Active Retirement’s Lark in the Park

The members of the Active Retirement Associations (ARA) in the counties of Offaly, Laois, Westmeath and Cavan attended a walk organised by Midland Regional Committee ARI in Lough Boora in May.

All wished to participate in the annual Bealtaine Festival which celebrates the creativity and energy of the more mature in years! Some participants strolled around the Sculpture Park while others chose to do the 5km or 10km walk.

The glorious sunshine added to the enjoyment and all had a hearty appetite for the picnic afterwards. Everybody was struck by the tranquillity of the park, a hidden gem on our doorstep.

The ARA thanked Bord na Móna’s team at Lough Boora who pulled out all the stops to ensure the success of the day and imparted their local knowledge during guided tours.

Special thanks also goes to Olivia Murphy, Offaly Sport’s Partnership, for her talk on the benefits of walking. While taking a rest and enjoying the surroundings, Nancy Spain, from local ARA, Kilcormac, sang a wonderful rendition of the very appropriate Down the Old Bog Road. There wasn’t a dry eye in the wigwam! It is hoped this will be an annual event.

To register your next group event or organise a guided tour of Lough Boora Discovery Park, please complete the online enquiry form.

We’ve been nominated for the 2014 Web Awards!

The Lough Boora Discovery Park website has been nominated for three awards in two categories at this year’s Web Awards.

The new website has been nominated for the following awards:

The new Lough Boora Discovery Park website was launched in early August 2014 in the lead up to the Battle of Giants Family Day event and as part of the celebrations marking the new on-site Lough Boora Visitor Centre.

The website showcases this free amenity in the heart of Ireland, highlighting the activities that are available for all ages and abilities. Information about the park’s nature and biodiversity, history and the story of Bord na Móna encourages users to discover and explore all Lough Boora Discovery Park has to offer.

Finalists will be announced in the coming weeks, with the 2014 Web Awards taking place on Wednesday 22 October in Dublin.

For more information, visit and connect with Lough Boora Discovery Park via Twitter @loughbooraparkFacebook and YouTube.

A Family Day out of ‘Giant’ proportions at Lough Boora

Over 2,500 visitors from across the country participated in this year’s Battle of Giants Family Day event at Lough Boora Discovery Park in Co Offaly on Sunday 24 August 2014.

As part of National Heritage Week, the event celebrated Irish Myths and Legends and featured a battle between Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the Scottish giant, Angus, with the assistance of mini warriors using their handmade armour battle shields, helmets and axes from the day’s workshop activities.

Fionn Mac Cumhaill and his army came away from the first battle with a victory, only to be defeated by Angus and his loyal warriors in the second battle of the day!

Children entered a Colouring Competition in the Kids Zone and took part in drumming workshops, archery tag and zorbing, with the park’s walking and cycling trails busy throughout the day.

The new Visitor Centre was humming with activity as families used the bike hire service and new cafe facilities at Loch an Dochais.

The free Family Day at Lough Boora raised over €4,500 for children’s charity Barretstown as part of their 20th Anniversary celebrations this year, through the generous donations of attendees.

For more information about future events and activities for families, schools and visitors of all ages and abilities, visit, follow the #loughboora hashtag and connect with Lough Boora Discovery Park via Twitter @loughbooraparkFacebook and YouTube.

Battle of Giants

This Heritage Week, Lough Boora Discovery Park will become the spectacular backdrop for the ultimate Family Day, including a Battle of Giants featuring Fionn Mac Cumhaill as he takes on the Scottish giant Angus. A family friendly event in honour of Barretstown, the day will feature interactive workshops, a Kids Zone, Zorbing and more! Make the most of the park’s nature trails and explore the newly opened Visitor Centre.

The event takes place on Sunday 24 August 2014 from 12-5pm.

For more information and a full event itinerary, read the news article.

Lough Boora’s Battle of Giants

Witness the giants of Irish folklore take centre stage at the ultimate family event at Lough Boora Discovery Park, Co Offaly on Sunday 24 August 2014 from 12-5pm.

Children across the country are being called upon to take part in one of the most exciting family events of the summer, in association with Barretstown.

Irish legend tells the story of Fionn Mac Cumhaill and Scottish giant, Angus once taking part in a fierce battle. This August, the legendary giants will meet again and battle it out on the spectacular grounds of Lough Boora as part of Heritage Week.

The action kicks off with a range of activities for all ages on the day, with the schedule of events as follows:

Battle of Giants: 2-2.30pm and 4.30-5pm
Two Battles of Giants with an army of little warriors.

Armour Making Workshops: 12.30-1.30pm and 3-4pm
Children will be invited to make (and take home) their very own battle shield and axe before joining Fionn Mac Cumhaill and Angus in battle.

Drumming Workshops: 12-2pm and 3-5pm
Interactive Fuinneamh Community Drum workshops for children of all ages.

Kids Art Competition Judging: 4-4.15pm
Participants in the Lough Boora Colouring Competition with the Offaly Independent are invited to bring their entries to the event, where three winners will be selected!

Activities: 12-5pm
The Kids Zone in the Marquee will be open all afternoon, with children and teens of all ages invited to participate in Zorbing and Archery Tag throughout the event.

In addition to the above schedule of events, this Family Day event will feature on-site entertainment, food stalls and walking and cycling trails available to the public throughout the park.

There is no admission charge, however attendees will be asked to donate to Barretstown children’s charity throughout the day, as part of their 20th Anniversary celebrations this year.

The event also marks the celebration of the new on-site Lough Boora Visitor Centre which will act as a point of information for families.

New signage provides route maps of designated walking trails and cycling tracks, including information on nature, biodiversity, activities, amenities, the history of Lough Boora and the story of Bord na Móna. The new Visitor Centre will act as a point of information and is open to the public seven days a week from 9.30am – 5.30pm.

For more information and updates on the event, follow the hashtag #loughboora and connect with us on Twitter @loughbooraparkFacebook or YouTube.