A Student of History

March 25, 2007

My Trip to Ireland

Filed under: Ireland — John Maass @ 11:37 am

As I wrote earlier this year I am going to Ireland in May to present a paper at an academic conference in Belfast at Queens.  I also will have time to do a bit of sightseeing as well, so hopefully the weather will be cooperative.  This will be my 4th trip to Ireland and my 2nd to the North.  I have done almost all my touring in the South and Ulster, so I’d like to try to get to Connaught, as I have never been to that area in my previous trips and there is much to see there.  I am especially interested in Galway, Mayo and Donegal.

One idea I have is to climb Croagh Patrick in County Mayo, five miles from the picturesque town of Westport (below).   


It is a traditional pilgrimage site, and I would love to make the trek. It is something I have been wanting to do ever since I began studying Irish history in 1998.  Magnificent views of Clew Bay and the surrounding south Mayo countryside are to be had from all stages of the ascent of the mountain.  Croagh Patrick is mountain looking out on the Atlantic ocean from the southern shore of Clew Bay, and is called “the Sinai of Ireland.” In pagan times it was known as Cruachan Aigli. It rises in a perfect cone to a height of 2510 feet.  Each year, as many as one million pilgrims and visitors make the trek to the top to pray at the stations of the cross, participate in Mass, do penance (in which case the rocky journey is undertaken barefoot) or just enjoy the spectacular view.

For more on the mountain’s significance to the Irish and their Church, click here.

29-croagh patrick

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: