Croagh Patrick paths 'need urgent repairs'

Severe erosion on the main path up Croagh Patrick in Co Mayo. Picture by Mountaineering Ireland

PATHS on Croagh Patrick urgently need to be repaired, a mountaineering group has said ahead of the annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage this weekend.

Mountaineering Ireland warned that a "scar" has developed on the mountain due to the number of people who climb it every year.

Up to 100,000 people each year visit the mountain, just outside Westport in Co Mayo, including around 30,000 Reek Sunday pilgrims.

The main path is eroding and is now over 30 metres wide in certain sections of the route, the mountaineering group said.

Mountaineering Ireland said work to minimise further erosion, as recommended in a report it compiled three years ago, could cost up to Euro 1.5 million.

"As ‘Reek Sunday' approaches, Mountaineering Ireland calls on Mayo County Council and all other stakeholders to urgently seek a solution to the path erosion on Croagh Patrick," it said in a statement.

"There is an urgent need for a management plan with a properly funded programme of path repair work to protect the mountain from further degradation."

Pilgrims have travelled to Croagh Patrick for more than 1,500 years.

The annual pilgrimage traditionally takes place on the last Sunday in July.


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