View a gallery of images of the diocesan youth group climbing Croagh Patrick on 4th July 2009.

On Saturday 4th July, 78 pilgrims from various parishes around the Diocese began the trek to County Mayo to attempt to climb St Patrick’s Path on Croagh Patrick.

Two buses began the journey at 5.30am, one from Newbridge and the other from Tullow. We met in Portlaoise and continued together from there to the village of Murrisk to begin the climb.

The same album is posted on our Facebook youth page (you are welcome to become a fan)

The Reek Tradition

The tradition of pilgrimage to this holy mountain stretches back over 5,000 years from the Stone Age to the present day without interruption. Individuals and groups come from all over the world and include pilgrims, hill climbers, historians, archaeologists and nature lovers.

Croagh Patrick, also known as The Reek has been a place of pilgrimage for 1500 years. The mountain is renowned for its Pilgrimages dating back to the time of St Patricks fast on the mountain for 40 days and 40 nights in 441. Since this time the custom has been handed down faithfully from generation to generation to the present day.

On the last Sunday of July every year people come in their thousands to climb its slopes, some to look, most to pray and a lot still climb it bare foot. Up until 1974 the pilgrims climbed right through the night to watch the morning sunrise at the summit. This was a wondrous sight to behold of moving lights over an ascending distance of almost 3 miles.

The mountain stands 2,510 feet high and is 8 kilometres from Westport with magnificent views of Clew Bay and the surrounding south Mayo countryside to be had from all stages of the ascent of the mountain.