The annual pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick, known locally as Reek Sunday, is one of the major events in Westport and will attract over 25,000 visitors to this unique and historic event.
Local superintendent Aiden Foley outlined that “there will be amply designated car parking available for all visitors and we would ask people not to park on the public roadway approaching Croagh Patrick.”
Superintendent Foley said that there is an event management plan in place and “I would earnestly ask pilgrims to help us help them get the most from this great day by following a few guidelines.”
Visitors are asked to be considerate of local residents when parking their cars and to comply with directions given by gardaí and stewards with regard to parking. Those climbing as asked to lock all valuables in the boot of their vehicles before arriving at Croagh Patrick and to also bring enough food and water and wear suitable climbing clothes.
Mayo Mountain Rescue will operate on the day from its base camp at southern slope of the mountain acts as the co-ordinating team for activities of 10 Mountain Rescue teams from all over the country, which will see in excess of 120 mountain rescue personnel on the mountain for the day (and night ) of the pilgrimage. In addition to mountain rescue presence, the event is a huge undertaking for the Order of Malta who also expect to have in excess of 150 personnel strategically located all over the mountain to offer emergency medical assistance to pilgrims in need.
Mayo County Council is using the popular occasion to hammer home the message of road safety. “Large numbers travel to Murrisk to climb Croagh Patrick each Reek Sunday, and we will be running a road safety awareness campaign on the day,” said Noel Gibbons, road safety officer with Mayo County Council.
Flashing signs urging motorists to slow down will be displayed at key vantage points on routes to Croagh Patrick and Mr Gibbons asked people “to drive slowly as this is a very busy weekend on our roads”.