Freeman’s Journal – 10th September 1914
THE GREAT ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE. OVER 15,000 PEOPLE ATTEND. (abridged)
The Croagh Patrick pilgrimage was once again convincing proof of the abiding homage of the Irish people for their National Apostle. From near and far, from every county in Ireland, and from Australia, America, South Africa and Great Britain, pious pilgrims assembled at the Holy Mountain to pay tribute of faith and devotion at St. Patrick’s venerated shrine. It is estimated that over 15,000 people ascended ‘The Reek,’ where some thirty priests celebrated the Votive Masses of the saint from seven until noon. Nearly 7000 passengers from Cork, Limerick, and the Connaught and Midland districts poured into the town from the ten special excursion trains run yesterday morning.
On Saturday three special trains brought big contingents from Dublin and intermediate stations. Hundreds of pilgrims kept vigil on the mountain all night, undeterred by cold, blustering showers, and the bleak, shelterless mountainside. By the first faint light of dawn the thronging thousands began to wend their way to the Holy Hill. Throughout the morning an unending stream of vehicles covered the road from Westport to Murrick, the starting point of the climb. Along the roads trudged thousands more. It was certainly an inspiring and a deeply affecting spectacle. The climb is a most arduous one of some three miles, with scarcely a level foothold the whole way, but no one seemed any the worse for the journey.