Fitness is key for summer job in a lofty position on Croagh Patrick

The 119-year-old oratory atop Croagh Patrick where the guides will climb to every second day.

Applications close today for a summer job that offers peak prospects — keyholder of the tiny oratory atop the 2,510ft-high Croagh Patrick in Mayo.

Physical fitness and reliability will be the main attributes of the four people selected for the lofty positions.

The successful candidate will be required to make the arduous climb to the summit every second day until the end of August, open the church, and assist pilgrims and tourists with information.

“It’s a tough job but a very rewarding one,” explained Harry Hughes of Croagh Patrick Archaeological Committee, which is footing the bill for the positions.

“Climbing every second day, the guides will be expected to make the ascent at 10am daily, reach the top by 11am, and begin the descent by 4pm.

“Apart from opening the 119-year-old oratory, the job of the guides will be to help pilgrims with their inquiries, look after the visitors’ book, and keep the place generally tidy.

“Also the guide will be expected to keep the lid on any unruly behaviour. The mountain is a place of worship and respect must be observed at all times, especially in the chapel and its vicinity.”

Mr Hughes would not be drawn on the subject of remuneration but insisted, with a smile, that it would be nothing short of “heavenly”.

Up to 20,000 are expected to make the annual pilgrimage of the Holy Mountain on July 27 and the team of volunteer oratory guides will be well in situ by then.


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