The Columban Way follows the path taken by Columbanus and his followers across Europe in the 6th Century. It starts with his birthplace in the Mount Leinster area of Ireland and ends with his last resting place in Bobbio, Italy.
It has been well traced throughout France, across Switzerland and into Italy. Work is now under way to mark out the route through Ireland. It is intended that the Way shall run from Bunclody in County Wexford, up through the centre of the country to Cleenish in County Fermanagh where he studied and then to Bangor where he spent many years before heading off to the European mainland.
Much careful planning is required to ensure safe passage for walkers, cyclists and motorists who wish to follow the path. This has involved the cooperation of various public and voluntary bodies throughout the island including Ards and North Down Borough Council.
In July, the necessary detailed planning and safety checks having been carried out, short walks were held to inaugurate the Turas. The first of these started in Bunclody and finished in Carlow town, a distance of 58km spread over two days. The following weekend a section in the midlands was walked, leading from the Hill of Tara to the Columban Missionaries at Dalgan Park, County Meath.
A group of international walkers on the first Turas Columbanus trial walk