of those visiting while at the same time retaining the integrity of the site in a manner that ensure it retains its integrity.
A spokesperson for the development group said the immense value and importance of the area was highlighted during lockdown when the Jean Kennedy Smith and Cosan na Gloire Walks, in particular, provided a safe and secluded area where people could exercise in a socially-distanced way and “at the same time enjoy the panoramic views, absorb the natural beauty of the countryside and reflect on the bravery and patriotism of the men and women of 1798 and 1916 who are commemorated there”.
"The members of Oulart Hill Development are all volunteers and the group has no regular or official source of funding,” said the spokesperson.
"We rely on the good-will, co-operation and generosity of family and friends to maintain the area to an acceptable standard, which is an ongoing struggle,” she added.
The pathways have deteriorated as a result of bad weather, constant use and lack of suitable equipment.
The spokesperson said the area that is in most need of repair is the Cosan na Gloire walkway from the car park to Tulach a' tSolais, which is the monument on top of the hill.
"Through the years we have achieved much and we know that we have much more to do so the public can continue to enjoy the hill and its environs,” said the spokesperson.
The campaign can be supported through www.GoFundMe.com