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Freak storm fails to deter faithful from Máméan pilgrimage

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THANKS Fr Michéal MacGréil

Anton McNulty


A FREAK storm along with gale force winds could not deter over 300 people from taking part in the annual Máméan pilgrimage which took place on Sunday.
The weather conditions on the day were so bad that the Traditional Stations of the Cross which is the highlight of the pilgrimage was cancelled for the first time while many more pilgrims who planned to walk the route decided not to make the trip.
Fr Micheál MacGréil told The Mayo News the weather conditions was the worst he has witnessed in nearly 40 years and they had no choice but to cancel the Stations of the Cross. The numbers making the climb to Máméan were down as a result but Fr MacGréil said the pilgrims who did make it had showed an ‘extreme manifestation of their faith’.
“We were met with a freak storm with dense fog, torrential rain and gale force wind and it was also very cold. They were extreme conditions and in 37 years I have never before had to deal with weather like it. It was an extreme manifestation of their faith for so many people to do it in the conditions. We just couldn’t do the Stations of the Cross because if we did people would have been blown off and injured,” he said.
A Mass was celebrated in the small chapel at Máméan with Fr Francis Mitchell PP, Roundstone the chief celebrant while Bishop Elect of the Diocese of Killaloe, Fintan Monahan was also in attendance.
Fr MacGréil thanked Mayo Mountain Rescue who were in attendance on the day for their assistance and ensuring everyone finished the pilgrimage safely. Máméan is on the Western Way route and is in the Maamturk mountains between Leenane and Recess and consists of a 1,000ft climb. There are three traditional pilgimages to Mámeán during the year which take place on St Patrick’s Day, Good Friday and on the first Sunday in August.

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