A send-off celebration on Saturday 17 June marked the beginning of a series of walks in Rock to the Top.
Local musicians Mary McColgan (fiddle) and Tim Doyle (uilleann pipes and concertina), dancer Elizabeth Cleary and performance poet Siobhán Daffy performed as part of the ceremony, at the boulder sited at Rua Red. Pat Lee read from his book 'The Field Names of Glenasmole', and poems by his late father John Lee of Glenasmole.
Inspired by Oisín i dTír na n-Óg, who lifted a boulder up the mountains near Tallaght, Rock to the Top calls on the people of South Dublin to take up the challenge of recreating this mythic feat. Although no rocks were carried on this first walk, Ciarán Taylor and a group of nineteen trailblazers set the seven-hour round route for the walks to come.
The route was stunning, with flowers and trees exploding with fresh blooms in the 30 degree sunshine after the previous week's rain. The Dublin Mountain Rangers gave explanations of plants and trees along the way. Participants encountered the descendants of Oisín's white horse at the top of the mountains. Fourteen walkers came all the way and another five came as far as the reservoir entrance. All were back in Tallaght by 6pm.
The First Rock Hauling Walk is set for Saturday 26 August. Gather at the boulder outside Rua Red at 10:30am to depart at 11am and return by 6pm. This time participants will carry small rocks chipped from the granite boulder at Rua Red, Tallaght, along the Dublin Mountain Way to make a cairn at the top of the mountains.
Connecting city with mountains, and people with each other, this public art project is about walking and talking. On the way you may meet with local experts, or take part in small events to mark the seasons. Stories of the walks will be retold in sound and pictures at the end of the project, which may take a year.
Rock to the Top is commissioned under IN CONTEXT 4 - IN OUR TIME, South Dublin County Council’s Public Art Programme for 2016-2019 under the Per Cent for Art Scheme.
Thanks to RUA RED, Dublin Mountain Partnership Rangers, Wicklow Mountains National Park and Glenasmole Community for their support.