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Sunday will see more than 20,000 pilgrims descend on Croagh Patrick for the annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage on Ireland's Holy Mountain.
The annual influx of thousands of pilgrims to Mayo for Reek Sunday takes place this weekend - as the annual pilgrimage of Ireland's holy mountain (Croagh Patrick) takes place. Upwards of 25,000 are expected to climb the mountain, many of them travelling from locations all over the country.
Mayo Mountain Rescue, the voluntary organisation which responds to hundreds of call outs each year from people in distress or injured on mountains around the county, is currently counting the cost of last Sunday's annual Croagh Patrick Pilgrimage.
Just days before an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 people are set to scale Ireland's 'holiest mountain' for Reek Sunday, strong calls have been issued to Mayo County Council to do more to protect the ancient pilgrimage site.
Next Sunday, the last Sunday in July, is Reek Sunday which celebrates the national pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s Holy Mountain. Several thousands of people are expected to make the arduous climb, which can take over two hours to get to its summit. If it’s a clear day the views across Connemara, and along the coast line, are spectacular. If the climb is made in misty weather, then it becomes an adventure of another kind. Whatever the weather there is a real sense of camaraderie, and shared humanity; a feeling too that to take a few hours out of our busy lives, to concentrate on the effort of the climb, and support our fellow travellers, is ‘to experience a life time in miniature.’
Sunday week, July 26, is Reek Sunday, or Garland Sunday or Garlic Sunday or even Crom Dubh Sunday, and I am sure there are many other names to describe the famous pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick, when many thousands climb to its rocky summit.
A Westport man, whose heartbreaking loss of both of his parents to brain tumours prompted him to organise a fundraiser on Croagh Patrick in their honour, says he is extremely grateful for the support he has received for his efforts to raise awareness about the condition.
A big entry of more than 1,200 cyclists is expected for this year’s Westportif cycle, which takes place on Saturday July 18 to raise funds for local charity Mayo Roscommon Hospice.
Westport's Kenneth Gannon will be embarking on a charity climb of Croagh Patrick on Saturday next, April 25 at 12 noon to raise money and awareness for Brain Tumour Ireland. This is not the first time that Kenneth has raised money for a brain tumour charity; in November 2010, he raised €7,119 for Brainwaves Northern Ireland from a very successful table quiz in Westport. After four and a half years, he is on the fundraising trail again, this time in aid of Brain Tumour Ireland.
The condition of the pathway up Croagh Patrick, and ensuring that it is made safe, was raised again this week at the West Mayo Municipal District’s monthly meeting.