Bulfin Heritage Cyclists To Go Cuckoo Walking

The Bulfin Heritage Cycle On Tour.

Tarbert Cuckoo Walking Festival.

A group from the Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, will visit Tarbert, in Co. Kerry on May 4th, for the Cuckoo Walking Festival.

We leave Durrow on Saturday May 4th at 9.30am and return on Monday May 6th.
A bus will be available on Saturday morning for bike transport.
As we will be travelling “under our own steam” the journey to and from Tarbert is at your own discretion .. that means; if you wish to be a part of the High Nelly cycle and the Laois Sept pageant, as organised, you may wish to opt for the Sunday visit only.
Either way you will be very welcome to join us.
Accommodation is provided at the local Hostel at a cost of €20 per person per night, to include continental breakfast.  B&B upgrade available locally.
if you are thinking about joining us, please be aware that Bookings need to be confirmed very shortly.
Should you need further information, please feel free to contact Hugh on 086 8694691 at any time.

What we’ll be doing!

On Sunday 5th, as the clock strikes midday, in the Kingdom, the Bulfin cyclists on High Nelly bikes, will depart from The Bridewell, and cycle through local roads in Tarbert and Glin, including a stop for ice cream at
Wallace’s country shop, a visit to Glin Castle and an energy drink at a local hostelry in Glin.
At 7pm on Sunday evening, May 5th, the Bulfin Cyclists will perform their pageant ‘Return of the Seven Septs of Laois, which was first enacted at last year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, on the Rock of Dunamase, and was written by Michael Creagh.

The Laois – Kerry Connection

The pageant delves deep into the history of County Laois, to the early 1600’s in fact, and has forged the strong connection between the Laois based Bulfin Heritage Cycle, and Tarbert Historical Society.

Seven families, who had fiercely resisted English rule, were banished to Co. Kerry, under sentence of death, should they ever return to Laois.

It was Michael Christopher Keane, who recently researched and highlighted the story of the Seven Septs, in his excellent book, From Laois to Kerry., which was first published in 2016. In the book, Keane describes how the families were were handed over to Patrick Crosbie, and were transplanted to lands he had been granted in the Tarbert area of Kerry. The names of the seven clans were O’Moores, Kellys, Dowlings, Lawlors, Dorans, O’Devoys or Deevys or Dees and McEvoys.

Scene from the Return of The Seven Septs pageant.
Scene from the Return of The Seven Septs pageant.

The fact that descendants of the seven septs, still reside in the Tarbert area to this very day, was the inspiration behind last year’s Bulfin Cycle, and the battle-cry was, “It’s time to bring them home!”

With the help of the Tarbert Historical Society, who arrived at Dunamase, on August 25th 2018, carrying seven torches, each representing one of the seven families, we succeeded in having a representative of all the exiled clans, present for their long awaited return to County Laois.

Prior to the arrival of the Bulfin cyclists, you really got a sense that something special was happening on the Rock of Dunamase that day. From every vantage point on the Rock, people stood, scanning the roads, and the surrounding countryside, to catch a glimpse of their approach.

And for our cyclists coming from Emo Court, it was amazing to arrive at Dunamase, and see the crowds that had gathered, wanting to be part of, and witness this historical moment. The anticipation was very real, and though the return of the Seven Septs of Laois, was billed as a ceremonial one, it was beginning to feel entirely more real, than it did symbolic!

The Return of The Seven Septs of Laois

So we are really looking forward to re-enacting the Return of the Seven Septs Pageant, in Tarbert, for this year’s Cuckoo Walking Festival, and everyone is welcome to join us! We hope to make it as special a performance, as it was at Dunamase last year.

We would also like to acknowledge and extend our sincerest thanks, to our friends at the Tarbert Historical Society, for their co-operation and involvement in our event last year.

Sean Conroy presenting the copy of the Septs Transplantation Treaty to the Tarbert Historical Society
Sean Conroy presenting the copy of the Septs Transplantation Treaty to the Tarbert Historical Society


A few more photographs from last year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, and the Return Of The Seven Septs Pageant.

The Return of the Seven Septs.

See the full story of Day Two of last year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, including our visitors from Tarbert, and our Pageant on the Rock of Dunamase, by following the link below.

The Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018

See the story

Cuckoo Walking Festival Brochure
Cuckoo Walking Festival Brochure

Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018 – Information Pack

Celebrating National Heritage Week

Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally

(In the “Wheelrims” of William Bulfin 1864-1910)

(A 70k 2 day Cycle)

Friday August 24th & SaturdayAugust 25th 2018

Irish Country Roads & Culture Trails would like to welcome you on this novel cycle through the history and heritage of County Laois. Inspired by the cycling exploits of William Bulfin in 1902, the organising committee have invested a great deal of time and effort in mapping out an interesting and varied programme of historic re-enactments, heritage information and fun events for your enjoyment.

The following are a few pointers to help you enjoy your cycle journey with us.

Our Route Map

We will assemble at The Pavillion, Castle Durrow at 9.30am sharp, on Friday August 24th where cyclist will sign in for registration and have your personal luggage deposited in our event van.

Event souvenir “Passports” will be issued and first stamp assigned.

Bicycles will undergo a safety check. Please ensure that your bicycle is in good working order and fully roadworthy

Introduction to the event will be presented by Matt Doyle, Chairman, Irish Country Roads & Culture Trails.

A short extract from William Bulfin’s book “Rambles in Eireinn” will be re-enacted to set the scene for our cycle.

At selected sites throughout the entire event, the persona of William Bulfin will be enacted by Sean Conroy.

We will depart Castle Durrow for the Irish Fly Fishing & Game Shooting Museum at Attanagh Co. Laois at 11am. Here we will be greeted by Museum Curator, Walter Phelan for a guided tour of the Museum taking in some of its 7000 exhibits. A Fish & Game breakfast will be served here;

In celebration of this unique venue and also, the medieval theme of this year’s event.

We will depart Attanagh Museum at 1.15pm on our outward journey.

Full information, regarding Route Details and Times is in our event brochure, available to all participants on morning of registration.  (more…)

The Rock of Dunamase – Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018

Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018.

The Rock of Dunamase.

On Day Two of this year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, we will visit the magnificent Rock of Dunamase. It is here that we will merge with our visitors from Kerry, who will arrive with seven torches, each representing one of the Seven Septs of Laois.

The Tarbert Historical Society, will carry the torches, representing the families, that were banished from Co. Laois in 1601, by Crown forces, and relocated in Co. Kerry. Under Sentence of Death, should they ever return to the county, their descendants remain in Kerry to this very day. But the time has come for the Seven Septs to finally make their return! The seven torches will arrive at the former O’More stronghold of Dunamase, to light up a Ceremonial Laois Sept Vessel, at a very special, and unique Heritage gathering on the Rock of Dunamase.  (more…)

G’s Gourmet Jams – Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018

G's Gourmet Jams

Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018.

G’s Gourmet Jams.

Day One August 24th, 2018.

As part of our Heritage cycle, on Day One of this year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, we make a courtesy call, to the award winning G’s Gourmet Jams, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois.  Our stop off to see how jams are made the good old traditional way, stirred and poured by hand from a boiling open pan, is pencilled in between our visits to Heywood Gardens and Timahoe Round Tower & Heritage Centre.

G’s Gourmet Jams, Abbeyleix Co.Laois was founded by Helen Gee in 1998 and launched in 1999. It was set up as an alternative farm enterprise and is family run. Helen moved from Abbeyleix, from her hometown Bagenalstown Co. Carlow after marrying Cyril and quickly became involved in the local Community.

Throughout the years Helen has had one burning ambition – to own her own food business. From an early age she developed a love for making traditional home made food, thanks to her mother Elizabeth. (more…)

Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018 – Route Details

Day One of the Bulfin Heritage Cycle, following in the wheel rims of William Bulfin

Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018.

Route Details.

Route and itinerary details for this year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, as our Event Tickets are now on sale! As well as our usual Full Event Ticket, you can now purchase single tickets for Day One and Day Two, should you so prefer.

We visit amazing heritage sites, and many places of interest in between; such as Castle Durrow and Heywood Gardens, round towers and hilltop strongholds, Gourmet Jams and Evening Markets, Museums and Heritage Centres, restaurants and public houses, eating as we go …. fuelling up for battle re-enactments, heritage talks, pageants, recitals, the long awaited return of the Seven Septs of Laois, music, song and dance, with our Austrian visitors, to mention but a bit of it, and then finish everything off in style, with a celebratory meal at the Ashbrook Arms, except that’s not the end of it because there’s more music, song and dance, vintage bikes and the likes, at Bob’s Bar, back in Durrow, where it all began…. where it all began it should end….. and begin once more, for next year we go again…. to where we yet not know, but rest assured that once again we’ll be rambling in Eirinn!

But before all that here is the itinerary/route details for the Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally 2018.


Attanagh: Irish Fly Fishing & Game Shooting Museum

The Bulfin Heritage Cycle 2018.

Bulfin Event Heritage Trail.

Attanagh: Irish Fly Fishing & Game Shooting Museum

August 24th, 2018

One of the many heritage sites we will visit along the route of this year’s Bulfin Heritage Cycle Rally, is the wonderful Irish Fly Fishing & Game Shooting Museum, located in Attanagh, Co. Laois.

In fact the museum will be our first stop, having departed Castle Durrow, and we hope to arrive there at 11:45 am; where a medieval style fish and game breakfast awaits, to fuel us on our way.

Also on the schedule is a heritage talk with museum curator, Mr. Walter Phelan. Walter founded the museum in 1986, and has continuously added to his amazing collection of artefacts. These include guns, tackles and rods, as used by the affluent society of yore, who hunted and fished for pleasure. (more…)