Thousands of pilgrims flocked to Westport in County Mayo, the Irish Republic, on Sunday (July 29) to make their annual climb up to the peak of "Croagh Patrick" and say prayers by the statue of Saint patrick.
LV Pilgrims climb mountain at dawn
SVs Ditto (elderly) climbing (3 shots)
SV Nun assisted PAN TO GV others up path
LV People in distance on peak
LV PAN from top of mountain TO people ascending & descending
SV, MV Barefoot climber (2 shots)
MV Casualty carried on stretcher
LV, MV, People, barefooted on path (2 shots)
MV, SV Pilgrims washing face & feet in mountain stream (2 shots)
GVs & AVs People around statue of St Patrick praying
SV Sticks on floor PAN TO people at foot of mountain
Initials SGM/2300 SGM/2325
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Background: Thousands of pilgrims flocked to Westport in County Mayo, the Irish Republic, on Sunday (July 29) to make their annual climb up to the peak of "Croagh Patrick" and say prayers by the statue of Saint patrick. Many of the estimated 70,000 pilgrims made the climb in their bare feet.
The pilgrims cut rough walking sticks from local trees and after their pilgrimage they leave them in a pile at the foot of the mountain. Local legend says that the sticks are removed in the night by fairies and that one day a stairway of gold steps -- each representing a stick - will wind its way to the top of the mountain.
Saint Patrick was born in England around 389 A.D. and became the patron saint of Ireland. He prayed on top of this mountain and it has been a place of pilgrimage ever since.