Happy St.Patrick’s Day!!
Croagh Patrick (Irish: Cruach Phádraig, meaning “(Saint) Patrick’s Stack”),nicknamed the Reek, is a 764 metres (2,507 ft) mountain and an important site of pilgrimage in County Mayo in Ireland. It is 8 kilometres (5 mi) from Westport, above the villages of Murrisk and Lecanvey. It is the third highest mountain in County Mayo after Mweelrea and Nephin. It is climbed by pilgrims on Reek Sunday every year, which is the last Sunday in July. It forms the southern part of a U-shaped valley created by a glacier flowing into Clew Bay in the last Ice Age. Croagh Patrick is part of a longer east-west ridge; the westernmost peak is called Ben Gorm.
Croagh Patrick comes from the Irish Cruach Phádraig meaning “(Saint) Patrick’s stack”. It is known locally as “the Reek”, a Hiberno-English word for a “rick” or “stack”.In pagan times it was known as Cruachán Aigle, being mentioned by that name in sources such as Cath Maige Tuired,Buile Shuibhne, The Metrical Dindshenchas,and the Annals of Ulster entry for the year 1113.Cruachán is simply a diminutive of cruach “stack”, but it is not certain what Aigle means. It is either from the Latin loan aquila “eagle” (more usually aicile or acaile)or a person’s name. In addition to its literal meaning, cruach in the pagan name may also have some connection with Crom Cruach.
The Marquess of Sligo, whose seat is nearby Westport House, bears the titles Baron Mount Eagle and Earl of Altamont, both deriving from alternative names (Cruachán Aigle; high mount) for Croagh Patrick.
Croagh Patrick has been a site of pagan pilgrimage, especially for the summer solstice, since 3,000 B.C. It is now a site of Christian pilgrimage associated with Saint Patrick who reputedly fasted on the summit for forty days in the fifth century A.D.Thousands of people climb the mountain every Reek Sunday, which is the last Sunday in July. The climb is led by Archbishop of Tuam every year.