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“New Pilgrimage Route Makes Ascending Croagh Patrick Mountain Easier”

Mayo: A new four-kilometre pilgrimage route leading to the foothills of Croagh Patrick Hill in Mayo has recently been unveiled to the public, signifying the culmination of a three-year endeavour. This development promises to significantly ease the journey for pilgrims, marking the conclusion of a challenging period marked by arduous climbs.

The ambitious project, which involved constructing a two-metre-wide path up Ireland’s revered mountain, was made possible through collaborative efforts. 80% of the construction costs were generously covered by the Department of Rural and Community Development, with the remaining 20% provided by Mayo County Council. The groundbreaking ceremony for the Croagh Patrick Path was presided over by Heather Humphreys, Minister for Social Security, symbolising a significant milestone in the region’s development.

Undertaken by a dedicated team of five local residents led by Frank McMahon, Tulio De Jesus, Bernard Burke, and David Doyle, with expert guidance from Matt McConway, the completion of the Croagh Patrick route represents a remarkable achievement. The team documented their three-year journey on a YouTube channel named Climb the Reach, offering a glimpse into the dedication and perseverance required to bring this project to fruition.

The initiative was further supported by the formation of the Croagh Patrick Stakeholders Group in 2015, comprising various local entities and organisations such as the Moorish community, Mayo County Council, Mountaineering Ireland, and Mayo Mountain Rescue, among others. This collaborative effort, named ‘Towards the Healing of Croagh Patrick’, aimed to address concerns regarding erosion of the existing path and safeguard the mountain’s environment and habitat.

Croagh Patrick, a site of immense cultural and religious significance, attracts tens of thousands of pilgrims annually, with Reek Sunday in the last week of July witnessing the largest congregation. With the introduction of the new route, it is anticipated that even more pilgrims will be drawn to the area, enhancing accessibility and ensuring the preservation of this cherished pilgrimage tradition.

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