Images of Ireland

County Mayo

 

CroachPatrick01.jpg (24728 bytes)

"Croagh Patrick, Ireland's Holy Mountain" by Shannon McKenna

In county Mayo between Louisburgh and Westport  this majestic mountain, rising 2,510 feet above sea level has been sacred for almost 5000 years.  As far back as 3000 years our megalithic forefathers worshiped there, holding their rituals on its slopes.  According to ancient chronicles and legends Saint  Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, spent 40 days and nights in 441 A.D. on the summit praying and fasting.  While on the summit Patrick was tormented by black birds  which according to legend became demons and snakes.   Patrick threw his bell at them   and banished them into a hollow  known as  Lag  na nDeama which is located on the north side of the mountain.  This is the reason why no poisonous snakes or reptiles can be found in Ireland to this day.  For centuries the mountain became a site of pilgrimage for the faithful and in later years also for the adventurer who scale the height for whatever reason they have.  Every year  the last Sunday in July, also known as "Reek Sunday"  is the official pilgrimage day when thousands gather at the village of Murrisk and follow this old Irish tradition.

 

 

 

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