Eased restrictions let hang gliders take to the skies

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Hang gliders and paragliders are back in the air now that intercounty travel is allowed, and sunny weather is on the horizon

The sport first became very popular in Ireland in the 1970s and the lack of entertainment could inspire another resurgence.

The Irish landscape is full of suitable hills and troughs for the pastime.

The peaks around Lough Derg in Tipperary and Mount Leinster in Wexford have become a big hotspot for Irish and international hang gliders.

This is because of their picturesque views and large fields for landing.

Some also believe that it is a great activity for mental health.

Keith Diamond, a member of the Irish Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (IHPA) says:

“It’s a space where I don’t think about anything else when I take off, I just fly, and I don’t worry about any other problems in my life.”

Unlike some other sports, hang gliding and paragliding can be done all year round provided the weather is right.

The perfect conditions for gliding are a small amount of wind and clear skies.

Hang gliding is also a dangerous pastime, but enthusiasts say you can easily minimize risks with proper training and attention.

IHPA members highly recommend the activity as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“It’s a special feeling and a special experience, there aren’t many humans in the world that can say they can fly like a bird,” added Mr. Diamond.

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