Pilgrimage has been defined as “a meaningful journey to a place of spiritual significance” and the practice is almost as old as recorded history. In Ireland the pilgrim journey has strong historic resonance with early Christian scholars coming to Clonmacnoise; medieval penitents journeying to Lough Derg and Glendalough, while others sought heightened spirituality by visiting Skellig Michael or by climbing Croagh Patrick.
Completing St. Finbarr's Pilgrim Path, Pilgrim Paths Week, 2017. Pic by David O'Callaghan.

Completing St. Finbarr’s Pilgrim Path, Pilgrim Paths Week, 2017. Pic by David O’Callaghan.

Despite this long pilgrim tradition and robust reputation for spirituality, there was, until relatively recently, little footfall on Ireland’s ancient penitential paths with the country not regarded as an important destination for spirituality motivated travel. The foundation of Pilgrim Paths Ireland in 2013, was aimed at changing this by raising awareness of the country’s pilgrim routes and   creating a more general appreciation of Ireland’s medieval Christian heritage. Since then the historic Pilgrim Paths of Ireland have echoed to ever increasing footfall.

Learn More

Read more about the Pilgrim Paths of Ireland in John G. O’Dwyer’s guide book ‘Pilgrim Paths in Ireland – From Slemish to Skellig Michael’.With maps, photographs and concise directions, it is a virtual “Bible” for pilgrim walkers in ireland. Published by The Collins Press (RRP €14.99), the book is available from bookshops and online from The Collins Press Online Store.

Ireland’s Pilgrim Paths

To view a map showing the location Ireland’s twelve Pilgrim Path routes, with details of each, just follow this link.