Croagh Patrick

  • Councillors in the Westport / Belmullet Municipal District have approved a Part 8 planning application for works to be carried out on the pilgrimage path on Croagh Patrick, to make it sustainable for generations to come.

    The application came before councillors at their monthly meeting in Belmullet this week, and Martin Keating - Chairperson of the Croagh Patrick Stakeholders Group - addressed the meeting in relation to the their plan to protect the holy mountain.

    Westport Independent Councillor Christy Hyland has complimented the stakeholders' group for their work, and he proposed that the Part 8 be adopted at Monday's meeting.

    He says it's welcome news in terms of improving the pilgrimage path which has become dangerous due to numbers of people climbing the Reek.

  • Pilgrims are being reminded to stay away from Croagh Patrick for the annual Reek Sunday tomorrow.

    The pilgrimage in County Mayo usually attracts around 10,000 people, however due to Covid-19 restrictions those numbers can't be accommodated.

    Mass will be celebrated in St Mary's Church in Westport for pilgrims this evening, and streamed on Facebook.

    Fr Charlie McDonnell from Westport Parish is appealing for people to exercise caution.

  • A planning application has been made to Mayo County Council for approval to carry out restoration works and a sustainable access at Croagh Patrick.

    The project, which is expected to take many years to complete, will address the issue of erosion on the mountain due to its regular use by pilgrims and climbers using the mountain for sporting and charity events.

    The Croagh Patrick Stakeholders group has lodged the submission.

    Martin Keating of Mayo county council is the chairman of the Croagh Patrick Stakeholders group and he says he’s delighted that this important milestone has now been reached.

    He is encouraging the general public to take time to examine the works proposed on the mountain. The plan has been developed in partnership with the stakeholders and the best upland path expertise available.

    The plans are available for inspection during normal office hours at Westport CiviC Offices, Aras an Chontae Castlebar, and Murrisk Development Association premises from today (Tues),  until Aug 20th.

  • Planning is the next stage in the ambitious plan to repair the paths on Mayo’s holy mountain Croagh Patrick.

    The mountain, over centuries has become more difficult to climb, particularly close to the top, and to protect it and those who climb it, it was decided by the Croagh Patrick Stakeholders Group some years ago, to look at ways that it may be better preserved.

    The trial path works on the upper cone of the mountain are now completed and it opens the way for the entire project to proceed.

    The evaluation process tested the feasibility of a pathway made from materials on the mountainside, and was led by Scottish expert Matt McConway of Upland Access Ltd.   
    Its objective was ‘to establish if the proposed methodology for constructing the path would work using the small stone blocks found on the steep slope of the summit’ while adhering to Mountaineering Ireland’s ‘Guiding Principles for Upland Path Work.

    According to the report – “The trial works included an assessment of ‘the quality of path work construction technique; landscape impact and environmental impact’, as well as examining the value of progressing the implementation of the project with strong emphasis on training and voluntary inputs’. 
    The result of the evaluation process is that the Croagh Patrick Stakeholder Group is now confident to proceed with the proposed path solution and with a maintenance and management regime.

    Midwest News has been speaking to two of the many people, members of the Croagh Patrick Stakeholders Group - the chairman, Mayo County Council’s Martin Keating and Fr Charlie McDonnell of Westport.

    They have been explaining what’s planned and how work will proceed from here.

  • Despite promises, another Summer has gone by with an inadequate water supply at the national pilgrimage site of Croagh Patrick,  and residents of Murrisk, Lecanvey and out as far as Louisburgh are left with a discoloured supply, often not fit for human consumption.

    The public toilets at the base of the reek remain outdated and inadequate for the volume of visitors using the facilities, and there is insufficient parking for buses and coaches at the ever popular tourist location.

    These were the strong views again expressed by Wesport Independent councillor Christy Hyland at this week’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council.

    He asked council management for an update on the rural water grant funding announced earlier this year by government, and queried why or if a new public water supply for the Murrisk, Lecanvey, Louisbourg areas will be included.

    Council officials said they expect the details of the grant announcements this month, and also told the cllr that the public toilets at Croagh Patrick will be upgraded.

    Councillor Hyland has been telling Midwest News  about the continuous frustration for local residents and businesses in the area coping with an inadequate water supply.

  • A protest is taking place at Croagh Patrick today as the Reek Sunday pilgrimage takes place.

    Members of the local community in Murrisk are protesting in relation to the situation regarding drinking water in the area.

    There are signs erected on Croagh Patrick advising pilgrims not to drink the water as there have been concerns over the quality for a substantial period of time.

    On Friday Minister Michael Ring organised a meeting between Irish Water, Mayo County Council and representatives from Louisburgh and Murrisk.

    At that meeting Irish Water confirmed a commitment to bring a water supply to both areas.


    Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring has received a commitment from Irish Water that the utility will provide a water supply to Louisburgh and Murrisk.

    Minister Ring received that commitment from Irish Water at a meeting this week, where Irish Water, Mayo County Council and representatives from Murrsk and Louisburgh were in attendance.

    He says that he would like to see the Lough Mask to Westport scheme extended out to serve both areas but the final details of how the water will be brought out will have to be ironed out.

    He says Murrisk will also have to set up a new group water scheme, while one is in place in Louisburgh.

  • A public meeting will be held in Lecanvey next Monday evening, amid threats from local landowners in Murrisk to close access to the commonage at Croagh Patrick this Summer, in a protest over water quality.

    Thousands of pilgrims climb the Reek each year – including over 20,000 on Reek Sunday at the end of July.

    It’s now emerged that a young child from Murrisk was recently admitted to Mayo University Hospital where she was diagnosed with e-coli and cryptosporidium.

    The incident has served to highlight the seriousness of the water problem in the area, according to Chris Grady, Chairman of Murrisk Development Association.

    Mr Grady has confirmed that “people with commonage rights have suggested blocking the pathway” to highlight the fact that the area is relying on water coming from streams on the mountain.

    Mayo County Council has erected signs in the carpark at the base of Croagh Patrick advising that the water is not fit for human consumption.

    Westport-based Independent Councillor Christy Hyland has highlighted the issue at a number of council meetings, and says it’s a disgrace that the water is unfit for purpose at a national pilgrimage site.

    A public meeting will be held at 8pm next Monday night to discuss the issue and decide on what action to take.

    Mayo County Council wants the Murrisk community to set up its own group water scheme, while the local community wants the public water system to be extended from Westport.

  • The public toilets at the carpark in Murrisk , at the base of Croagh Patrick are a disgrace, according to local Independent councillor Christy Hyland.

    The councillor raised his concerns over the facility at the monthly meeting of West Mayo Municipal District.

    He called on the council to update the facilities, describing the present building as something like you would see in a prison back in the 1960s.

    In addition councillor Hyland called for a counter system, similar to that operated by Mayo county council on Croagh Patrick, be installed at the Famine Monument across the road from the Murrisk carpark, in an attempt to quantify the number of visitors to the site.

    Councillor Hyland told Midwest News today that  the present public toilet facility at Croagh Patrick is not acceptable considering up to 120,000 people climb the holy mountain annually.

  • Reek Sunday 2020 has been cancelled.It’s another casualty of the Covid 19 pandemic

    Local administrator Fr Charlie McDonnell appeals to pilgrims to respect what he terms “the difficult decision”.

    The decision has been taken after extensive consultation with the many community groups that organise the annual event that takes place on the last Sunday in July.

    Respecting the government’s national Covid-19 restrictions and protecting public health were, according to Fr Charlie, the leading reasons for the cancellation of this year’s pilgrimage.

    This morning he explained the cancellation to Midwest News.

  • Today is Reek Sunday in County Mayo, with up to 10,000 people expected to climb Croagh Patrick.

    Pilgrims began the three-mile trip over a 750-metre climb at first light  this morning and will continue right throughout the day.

    Hourly masses will be held at the summit, and confessions will be heard up to 2 o'clock this afternoon.

    The Order of Malta Ambulance Corps are urging pilgrims to climb sensibly this Reek Sunday.

  • As concerns grow about the condition of Croagh Patrick, trial pathwork has now commenced on the summit of the mountain.

    The work is being undertaken by Matt McConway, an experienced upland path contractor from Scotland, and involves path construction over a 20 metre distance along the traditional Summit path.

    The trial path work will place over the next two weeks, and will then be evaluated by the Croagh Patrick Stakeholders Group, which was formed three years ago as a community response to concerns over the condition of the Reek.

  • Tuesday last was one of the busiest days in the history of the Mayo Mountain Rescue Team - with the exception of Reek Sundays.

    The team dealt with three separate call-outs to incidents on Croagh Patrick, between 11am and 7pm.


    With the exception of Reek Sundays - which take place on the last Sunday of July each year - Tuesday of this week was one of the busiest days ever for the Mayo Mountain Rescue team.

    It starts shortly before 11.30am when the mountain rescue team was alerted by Gardai and the Irish Coast Guard to come to the assistance of a man who had sustained a lower leg injury on Croagh Patrick.

    A first-response party attended to the casualty who was subsequently airlifted to Mayo University Hospital by the Coastguard for further treatment.

    While he was being airlifted by Rescue 118, the Mayo Mountain Rescue team was again tasked at about 2.40pm, again near the shoulder of Croagh Patrick.

    The first reponse team and stretcher team who were already on the mountain went to assist a second casualty who had also sustained a lower leg injury.

    He was treated and then stretchered down the Reek to the Murrisk side.

    A walker who was with a group on Croagh Patrick then advised of a 3rd casualty who required assistance, after being injured in a fall near the summit.

    He had managed to descend with the help of his group, but was suffering from exhaustion.

    A first-response team  treated him for his injury before assisting the casualty to walk down off the mountain.

    The Mountain Rescue Team were finally stood down at about 7pm Tuesday evening after a busy day - and it followed a busy weekend, with two callouts last Saturday - one of which included a complex rescue on steep ground.

    The voluntary organisation provides emergency cover 24 hours per day, 7 days a week on Mayo's hills and mountains.

    Up to 80% of call-outs annually are to Croagh Patrick.

  • The Mayo Mountain Rescue team was called out yesterday afternoon to assist a man who sustained a fall on the descent from Croagh Patrick.

    The casualty sustained arm injuries in the fall on the cone of the mountain, and was given first aid by the Mayo Mountain Rescue team first response party.

    He was then stretchered off the mountain to the Westport Order of Malta ambulance and transferred to hospital.

    It was the second call-out in two days, as on Sunday afternoon, shortly after 1.30, the team was tasked by Gardai to assist a person who sustained leg injuries while descending Croagh Patrick.

    An off-duty Emergency Medical Technician provided assistance and helped the casualty part of the way down on an improvised stretcher, before the mountain rescue team arrived and stretchered the injured person the rest of the way down.

  • Two people were rescued from Croagh Patrick in separate incidents yesterday evening.

    Shortly after 6pm, the Mayo Mountain Rescue Team was tasked by Gardai to assist a female who had sustained a lower leg injury while descending the mountain.

    The incident occurred just below the "shoulder" on the Murrisk side.

    While the team's first response party was en route, they found another female who required immediate medical assistance, which was provided by the first response team.

    The Coastguard helicopter was called to assist this second casualty who was airlifted to hospital for further treatment.

    The Mayo Mountain Rescue team's stretcher party continued to the first casualty, providing first aid and taking the woman by stretcher down to Murrisk to a waiting HSE ambulance.

    It was a busy evening for Mayo Mountain Rescue who thanked the Westport Coastguard Unit for their assistance on Croagh Patrick yesterday evening.


  • The cancellation of the 2020 Croagh Patrick pilgrimage was announced yesterday by the Administrator in Westport, Fr  Charlie McDonnell.

    The event has been cancelled due to public health concerns and the practicalities of adhering to social distancing rules during the climb.

    The decision was made after extensive consultation with the many groups that are involved in the annual event that attracts thousands of pilgrims each year, on the last Sunday in July.

    However, Archbishop Michael Neary will celebrate the vigil Mass in Westport on Saturday 25 July at 6:30 pm which will be offered for the intentions of all who intended to make the pilgrimage.  

    Prayer intentions can be emailed at any time to reek This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by post to Westport Parish, Co Mayo. 

    The Mass will be live-streamed on the parish Facebook page ‘St Marys Church Westport’ which can be accessed on

    Archbishop Neary says “the National Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick on Reek Sunday is an important annual occasion for many people, and it has a long and distinguished history.  

    This year, however, having consulted with the various statutory and non-statutory bodies involved in the Reek pilgrimage, having in mind the Government’s “Roadmap” for emerging from the coronavirus pandemic, and accepting the clear public health advice offered, it is necessary to cancel the 2020 National Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick on 26 July”. 


  • A Westport Councillor will climb Croagh Patrick backwards tomorrow in aid of Mayo Mountain Rescue.

    Fianna Fail Cllr Brendan Mulroy is undertaking the challenge to raise funds for the voluntary organisation.

    Last autumn Cllr Mulroy said he would undertake the challenge if Mayo won the All-Ireland Senior Football Final.

    Mayo didn’t get the result but Cllr Mulroy decided it would be a unique fundraising idea.

    People can still donate to the challenge via Cllr Mulroy’s Facebook page or by calling him directly on 087-9820542.

  • The Irish Air Corps has come to the assistance of a pilgrim climbing Croagh Patrick on Reek Sunday.

    A woman in her mid forties is believed to have suffered a minor heart issue and was airlifted to Mayo General Hospital earlier.

    Another climber was sent to hospital as a precaution, after showing signs of exhaustion.

    It is reported that so far today, 19 pilgrims who are climbing the mountain, have been treated for minor injuries.

    Mountain Rescue Ireland, the Irish Air Corps and the Gardai are among those overseeing safety.