Established in 1995 the Bluestack Ramblers Walking Club is based in Donegal Town and is a very active hillwalking club. It has a great welcome for everyone and has many experienced guides amongst its members.
My memory of the start on the Bluestack Ramblers Walking Club goes back to 1995.
Prior to its foundation, there was an annual National Day of Activity organised by an agency called ‘Cospoir’. Initially, this was just one day in the year where activity was encouraged, called, ‘’Be Active Be Alive’’ In 1995 this day event was extended to a “Be Active Be Alive” week.
One of the founder members of the club, Manus Brennan, was also involved with this event. Manus asked me if I knew where the Plane Crash site was on the Bluestacks, as he wanted to arrange a hike there as part of ‘’Be Active Be Alive’’. We arranged this and advertised it locally and to our surprise, over 30 people showed up.
About an hour into the hike the weather turned nasty on the mountain to the point that the hike had to be abandoned and a realisation among those involved that, if we wanted to bring people onto the Bluestacks, then we need to know how to do this properly.
That event was followed by a good bit of discussion between me, Manus Brennan, Michael Devaney and the late Seamus Gildea, and it was decided to have a go at setting up a ‘’Rambler’s Club’’ So on a sunny Sunday in the summer of 1995 a walk was organised from O’Neill’s pub, Letterbarrow on roads around Drimboarty and back to O’Neill’s over Altidoo.
Again quite a few people showed up and after the walk, a meeting was held in the bar to discuss the idea of setting up a club. It was quickly agreed that it should be set up.
A committee was elected with me as Chairperson and Michael Devaney as Secretary. The first committee included the four of us who discussed the idea as well as Danny Gallagher, Trudi Campbell, the late Josephine Murphy, Fionuala Brennan and Pauline McGroary.
Pauline McGroary is credited with naming the club.