Blacklion Village Trail (Cathal Buí Trail)

The Blacklion Village Trail, also known as the Cathal Buí Trail is a perfect spot for some family time. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the wonderful ancient village of Blacklion and learn about the fascinating character, Cathal Buí.

Facilities: Car parking, interpretation, Tourist Information Centre.

Getting Here

Blacklion Village Trail (Cathal Buí Trail)

  • Blacklion Village Trail
  • N16 National Road
  • Blacklion
  • Cavan
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Blacklion Village Trail
  • N16 National Road
  • Blacklion
  • Cavan
  • Republic of Ireland
  • 54.292868549468, -7.8744409544922

The Trail

  • Distance: 1km
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Grade: Easy
  • Terrain: Public footpaths and flat terrain
  • Route: Circular
  • Wheelchair accessible: Yes
  • Dogs: Dogs must be kept under control and waste disposed of

The Cathal Buí Trail is a circular flat trail that leads you on a 30 minute 1km walk. On the walk you’ll have the opportunity to read various information panels, discovering the history and stories of the local village and the charismatic character, Cathal Buí.

Download the Map

Blacklion Village Trail Map

Blacklion Village Trail Map

Heritage

Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna (Gaelic Poet circa 1680 – 1756) came from the West Bréifne area. He reputedly studied on the continent for the priesthood – but gave up his studies when he met a young woman called Kathleen Tyrell – ‘Ceataí na gCiabh’. When she rejected him, he spent the rest of his life wandering from fair to market across south Ulster. One of his most plaintive love poems is dedicated to Ceataí. He had the reputation of being a great drinker and a great ‘womaniser’. The clergy did not like him as he was deemed a bad influence.

He composed many poems and beautiful songs. Most of them were love songs, as he was quite the romantic! They are still sung in Gaeltacht areas today. His best known poem/song is ‘An Bonnán Buí’ – (The Yellow Bittern). It laments the death of a bird that could not get a drink because Lough MacNean was frozen over. Cathal was known to have said that he had no intention of dying for want of a drink. Cathal died in 1756 and is said to be buried in Donaghmoyne old graveyard in County Monaghan.

In the 1950s the Blacklion village name plate read Learga. This was the name by which local older generation people would have called the place – colloquially called Leargy. Learga is the plural of an Irish word Learg meaning rising ground, slopes, or mountain side. This description would connect with the topographical location of the village, which sits below steeply rising ground and hills. Today, Learga no longer appears on the village signs, which now show An Blaic. The village is generally referred to by local residents as ‘The Black’.

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Distances are from Blacklion Village Trail (Cathal Buí Trail)