The Sheep’s Head Way is indebted to the late Tom Whitty, a founder member of the Sheep’s Head Way, born in Philadelphia, settled on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula in the 1980′s with his wife Suzanne and family. Inspired by Jim Leonard, a life long walker and mountaineer who initially recognised the potential of the Sheep’s Head Way as a walking destination, Tom joined a small local walking group and saw at first hand the potential of the area and the idea of the Sheep’s Head Way was ‘born’.
A local committee was formed, under the guidance of Tom Whitty and James O’Mahony, a local farmer. Due to trojan work of this committee, the walk was researched and developed and put in place within 18 months. In July 1996, Mary Robinson (then President) officially opened the walk gaining an “All Ireland Award” for development and quality techniques.
Unfortunately, Tom’s accidental death in July 1998 has robbed the Sheep’s Head community of this inspiring community leader. Tom’s academic skills and his humanity, his interest in future development of the Sheep’s Head Peninsula and his commitment made him unique and will always be remembered. A memorial in his honor called ‘Atha Thomais’ is at Gorteanish, Ahakista en route to Ahakista Stone circle.