Easter pilgrim walkers to retrace an ancient heritage

Thousands of people will experience the hidden places of beauty and peace along the pilgrim paths of Ireland over the Easter weekend.

The second National Pilgrim Paths Day is being held over Easter.

Large numbers of both Irish and overseas visitors are expected to rediscover the ancient traditions of pilgrimage, and retrace their ancestral heritage.

Six of the country’s 11 recognised ancient pilgrim paths are in the Munster region.

Chairman of Pilgrim Paths Ireland, John G O’Dwyer said National Pilgrim Paths Day offers all comers, from every religious background and none, an opportunity to reconnect with Ireland’s medieval heritage.

The paths are Turas Glen Colm Cille in Co Donegal, Slí Mor in Co Offaly, Tochar Phadraig in Co Mayo, St Kevin’s Way in Co Wicklow, St Bridget’s Pilgrim Path in Kildare, Kilcommon Pilgrim Loop in Co Tipperary, Rath/Dysert Pilgrim Path in Co Clare, Cosán na Naomh and Cnoc na dTobar in Co Kerry, St Finbarr’s Pilgrim Path in Co Cork and St Declan’s Way, Co Waterford.

Supported by the Heritage Council, guides from local communities will lead each of the pilgrim walks while outlining the story of the route and explaining how medieval penitents coped with their arduous journeys.

There will also be time set aside for thanksgiving and reflection on each walk.

Mr O’Dwyer said: “The support received last year on the first National Pilgrim Paths Day was overwhelming.

“Over 1,800 people walked or cycled the pathways of Ireland’s ancient pilgrim paths. This year we invite people to once again escape from the daily treadmill of living and take some time out to reflect on life while experiencing the joy of exploring the hidden places of peace and beauty.”

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