The sixtieth anniversary of a popular Clonmel place of pilgrimage is to be marked next week with a special photographic exhibition.

This year marks the sixtieth year that Clonmel locals will partake in the annual tradition of the Holy Year Cross walk. In 1950 the people of Clonmel erected a wooden cross to look down over the town and to honour the Holy Year and every year since an annual pilgrimage walk with mass takes place there.

To commemorate this popular annual event, which takes place on the August Bank holiday Monday each year, a very special photographic exhibition entitled The Holy Year Cross 1950 -2010 will be launched in the Main Guard in Clonmel, showcasing some poignant and interesting shots of the people, the faces and the characters who have made this walk the success that it has become over six decades.

The photos were taken by former RTÉ cameraman Donal Wylde and photographer John D Kelly.

The exhibition will open to the public from Aug 3 to 18. According to local committee member Tony Cronin, it is believed that the original cross was carried by 15 strong men to the place where it has remained since, although in 1976 the timber cross was replaced by a metal one.

He told CiNews that Stations of the Cross were added in 1953 and ten years later the oratory was added.

The Cross and shrine have been maintained down through the years by a committee of people from around the Old Bridge, Scouthea and other areas of Clonmel.

Around 1,200 people take part in the annual walk that will conclude with mass on the hilltop celebrated by local parish priest Fr Brendan Crowley. This year walk will take place on Monday August 2.

by Sean Ryan

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