Croagh Patrick

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Name Croagh Patrick County Mayo Nearest Town Westport Access Road R335 About Croagh Patrick is where St Patrick is said to have banished the snakes from Ireland.

The panoramic views from the top on a clear day are stunning as you look down on Clew Bay which is reputed to have 365 islands.

Croagh Patrick) is a 764metres (2,510ft) mountain and an important site of pilgrimage.

It is located 8kilometres from Westport, above the villages of Murrisk and Lecanvey.

On “Reek Sunday”, the last Sunday in July every year, over 15,000 pilgrims climb the mountain.

The mountain forms the southern part of a valley created by a glacier flowing into Clew Bay in the last Ice Age.

Croagh Patrick is part of a longer east-west ridge.

Croagh Patrick has been a site of pilgrimage, especially at the summer solstace, since before the arrival of Celtic Christianity.

Saint Patrick reputedly fasted on the summit of Croagh Patrick for forty days in the fifth century and built a church there.

It is said that at the end of Saint Patrick’s 40-day fast, he threw a silver bell down the side of the mountain, knocking the she-demon Corra from the sky and banishing all the snakes from Ireland.

In modern times, a small chapel was built on the summit in 1905.

On the 31st July 2005, during the annual pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick, or “Reek or Garland Sunday” as it is known locally, a plaque commemorating the centenary of the building and dedication of the chapel was unveiled.

Having celebrated the centenary of the building of the church on the summit, it was decided in 2005 to open the church every day during the summer, rather than only on holy days.

Mass is celebrated in the church every last Sunday in July (Reek Sunday) and every 15th August.

The church is opened by information guides.

Accommodation is available at the foot of the mountain and in the towns and villages around the area.

The climb can be difficult for older people and assistance is provided where needed.

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