Scroll to bottom of page for list of Pilgrim Paths.
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 climbing Croagh Patrick.
Despite this long pilgrim tradition and strong national 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. Ireland’s first National Pilgrim Paths Day in 2014, was aimed at changing this by raising awareness of the country’s network of pilgrim routes and providing a more general appreciation of Ireland’s medieval Christian heritage.
Easter Saturday, April 19th 2014 was designated National Pilgrim Paths Day. The event proved a huge success with almost 1,800 participants taking part at 11 pilgrim path locations across Ireland. Ireland’s second National Pilgrim Paths Day took place on Easter Saturday, April 4th 2015, with a nationwide series of walks taking place on 13 of this country’s major medieval, walkways.
In 2016, the Pilgrim Paths Festival was extended to a week-long celebration running from Tuesday, March 22nd to Tuesday, March 29th. A National Pilgrim Passport for Ireland was also introduced with pilgrim walkers who complete 120km of Ireland’s penitential paths being entitled to a Teastas Oilithreachta (completion certificate) from Ballintubber Abbey.
The 2017 Pilgrim Paths Week Festival runs from April 11th to 17th inclusive. You can see a programme of events on the links at the side of the page.
Read more about the Pilgrim Paths of Ireland in John G. O’Dwyer’s new guide book ‘Pilgrim Paths in Ireland’.
With maps, photographs and concise directions, it is published by The Collins Press (RRP €14.99)
The book is available from all good bookshops and online from The Collins Press Online Store.
Ireland’s Pilgrim Paths
Click on the Icon for the Pilgrim Path for which you would like further information.