Pilgrim Paths of Ireland

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Pilgrim Paths Ireland is the non-denominational representative body for Ireland's pilgrim paths. It was founded to oversee the development and promotion of routes along the country's medieval pilgrimage paths and currently consists of 11 member groups around the island of Ireland.

Pilgrim Paths Ireland was founded in October 2013 with John G O'Dwyer (author of "Pilgrim Paths in Ireland", the first guidebook to Ireland's pilgrim paths) elected Chairman and John Egan (Rural Recreation Officer for County Tipperary) elected Secretary. It was officially launched at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin by Irish sports commentator Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh on April 19, 2013.[1]

The organisation currently represents 12 community groups associated with Ireland’s principal penitential paths and is now considered the national representative body for Ireland’s pilgrim paths.

On July 28, 2013 the formation of the group featured on RTE, Ireland's national broadcaster, in its daily news broadcast.[2] The formation also featured in Ireland's national newspapers, the Irish Independent,[3] the Irish Times[4][5] and the Irish Examiner.[6]

On Saturday April 19, 2014, Ireland’s first National Pilgrim Paths day event was held across the country. Over 1,700 participants walked along 11 pilgrim paths around Ireland.[7] The second Pilgrim Paths day was held on Saturday April 4, 2015 with numbers attending around the country increasing substantially.

The Pilgrim Paths festival was expanded to a week long event in 2016 held over the Easter festival, from Tuesday March 22 to Tuesday March 29.

Pilgrim Passport[edit]

During the 2016 festival week, Pilgrim Paths Ireland launched the first National Pilgrim Passport[8] for Ireland.[9] The new passport offers an opportunity to walk 125 km of Ireland’s Medieval pilgrim paths, with stamping points at the conclusion of each participating path. On completion of all five paths, participants will receive an Irish Pilgrim Paths completion certificate (Teastas Oilithreachta) from Ballintubber Abbey, Co Mayo (Tóchar Phádraig).

Five routes are currently included on the Pilgrim Passport:

  • Tóchar Phádraig, Mayo
  • Saint Kevin's Way, Wicklow
  • Cosán na Naomh, Kerry
  • Cnoc na dTobar, Kerry
  • St. Finbarr's Pilgrim Path, Cork

On, January 15, 2017, Susan Steele, of Bandon, Co Cork became the first person to run all 5 paths of the Irish Pilgrim Journey, over a period of 5 consecutive days.[10]


The 12 routes currently members of the Pilgrim Paths of Ireland are:


  1. ^ "Pilgrim Paths Day - Official Launch". Pilgrim Paths of Ireland. 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  2. ^ http://www.rte.ie/news/player/2014/0728/10308080-one-news/ - coverage starts at 22 minutes, 23 seconds
  3. ^ http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/pilgrim-paths-irelands-answer-to-camino-de-santiago-30142992.html
  4. ^ http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/take-the-pilgrim-path-1.1690206 - Archived, requires subscription to Irish Times to read
  5. ^ a b http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/travel/go-walk-on-the-pilgrim-path-in-co-clare-1.1956214
  6. ^ a b "Sky's the limit for high-flying pilgrims". Irish Examiner. 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2015-03-04.
  7. ^ O'Dwyer, John (2014-01-14). "Retracing the paths of the pilgrims". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2015-03-04.
  8. ^ "Pilgrim Passport". Pilgrim Paths of Ireland. 2016-01-26. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  9. ^ "Retracing Christian Pilgrim Paths". Irish Examiner. 2016-03-21. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  10. ^ "Guardian of the Sea". The Southern Star (County Cork). 2017-06-21. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  11. ^ Doherty, Tony (2014-10-25). "Go Walk: Cnoc na dTobar (Knocknadobar), Co Kerry". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  12. ^ O'Dwyer, John G (2014-02-15). "Take the pilgrim path". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-04-04.

External links[edit]