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Councillor praises work on Croagh Patrick path


PRAISEClimbers on the new paved pathway on Croagh Patrick on Reek Sunday. Pic: Conor McKeown

Anton McNulty

A WESTPORT councillor has praised Mayo County Council staff and the team who carried out repair work along the pilgrim path at Croagh Patrick.
Work to repair the erosion along the path to the summit of Croagh Patrick is nearing completion with steps now in place at the cone of the mountain to assist climbers and help prevent further erosion.
The complex project was an initiative of the Croagh Patrick Stakeholder Group which includes Mayo County Council, mountain shareholders, the Church, Murrisk community, South West Mayo Development Company, Mountaineering Ireland, Mayo Mountain Rescue, Croagh Patrick Archaeological Society and the Tourism and Adventure Sectors.
The group was chaired by Martin Keating, the Head of Environment at Mayo County Council and the work he brought to the project was praised by Cllr Brendan Mulroy, at last week’s meeting of Mayo County Council.

Time and dedication
“It is absolutely fantastic, there is no other way of saying it and to thank Martin and his team for time and dedication. We can be critical at times with officialdom and the top table but a lot of work went on from Martin and his team outside of council hours and work they were definitely not paid for. A lot of work went on voluntarily with the committee and the stakeholders and I just want to compliment Martin for that. 
“Going forward when projects are taken on and you put the right people in charge and there is a buy-in from the community and the local representatives it shows what can be done,” he said.
Over 120,000 people climb Croagh Patrick annually with the Reek popular all year round and not just on the annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage in July. The popularity of the mountain led to erosion in recent years and the stakeholders group was formed in 2015 after the annual Reek Sunday Pilgrimage was cancelled due to heavy rain.
The group engaged the services of Scottish based mountain path expert Matt McConway to carry out an evaluation process and a trial path was completed in 2018. The success of the path convinced the stakeholders group to apply for planning to complete a path at the summit section. Work on the project was delayed due to Covid-19 in 2020 but work recommenced in May 2021.