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Croagh Patrick or The Reek, as it is colloquially known, overlooks Clew Bay in County Mayo and is considered the holiest mountain in Ireland. The tradition of pilgrimage to this holy mountain stretches back over 5,000 years from the Stone Age to the present day without interruption.

On Sat May 11 2013, an unusual group of pilgrims will make a journey together to the summit of Croagh Patrick. The expedition gathers together an eclectic array of artists, musicians, writers and performers from Ireland, Iceland & Greece. This will be day 6 of Pilgrimage Project – a cultural odyssey. The Pilgrimage Project is a cultural experiment situated in North West Ireland from May 06 -12.  We envision this collaborative project to be a collective odyssey through time and space in the Irish psyche. We are making a series of fieldtrips to ancient burial sites, sacred islands, monastic settlements and a final journey to Croagh Patrick as Pilgrimage Project draws to a close.

We will be aided and abetted by a motley crew of pioneers including Pat Collins and Manchán Magan who are coming to share their work and experiences with the pilgrims. Pat Collins made this short film Pilgrim in 2008. Click here to view.

Manchán Magan wrote this piece for The Guardian in 2009

“ A staggering 20-25,000 pilgrims still climb Croagh Patrick mountain – a soaring cone-shaped 765m (2,500ft) peak that rises above Clew Bay in Co Mayo – each year on the last Sunday in July (the nearest Sunday to the original pagan festival of Lughnasa), often barefoot. This is where the Irish have always come for guidance and reassurance at the beginning of harvest time; later, it became a place for penance for sins committed. We’ve been coming here for more than 3,000 years, since our Neolithic ancestors first chose it as a sacred site. Later, we came to worship the Celtic sun god, Lugh; then, in AD441, the site was cannily co-opted by St Patrick, who fasted here for 40 days and nights before banishing the snakes from Ireland. Ever since, we have been coming in memory of him.”

Continue to read here

Both Pat and Manchán will be joining us to climb Croagh Patrick on May 11 and Pat Collins will be interviewed later that evening at The Model, Sligo following a screening of his film What We Leave in Our WakeBook your free ticket for the film here>.

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Photo used with kind permission from: http://www.philarmitage.net

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