Croagh Patrick is a National Pilgrimage site in West Mayo, overlooking Clew Bay.
Mayo mountain rescue calls for safety measures ahead of Reek Sunday
The Mayo Mountain Rescue crew chief has called for urgent safety repairs on Croagh Patrick ahead of the annual Reek Sunday Pilgrimage.
Up to 25,000 people are expected to flock to the County Mayo peak for the traditional Reek Sunday climb that always takes place on the last Sunday in July.
Speaking to CiNews, Mayo Mountain Rescue chief Colm Bryne warned that fifty people suffer serious injury while scaling the 764-metre mountain every year. He said, “People are being seriously hurt and it is past time for the relevant parties to sort it.”
Mr Bryne, a former Health promotion training manager with the Health Service Executive added, “Injuries are mostly due to erosion after a big increase in climbers particularly, in the area known as the bad bend. Three quarters of these at least could be avoided if safety maintenance was carried out.”
He added this can be done in an environmentally friendly way. There are no shortage of examples of where this type of work has been carried out tastefully in the mountains of England, Scotland and Wales.
The Mayo Mountain Rescue team is a voluntary organisation comprised of hill walkers and mountaineers from all over County Mayo. The team responds to emergency callouts, predominantly on Croagh Patrick, with up to 80% of callouts being focused on the pilgrimage mountain.
The focus of the Mayo mountain rescue teams work is on Reek Sunday, which is its busiest day of the year.
by Sean Ryan
Statue of St Patrick on the pilgrimage path at Murrisk.