Some 25,000 people are set to flock to Mayo this weekend for the “Reek Sunday” climb up Croagh Patrick.
This year, Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles Browne will accompany two bishops, numerous priests, and thousands of climbers hiking up the famous mountain.
In an interesting development this year, a summit sign incorporating the logos of both The Gathering and the Year of Faith will greet those who make it to the top.
As always, safety is a cause of concern to the organisations involved in the pilgrimage. The threat of injury to pilgrims has a long history in itself, dating back as far as an incident documented in the Annals of Ulster which records that on St Patrick’s Day 1113 AD, a total of 30 pilgrims were killed in a lightning strike on the summit.
Reek Sunday will mark the busiest in the annual calendar of activities for The Mayo Mountain Rescue Team.
It has appealed to pilgrims to dress accordingly, bring a walking stick to help reach the top of the 764m-high mountain, and to leave no trace.
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