Introduction and location

The 33rd annual SUICRO Symposium will be held on the weekend of 27-30th October, at the Lough Melvin Holiday Centre in Garrison, Co. Fermanagh.

 

Thats right folks. SUICRO 2017 is on the weekend 27th to 30th October.  But what is SUICRO and how does it affect me?

SUICRO is the annual coming together of cavers, scientists, explorers and rescue teams. During the weekend there’s daytime activities, followed by a wide range of talks in the evening, then some form of entertainment at night.

Every year a voluntary group stages the event in different caving areas on the island of Ireland. The 2017 SUICRO will be held at the Lough Melvin Holiday Centre in the county Fermanagh village of Garrison. Here is a compact village with all a SUICRO needs, pubs, accommodation, shop, cafe, and talks venues.

This year will be kicked off on Friday the 27th with a music session in Melvin Bar. Day activities on Saturday and Sunday will include pre-rigged caves, possible canoe river descents, gin tasting, stair way to heaven climbing, if you’re really keen Bundorans surf beaches are not too far away, there will be a weekend long photo/drive treasure hunt, that should incorporate local caving haunts and the stunning landscape around Lough Melvin. Also there shall be a bus based tour of some old mine workings conducted under the safe escort of a mining engineer.

Saturday will see us in one of the pubs with our own DJ. Evening talks are scheduled after dinners and shall include a wide range of topics about caving and rescuing. So far we have a prolific kayaker doing a piece about canoeing under and through islands, Cumbria Mines Rescue are over to talk about abandoned mines, talks about Irish cave exploration and overseas expeditions, and cave diving. We’re hoping to nab a professor who promised a talk entitled “Karst limestone of Father Ted country”.

Sunday is the night of the big raffle, in aid of Irish Cave Rescue. Usually a sellout event this year we hope to have loads tickets. Some really neat kit is donated to this event, that is applicable to anyone interested in outdoors’y activities. If you’re generous enough buying tickets you’re almost guaranteed a prize more than or worthy to your ticket cost.

Also there’s the commemorative SUICRO t-shirt to procure. This years will be a very comfy techy t-shirt, the type of which you could wear for weeks without a pong. The sales of the t-shirt’s help offset event costs.

The Sunday night pub quiz will be held in a pub (TBD).

Sounds like fun, can I come? Yep, you and yours. SUICRO talks are free to attend, and open to the public. If you like National Geographic, watching the Discovery Channel, outdoor activities or just curious come along, this year is a right mixed bag.There may even be a Try Caving event for absolute beginners to have a go.(insert webpage link)

Where can I stay? The Lough Melvin Holiday Centre can sleep 45 mainly in dorm style rooms. It also has about 20 campervan pitches with electric, I’d encourage folks to bring caravan/campervan if they have access to such a thing. Elsewhere in the village are self catering cottages, B&Bs and some excellently located wild camping. If to accommodation is fully booked there’s  the Fiddlestone in Belleek and the Holiday Centre in Kiltyclogher both about 5mile from Garrison.

I’m not in Ireland but want to come over. Don’t let BREXIT doom put you off. Garrison is right on the border, cash is king and Sterling and Euros are acceptable. Cheap flights from the likes of Ryanair can be got into Knock (1hr drive away), Derry, Belfast and Dublin. If you’re clever you may cadge a lift from the big city cavers. Also Irish sea ferries have some good value out of season tickets.

PHOTO COMPETITION

Awards are up for grabs under the categories ‘Irish Caving’, ‘International Caving’, ‘Comedy Shots’, ‘Best Newcomer’. Photos must be submitted by email to Richard Cole: suipublicrelations  AT gmail.com. Please let us know if you have not entered in previous years to be considered for ‘Best Newcomer’.
Entries must be in by 9pm on Saturday 28th October and the winners will be announced on the evening of Sunday 29th October.