Pilgrims say farewell to Our Lady's Island for another year
GREY clouds and rain failed to dampen the spirits of the thousands of people who flocked to the candle-lit closing ceremony of the Lady's Island Pilgrimage.
While the weather had been good much of the pilgrimage, last Thursday broke the run of mainly fair weather with an unseasonally cool and damp early autumn day.
Mainly grey-headed pilgrims wrapped in wet-weather gear, a sea of colour against the dark of the lapping waters and the sky, watched as Bishop Denis Brennan led the solemn ceremony in what is one the most ancient of pilgrimage sites in Ireland.
During the pilgrimage, each of the visitors began with a visit to the parish church before walking along the causeway to the shrine at the entrance to the island, with prayer there for a few moments.
Next the pilgrims follow the path around the island, reciting the Rosary, a procession that was established by Parish Priest Fr Whitty in 1897.
PP Fr James Cogley said around 120,000 people, from throughout the country, visited Our Lady's Island over the three weeks of the pilgrimage.
'We've had groups from Dublin, Cork and Limerick. Everyone has enjoyed the music at the services,' he said.