Croagh Patrick May 2012

During May I participated in two pilgrimages on Croagh Patrick with different two groups. The first was with Pilgrimage Project, a collaborative project which was run in May 2013 and connected a group of Irish, Icelandic and Greek musicians, visual and performative artists. The second was with Tuam Diocesan Youth Council which aims to provide opportunities for young people to develop and nurture their faith.

Both were very enjoyable days and presented different ways of considering and experiencing the Reek. The first offered more historic outlook which was attentive to the ancient origins and the role of mountains as locations of interaction with deities and the otherworldly. This pilgrimage centred on the ideals of a group of people coexisting, living and working together in exploration of cultural identity. The conversation, on the journey and in eating on the summit, touched on the landscape and links between island or peripheral places.

The second climb of Croagh Patrick was a religious pilgrimage. It was part of an annual calendar of events run by the Catholic Archdiocese of Tuam’s Youth Council. The event was designed to help young people explore and develop their faith. A strong wind made for a tough climb, while mass in the oratory was a pleasant communal experience.

In both cases, I was lucky enough to participate in a larger group. This enabled me to walk along with others, share stories and get a chance to consider different forms of pilgrimage, which unfolded on the one site.

As previously discussed, I use video as a method in my research. It serves both as a research tool and as a means of presenting my work. I have complied two short videos based on the two pilgrimages. The Pilgrimage Project video gives a sense of the journey of a group by locating it temporally, as well as giving the briefest interpretation to events. The Youth Pilgrimage video was formatted to capture a sense of the purpose of the event. It layers audio recordings from the mass onto the journey, linking the performance and meaning.

Pilgrimage Project Video

Tuam Youth Pilgrimage

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