& # 39; We see hidden Ireland, it is magic & # 39; – pilgrims on an 11-day walk through Ireland to see the Pope

Willie Keane and Patricia Finn, from Nenagh, both members of Aonach ar Siul. Photo: Brian Lawless / PA Wire
Willie Keane and Patricia Finn, from Nenagh, both members of Aonach ar Siul. Photo: Brian Lawless / PA Wire

More than 20 pilgrims take part in a debilitating walk of 220 kilometers across Ireland to reach the papal mass this weekend.

The group is halfway through their 11-day walk to Dublin, which began in Nenagh in Co. Tipperary.

The hikers of Aonach ar Siul (Nenagh Walking Club), aged between 18 and 73, take an average of 25 kilometers every day, armed with flags of the Vatican City and good walking shoes.

The walking group will walk through towns and villages across the country, stopping at a number of monastic locations, visiting the oldest Catholic Church in Ireland and visiting local communities before going to Dublin on Sunday morning for the papal mass in Phoenix Park.

The group leads Donie Mackey, from Nenagh, who explained the idea behind the pilgrimage.

"This is a way to see our heritage and to meet the local people and to entertain ourselves on the way," he said.

"There have been very few challenges along the way: we go to local communities, drink a cup of tea and we join the community.

"Everyone walks for themselves, there is no one who tells them how fast or slow to walk.

"Every night we get a bus back to Nenagh, which means that we sleep in our own beds and rest well before we start fresh in the morning, from where we ended the night before.

"We hope to arrive at Inchicore in Dublin on Saturday evening and then return on Sunday morning and walk the four kilometers to Phoenix Park in time for the papal mass.

"The will will bring us there."

For Patricia Finn, this is the second time she sees a pope in Ireland after traveling to Limerick for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979.

She explained her reason for the epic walk and said: "I wanted to do this for various reasons, especially for myself, and then join neighbors and friends who are walking to bring a great failure to the Pope and for the joy of through all different communities.

"This event is about families and about community.

"We take every day as it comes."

Willie Keane, also from Nenagh, said that they participated in the pilgrimage and walked as "food for the soul".

He added: "That is exactly what we encountered on this journey – we go back to the simple things.

"The pope is coming and we want to celebrate it, it is a joyful occasion.

"When we walk by, everyone can take the time to think, we get away from our mobile phones and touch the earth and connect with nature." That is priceless.

"There is no deprivation in this, we see the hidden Ireland, it is magic.

"Every city we go to is a different story to tell and while our journey is simple, communities respond."

Press Association

Source link

Leave a Reply