July 28 is Reek Sunday, the day up to 3,000 pilgrims from all over the world climb Croagh Patrick, Co Mayo – in their bare feet. Depending on the weather, about 20,000 people will take to the holy mountain. I undertook the barefoot feat earlier this month and wrote about the challenge. [Spoiler alert!] Obviously, I survived to tell the tale. Here’s the opening:
On Croagh Patrick everyone has an opinion. Jackie O’Grady gives me hers before I select a sturdy climbing stick outside her kiosk. “You’re mad,” she says. “There was an Australian guy did it barefoot last week. A Dublin girl told him he was mad too.”
UPDATE: Just in case you think the ascent is a bit of a doddle this year’s climb featured two pilgrims being airlifted off the Reek.
Mayo Mountain Rescue have reported 12 casualties in total so far as thousands take part in the annual Reek Sunday Pilgrimage on Croagh Patrick in Co Mayo today.
Two people are said to be in a serious condition, with one man sustaining a head injury at around 7am. A second man had a heart attack near the bottom of the reek towards Murrisk Bay. Most injuries have been minor lower leg injuries.
The pilgrimage was led by Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary. He was accompanied by Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown and Bishop of Achonry Brendan Kelly.
– RTE News