On the morning of Sunday May the 10th at around 8am, the bus departed from the cathedral car park in Tuam, destined for the DYC pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick. I, a seasoned climber of the reek came prepared for Everest type conditions, ready for anything the notorious Irish climate could muster. However to my grave disappointment as we reached “base camp” at around 10am, there was not be a cloud to be seen, as the sun shone gloriously over Clew Bay.
The climb was tough, but over 300 young people were spurred on by the fine weather, fun and the encouragement of their fellow climbers. These sentiments summed up by Fr. Sean in his initial words of encouragement; “Don’t ask how much further it is, just keep going”. The pace was good, with people reaching the summit and the chapel at the top at fairly consistent times, everyone in time for 12pm mass. The mass celebrated at the top of Croagh Patrick by Fr. Cunningham of the DYC, was also extremely enjoyable with special mention to the spectacular scenery, singing and the large numbers who celebrated the mass.
The walk down certainly was quicker but it could be disputed whether it was tougher or not than the climb up, as people slipped around desperately trying to get whatever little amount of footing was to be gained, but the reward at the bottom was well worth all the strain. The barbeque in the park in Murrisk was truly an enjoyable experience as people relaxed after the hard days hike, with some sublime food and more fun.
The whole day was a great experience and everyone who took part seemed to have enjoyed it immensely.
Article courtesy of Eanna MacDonnchadha, St. Jarlaths College, Tuam